ANWR Resolution. Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue, handed a copy of a resolution which proclaimed the Legislature’s support for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Sen. Dan Sullivan following the senator’s speech to the Legislature. House Joint Resolution 5 passed a final hurdle in the House with a 32-4 vote. “This kind of resolution is really, really important, because there’s narratives back in DC that it’s only Republicans that want (ANWR drilling),” Sullivan said. “This shows unity in Alaska on this issue.” It is important to note that Alaska’s chair of the House Resources committee, Rep. Gerran Tarr, voted AGAINST the resolution.
Legislators backpedal on cutting their budget. Homer Rep. Paul Seaton, co-chair of the House Finance Committee, unveiled a proposal on Monday to slash some $50 million in assistance payments to local school districts, while at the same time blocking a plan to cut $14,000 from each legislator’s annual expense payments. Seaton says he wants to cut more than 40 percent from the $116 million proposed by Gov. Bill Walker for school bond debt reimbursement. Seaton’s plan hasn’t been publicly discussed; appearing alongside other House budget proposals for state agencies that were openly vetted in subcommittee meetings.
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, February 28, 2017
Juneau Empire, James Brooks, February 26, 2017
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, February 28, 2017