Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 07:48 PM AKST


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Governor Walker Signs Two Bills into Law

PoliticsGovernor Bill Walker signed HB 180 and HB 178 into law today. Both pieces of legislation were signed during bill signing events at the Governor’s office in Anchorage.

HB 180, which was sponsored by Representative Cathy Munoz of Juneau, establishes the second Sunday in June as Children’s Day in Alaska. The bill is meant to encourage the community to celebrate children, and reinforce our commitment to provide a nurturing community that helps children reach their full potential. To celebrate the new law, Governor’s office staff and their children joined Governor Walker for cookies and lemonade after the bill signing.

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Mediator Hired to Help with Budget Impasse

PoliticsJune 1, 2015 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker today retained Matt Peterson to help resolve the legislative impasse currently holding up passage of a fully-funded budget. Peterson is an Anchorage attorney with an extensive history of conducting mediations.

“Today, because we don’t have a fully-funded budget, about 10,000 notices of layoffs were mailed out—as we are morally and contractually obligated to do,” Governor Walker said. “I have asked Matt Peterson to be available to step in and mediate this legislative impasse so we don’t have a government shutdown. I urge the legislature to take advantage of his expertise so we can move forward.”

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House Congratulated for Bipartisan Agreement

PoliticsMay 30, 2015 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker today congratulated members of the Alaska House of Representatives for reaching a budget agreement early this morning and urged members of the Senate to concur.

“I thank members of the House for negotiating on a fully funded budget so that we can continue to fund services Alaskans depend on,” Governor Walker said. “It is now up to the Senate to concur with work the House has begun to ensure 10,000 layoff notices are not sent out.”
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Governor Walker Meets with King of Norway

PoliticsMay 27, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott hosted a dinner for King Harald V of Norway in Anchorage yesterday, where they discussed their respective government’s practices on oil and gas development. The meeting was part of King Harald’s larger trip to Alaska and Washington as the U.S. assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

“I want to thank King Harald for making this trip to Alaska, and taking the time to discuss how his country is dealing with the impact of the downturn in oil prices on its economy,” Governor Walker said. “Alaska and Norway have both benefitted tremendously from oil and gas, but we have managed our wealth very differently.”

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Governor Walker Signs Three Bills into Law

PoliticsMay 27, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker signed HB 135, HB 131 and SB 46 into law yesterday during bill-signing events at his Anchorage office. The bills were passed during the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature.

Sponsored by Governor Walker and carried by Representative Cathy Munoz and Senator Dennis Egan, HB 135 creates a post-tax Roth investment option for public employees. The new law will provide state employees with greater certainty in their retirement plan by allowing them to pay taxes on those contributions upfront rather than at the time of disbursement.

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Governor Walker Signs Two Bills in Mat-Su

PoliticsMay 20, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker signed HB 153 and HB 161 into law yesterday while at bill-signing receptions in the Mat-Su. Both bills were passed during the regular session of the 29th Alaska Legislature.

Sponsored by Representative Jim Colver of Palmer, HB 153 adds three state-owned sections of land, approximately 2,900 acres, to the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge. Located at the head of Cook Inlet, these lands will now be formally protected for future generations to use for outdoor recreation and educational opportunities. Governor Walker signed the bill into law at Machetanz Elementary School in Palmer before students, staff, and community members. Earlier this year, students from the school wrote to their legislators in support of HB 153 and followed its progress as a way to learn about state government.

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Gov Line-Item Vetoes Unfunded Budget Bill

PoliticsMay 18, 2015 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker today vetoed much of House Bill 72, the unfunded budget bill the legislature transmitted May 1.

“I am gravely concerned about the effects this legislative impasse is having on the state,” Governor Walker said. “Tomorrow is the deadline by which I must take action. Today, to honor the terms of our contracts to give 10 to 30 days of notice, I let state employees know that layoff notices may be coming. Public services, employees and our economy are all in limbo because of this unfunded budget.”

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Governor Walker Signs Four Bills into Law

PoliticsMay 15, 2015 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker signed into law yesterday House Bill 70, House Bill 4, House Bill 15, and House Bill 26, which the 29th Alaska Legislature passed during its first session.

HB 70, sponsored by Representative Adam Wool of Fairbanks, adds four state-owned parcels of land to the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge.. Under the law, the lands will now be available to the public for various outdoor activities, and managed by the Department of Fish and Game. This same bill was passed during the 28th Legislature but was vetoed because of errors made in legal descriptions of the parcels.

“I want to personally thank Representative Wool for his tenacity and attention to detail so this bill could be signed into law,” Governor Walker said. “Alaskans will now have more protected lands to hunt, fish, hike, and enjoy the outdoors.”

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Governor Walker Signs Eight Bills into Law

PoliticsMay 12, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker signed yesterday afternoon eight pieces of legislation on topics ranging from road service boundaries and tire fee tax returns, to immunization certification and victim compensation.

“This has been an exciting week with multiple bills being sent over for my signature,” Governor Walker said. “I commend members of the Legislature for their work on such a broad range of issues. Each of these bills affects real Alaskans in their everyday lives.”

In addition to HB 1, the State Arctic Policy bill sponsored by Representative Bob Herron, Governor Walker signed the following bills into law yesterday:

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Governor Walker Signs Three Bills into Law

PoliticsMay 6, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker signed three bills into law yesterday at ceremonies in Anchorage and Juneau. Those bills, HB 140, HB 56, and SB 63, were passed during the first session of the 29th Alaska Legislature.

Representative Steve Thompson of Fairbanks sponsored HB 140, which allows the Alaska Railroad Corporation to issue $37 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance a large portion of a new positive train control system, which is part of the federal Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The positive train control system is technology designed to stop or slow a train before a collision or crash occurs. Failure to comply would have eliminated passenger service.

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Governor Signs Marijuana Bill Into Law

PoliticsMay 6, 2015 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker signed two pieces of legislation Monday—House Bill 123, a bill the Governor sponsored to create the Marijuana Control Board; and HB 116, a bill sponsored by the House Labor and Commerce Committee extending the existence of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

“I look forward to seeing the hard work of the ABC Board continue, and I know the Marijuana Control Board has an incredibly big task ahead,” Governor Walker said. “I trust these two boards are in good hands with the exceptionally capable Cynthia Franklin as their executive director.”

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Walker Disappointed in Legislature's Decision

PoliticsApril 30, 2015 JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker today said he is disappointed the legislature voted to take a 12-day recess and leave the capital city without passing a fully funded budget. The vote in the House of Representatives was 24-13 with a 15-5 vote in the Senate.

The currently unfunded status could potentially jeopardize the state’s credit ratings, as David Teal, director of the legislative finance division, testified during yesterday’s House Finance hearing.

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Gov. Walker Stands Firm on Fully Funded Budget

PoliticsApril 29, 2015 JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker today responded to legislative leadership’s request to take a two-week break before convening the special session in Anchorage. Governor Walker declined to rescind his proclamation, and held firm that the legislature pass a fully funded budget before gaveling out.

“It is unacceptable to leave the capital city with a budget that has a $3 billion hole,” Governor Walker said. “It’s time to put aside our political differences and pull together for the good of Alaska.”

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Governor Calls Special Session

PoliticsApril 27, 2015 JUNEAU—Governor Bill Walker today issued a proclamation to convene the Alaska State House of Representatives and Senate in a special session to pass a fully funded state budget and consider pending legislation for Erin’s Law and Medicaid reform and expansion.

“Local governments in Alaska are not allowed to pass a budget that is not funded, and nor should we,” Governor Walker said. “While there can certainly be disagreement on the amount, whatever state budget is approved must be fully funded. My administration is focused on healthy Alaskans and a healthy economy. A partially funded budget that runs out of money mid-year does not provide for the health of Alaskans, and creates uncertainty for businesses, school districts and families.”

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Designated Roth 457 Bill Passes Legislature

PoliticsApril 19, 2015, JUNEAU—Governor Walker today thanked the 29th Alaska Legislature for passing House Bill 135 to provide public employees with a new Designated Roth 457 deferred compensation option to diversify their retirement savings.

“With passage of HB 135, we're providing options to help hard-working state employees, those who accomplish the core services that we in this great state depend upon daily, to make the most of their service with the state,” said Governor Walker. “Respecting our public servants means providing them with the best opportunities to enjoy their retirement after a successful career in state government.”

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