State sales tax, envisioned as part of long-term plan, gets first hearing in Alaska Capitol

BY: - March 30, 2023

A 2% statewide sales tax proposed by Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, received its first legislative hearing Wednesday night, with its sponsor saying he envisions it as a component of a long-term plan to bring state spending and revenue into balance. Other components of that plan, including a tougher state spending cap and a new formula […]

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise talks with reporters after the U.S. House GOP held its leadership elections on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Scalise was the chief sponsor of an energy bill the House approved on Thursday. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

U.S. House passes sweeping energy bill pushing back against Biden climate policies

BY: - March 30, 2023

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House on Thursday approved a bill packed with Republican energy priorities meant to counteract the Biden administration’s approach and boost U.S. oil and gas production. Numbered H.R. 1 as a signal that energy policy is the House majority’s top legislative priority, the bill includes a package of GOP proposals, ranging from […]

he White House called on the Federal Reserve and other banking regulators to reinstate safeguards for regional banks after the collapse of two banks earlier this month. (Photo via Canva)

White House calls on financial regulators to bring back safeguards for regional banks

BY: - March 30, 2023

WASHINGTON —  The Biden administration, placing blame on Trump-era rollbacks, Thursday called on federal banking regulators to reinstate safeguards for regional banks after the record-setting collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York earlier this month. The White House wants the agencies to revive regular stress testing at banks in the $100- […]

Alaska House prepares to block legislative pay increase, but top senators say they’re uninterested

BY: - March 30, 2023

As soon as Friday, the Alaska House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would block planned raises for state legislators and top members of the executive branch. Passage of the bill is expected — members of the House’s coalition majority and multipartisan minority caucuses have already expressed their support of the idea — […]

Doug Vincent-Lang, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, speaks on Wednesday during a panel discussion of ocean issues at the Arctic Encounter Symposium in Anchorage. Vincent-Lang said his department is preparing for potential commercial fisheries in Arctic waters in the future. From left are Rachel Kallander, founder of the symposium; David Balton, executive director of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee; VIncent-Lang; Manuel Carmona Yebra, a European Union counselor for environmental and ocean policies; Sheyna Wisdom, director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System; Zachary Penney, senior U.S. Commerce Department advisor for oceans and atmosphere; and Rear Admiral Nathan Moore, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard's Alaska district. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska officials prepare for possible commercial fishing expansion into Arctic waters

BY: - March 29, 2023

Bans on commercial fishing in U.S. and international Arctic waters have been lauded as admirable preemptive actions that protect vulnerable resources before they are damaged by exploitation. But now the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is preparing for a time when the 14-year-old moratorium on commercial fishing in federal Arctic waters is lifted. The […]

U.S. Capitol is seen in an undated photo. (Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

U.S. Senate in bipartisan vote repeals decades-old Iraq war authorizations

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators revoked their approval for the Gulf and Iraq wars on Wednesday, taking a broadly bipartisan vote to repeal the Authorizations for Use of Military Force that have stayed on the books years after the two wars ended.  The 66-30 vote sends the measure to the U.S. House, where Speaker Kevin McCarthy […]

The Senate approved a resolution, sponsored by West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito, that would revoke the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, for the purposes of federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources)

U.S. Senate clears measure to undo Biden WOTUS rule on wetlands

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — Both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the Biden administration’s intensely contested expansion of what qualifies as wetlands that the federal government can regulate. The Senate approved a resolution, sponsored by West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito, that would revoke the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of […]

Spawning sockeye salmon returning from Bristol Bay swim in 2013 in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve's Tazimina Lake, part of the Bristol Bay watershed. (Photo by D. Young/National Park Service)

Fishery expert says he is optimistic about long-term prospects for Bristol Bay sockeye salmon

BY: - March 29, 2023

The long-term outlook is bright for Bristol Bay sockeye runs, source of a thriving commercial fishery that has enjoyed record-breaking returns and harvests in recent years, a salmon expert told a conference last week. Part of the credit goes to the warming climate in that southeast Bering Sea region, Daniel Schindler, a professor at the […]

Alaska House committee removes funding for attorney assigned to help parents with school disputes

BY: - March 29, 2023

The Alaska House Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 6-5 against a request by Gov. Mike Dunleavy for a state attorney intended to work as an advocate for parents who have disputes with their local school districts. State legislators who voted to eliminate the position said it would encourage lawsuits against local school districts. “I don’t […]

Alaska Legislature votes to oppose National Park Service hunting rule that forbids bear baiting

BY: - March 28, 2023

The Alaska Legislature has voted to oppose a new National Park Service rule that could limit some forms of hunting in federal parks and preserves.  The Alaska Senate approved House Joint Resolution 10 in an 18-2 vote on Monday, an act that finalizes the nonbinding letter of opposition. The Alaska House previously voted 31-5 to […]

Baby formula is offered for sale at a big box store on January 13, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Baby formula has been is short supply in many stores around the country for several months. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Infant formula crisis could recur, former FDA official tells Congress

BY: - March 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday debated if enough has changed to prevent a repeat of the infant formula shortage, more than a year after a nationwide crisis began.  The U.S. House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services heard from two experts that while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration […]

Phillip A. Washington speaks at a nomination hearing with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Capitol Hill on March 1, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Denver airport CEO withdraws as FAA nominee after attacks by U.S. Senate Republicans

BY: - March 28, 2023

Phil Washington, the chief executive of Denver International Airport and President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Federal Aviation Administration, withdrew from consideration in the face of persistent Republican opposition, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed Saturday night. Reuters first reported Washington’s withdrawal and Buttigieg confirmed it in a late Saturday tweet. Republicans had attacked Washington […]