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

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Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 07:47 PM AKST


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House Commended for Passing Pension Liability

PoliticsApril 17, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today commended the House of Representatives for passing House Bill 385, his plan to address Alaska’s unfunded pension liability. Specifically, the governor’s plan would provide a $3 billion deposit into Alaska’s retirement trust funds, lowering the state’s annual payments.

“I would like to thank Representative Munoz for carrying the bill on the House Floor and I commend the House for acting to better secure Alaska’s fiscal future,” Governor Parnell said. “By paying down Alaska’s debt now, we are bolstering our already stellar financial position and improving the health of our retirement system. I remain committed to signing legislation that ensures future generations of Alaskans are not saddled with this debt.”
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Bill Defines Medically Necessary Abortion

PoliticsApril 17, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation that defines medical necessity for purposes of public funding for abortions.

“While the Alaska Supreme Court requires the state to fund certain abortions, the court has held the state may define and fund what is medically necessary, rather than funding elective abortions,” Governor Parnell said. “I commend legislators, and in particular Senator Coghill, for their thoughtful consideration and hard work to pass this legislation defining medical necessity.”
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House Passes Governor's Veterans Bill

Politics Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today thanked the House for passing Senate Bill 145, his legislation to ensure veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War and conflicts arising after September 11, 2001 can benefit from hiring and housing preferences granted to veterans of earlier conflicts.

Specifically, the bill increases job opportunities for veterans by extending a hiring preference to those who have served since the Vietnam War. SB 145 also implements the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act, which ensures military families receive full survivor benefits for fallen soldiers.

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Governor’s Plan to Pay Down Debt Advances

PoliticsApril 15, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today commended the House Finance Committee for passing House Bill 385, his plan to address Alaska’s biggest budget cost driver, its unfunded pension liabilities. The governor’s plan pays down the debt now and lowers Alaska’s annual payments thereafter.

“I appreciate the House Finance Committee advancing our legislation to better secure Alaska’s financial future,” Governor Parnell said. “From education to public safety, Alaska’s unfunded pension liability is already squeezing dollars from critical programs and state services. I am committed to paying down this debt now rather than saddling our great grandkids with this debt.”
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State Files Intent to Sue for Right of Way

PoliticsJuneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced that the State of Alaska has filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government over access through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, based on a historic right of way. A strong advocate for the life-saving road between King Cove and Cold Bay, the governor has called the Department of the Interior’s failure to approve a road that would provide emergency medical access for residents of King Cove “unconscionable.”
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Governor Signs Legislation Extending ARDORs

PoliticsMarch 25, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell signed House Bill 71 today, legislation extending Alaska Regional Development Organizations, or ARDORs.

“Across our state, Regional Development Organizations are creating economic opportunities for Alaskans and our local communities,” Governor Parnell said. “The foundation of Alaska’s economy depends on the strength of our small businesses, and this legislation will empower ARDORs to continue the work they do to promote economic development. I commend Representative Hughes and all 12 of the organizations for their hard work in passing HB 71.”
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Gov. Introduces Bill to Increase Opportunities for Veterans

PoliticsJanuary 29, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today introduced legislation to expand opportunities for veterans in Alaska by strengthening veterans’ job opportunities. The legislation also implements the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act, ensuring military families receive full survivor benefits for fallen soldiers.

“Our veterans and their families are the lifeblood of our nation,” Governor Parnell said. “With more veterans per capita than any other state, our legislation ensures that Alaska veterans, as well as their families, have the resources they need. I look forward to working with legislators on this critical piece of legislation.”
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Speech: State of the State 2014

Politics"Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Lt. Governor, legislators, fellow Alaskans: Thank you for welcoming my family and me here tonight. I brought three strong women with me: my wife, First Lady Sandy Parnell; my mom, Thelma Parnell; and my beloved aunt, Jeannie Zimmerman. Legislators, you and I have the privilege of serving the greatest people, of a mighty state, in an exceptional nation. Our job is profound: to secure liberty and create opportunity for all Alaskans."
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Alaska legislators introduce some 50 bills next sesson, few of them spendy

Politics"JUNEAU -- Some legislative Democrats have been outspoken in their criticism of Gov. Sean Parnell's decision to not accept the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, but their agenda for this legislative session is much less ambitious.

"The big ticket items, almost for sure, won't pass this session," said Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, House Democratic Leader."
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Mat-Su mayor, fish and wildlife commission at odds on HB 77

Politics"WASILLA -- The debate over House Bill 77, a wide-ranging measure to ease development and reduce environmental restrictions on public lands, now includes the mayor of the Mat-Su Borough squaring off against the borough's own appointed fish and wildlife experts.

Among its many parts, the statewide legislation would bar private citizens or nonprofit groups from filing for water rights to protect salmon or recreation, giving that ability solely to federal, state and local governments."
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NSA statement does not deny 'spying' on members of Congress

PoliticsThe National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is … currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”, in which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US Congress to whom it says it is accountable.

In a letter dated 3 January, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont defined “spying” as “gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business”.

The agency has been at the centre of political controversy since a former contractor, Edward Snowden, released thousands of documents on its activities to media outlets including the Guardian.
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