Smokestack emissions are seen along the Fairbanks skyline on March 1. At left is the coal-fired heat and power plant on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Legislative resolution takes aim at EPA wood-stove certification in Fairbanks

BY: - March 28, 2023

A resolution pending in the Alaska Legislature urges both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to do more to address wintertime air pollution in Fairbanks. House Joint Resolution 11 calls on the federal agency to improve a wood-stove certification program that has been deemed ineffective. It also calls on the […]

Committee axes funding for Alaska’s effort to take over a federal wetlands permitting program

BY: - March 28, 2023

The Alaska House Finance Committee voted Monday to remove the state’s planned takeover of a federal wetlands program from its budget proposal and redirect the planned funding to the education program Head Start. The 6-5 vote came as the committee opened debate on more than 80 amendments to a proposed state budget for the fiscal […]

Fast-track budget bill, intended to help food-stamp program, speeds through Alaska Legislature

BY: - March 27, 2023

The Alaska Legislature has passed a fast-track budget bill intended to immediately address problems with the state’s food-aid program for poor Alaskans and other immediate concerns. House Bill 79, proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, is intended to address the food-aid problem. It transfers $3.1 million from the state’s Medicaid program to the Division of Public […]

Ironworker apprentice Natalie Bell displays her Rosie the Riveter tattoo that she describes as a symbol of strength, March 22, 2023, at the Iron Workers 172 Training Center in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Graham Stokes for States Newsroom)

Help wanted: Women needed for U.S. chips manufacturing plan to succeed

BY: - March 27, 2023

Natalie Bell was thinking about a career in art after college when a welding class and a delivery of four pizzas changed her career trajectory.  “I was taking a delivery out to a construction site and I met an ironworker who I was taking the delivery to,” said Bell, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. “I […]

Alaska’s occupational licensing division staggers under its workload

BY: - March 27, 2023

After waiting six months for a license to operate, an Anchorage psychologist asked Senate Majority Leader Cathy Giessel for help. But when the Anchorage Republican called the licensing office, she was greeted by voicemail. The person in charge of answering the phones had quit and couldn’t be replaced. “Professional licenses are required to get people […]

Alaska legislators prepare to talk taxes after grim new oil revenue forecast

BY: - March 25, 2023

The Alaska Legislature is preparing to examine two new tax proposals after a state revenue forecast showed significant long-term budget deficits even with a sharply reduced Permanent Fund dividend. One proposal, introduced Friday by Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, would cut a popular oil production tax credit and close what he describes as a loophole in […]

The U.S. Capitol grounds are seen on March 21, 2023. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

GOP bill establishing a federal parental bill of rights passed in U.S. House

BY: - March 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans on Friday passed a bill designed to empower parents to inspect books and other teaching materials in local public schools, but Democrats sharply criticized the measure, saying it would censor teachers and ban books. The legislation, called the Parents Bill of Rights, passed on a 213-208 vote. It would codify […]

The entrance to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission office in Anchorage is seen on Thursday. The AOGCC is considering whether to take enforcement action against ConocoPhillips for last year's natural gas leak at the CD1 field. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Gas leak at ConocoPhillips field reviewed a year later, with enforcement action possible 

BY: - March 24, 2023

A year after a gas leak at a North Slope oil field prompted a temporary evacuation of about 300 workers, the sealing and abandonment of a well and heightened concerns about health impacts of expanding development in Nuiqsut, a nearby Inupiat village, state regulators are considering whether to take any enforcement action over the incident. […]

Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii said that the 2018 farm bill was the first in which Native communities “had a meaningful seat at the table." (Photo by Larry Mayer/Getty Images)

Native American agricultural leaders detail farm bill priorities at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - March 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — A roundtable of Native American agricultural leaders at a recent U.S. Senate hearing lobbied for increased sovereignty and social justice in the coming farm bill by expanding tribes’ jurisdiction over U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.  It’s called “638” authority and refers to Public Law 93-638, which gives tribes the power to manage certain […]

An exploration site at ConocoPhillips' Willow prospect is seen from the air in the 2019 winter season. (Photo by Judy Patrick/provided by ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc.)

New revenue estimate for Willow project presents rosier picture for Alaska treasury

BY: - March 24, 2023

A revised estimate by Alaska Department of Revenue experts projects that ConocoPhillips’ massive Willow oil project will start paying off to the state treasury by 2030, years earlier than past analyses, department experts told legislators on Thursday. The new analysis presents a more positive picture for state revenues than did an analysis issued by the […]

After seven years, Alaska Legislature considers no longer monitoring veterinarians’ opioid prescriptions

BY: - March 23, 2023

Seven years ago, at the urging of then-Gov. Bill Walker, the Alaska Legislature passed a sweeping bill intended to limit the abuse of prescription opioid drugs.  Now, lawmakers are preparing to repeal a portion of that bill at the request of state veterinarians who say the bill went too far.  The veterinarians are asking to […]

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wisconsin, speaks about the economic impacts of a possible debt default by the federal government during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, March 23, 2023. L-R, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, of New York (behind Moor), Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota and Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Democratic report on U.S. debt default predicts disrupted benefits for seniors, veterans

BY: - March 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — Congress’ Joint Economic Committee released a report Thursday detailing the economic repercussions of defaulting on the nation’s debt, adding fuel to the fire as Democrats pressed Republicans to address the nation’s borrowing limit without tying action to spending cuts. The report, from Democratic staff on the bipartisan Joint Economic Committee, says that a […]