NEWS: House Democrats Call for Firm Timelines on Pt. Thomson Development

Without work schedules, continued delay likely

JUNEAU – Today, nine members of the House Democratic Caucus called on the Department of Natural Resources to require firm timelines and work schedules before approving Exxon’s most recent Plan of Development for Pt. Thomson. In their official comments submitted today, the lawmakers said that without a timeline for Exxon to complete the work, this Plan of Development is likely to result in the same delay and inaction that has kept the resource undeveloped for over thirty years.

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NEWS: Legislature to Honor Catholic Social Services at Alaska’s World Refugee Day

Ceremony tomorrow, Friday, June 22 from 4-7pm

On Friday, June 22, Alaska will celebrate World Refugee Day at an event sponsored by Catholic Social Services from 4-7 at Mountain View Lions Park. The event will feature speakers and entertainers from Alaska’s refugee community. At the event Representative Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) will present a citation passed by both houses of the Alaska State Legislature honoring Catholic Social Services for its work with refugees.

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NEWS: Gara Launches Summer Foster Youth Laptop Drive

Today, Rep. Les Gara launched the Summer Foster Youth Laptop Drive designed to pair foster youth with laptop computers donated by generous Alaskans.

“Past holiday drives were very successful, so we’re hoping to spread that success throughout the year,” said Rep. Gara, whose office started this effort with foster youth advocate Amanda Metivier two years ago.

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NEWS: Rep. Holmes Bill to Bolster Alaska’s Housing Economy Now Law

“We need to take charge to guarantee Alaska’s housing market stays strong”

This afternoon, the governor signed HB 269, a bill by Representative Lindsey Holmes (D-Anchorage) that ensures housing projects in the state can keep moving forward.

Before this fix, an unintended glitch in state law could cause projects to stall out if their timeline ran a little too long. The obsolete provision was adopted in 1986 but has been updated nationally since 1994. HB 269 updates Alaska’s law to the national standard. The bill is widely supported by banks, trust companies, and homebuilders in Alaska.

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NEWS: House Democrats Laud Successful Cook Inlet Lease Sale

Today, four members of the House Democratic Caucus said that today’s successful Cook Inlet lease sale was another reason for Alaskans to be optimistic about Alaska’s ability to meet long-term local energy needs with Alaskan gas.

“The industry’s renewed interest in Cook Inlet is not surprising given the incentives we’ve put in place and the real potential to find large amounts of untapped oil and gas,” said Representative Pete Petersen (D-Anchorage). “It shows they think there’s a lot of gas there, and that they’re willing to produce it. That’s good news for Alaska’s energy future.”

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NEWS: It’s Official: Texting While Driving Is Illegal in Alaska

Ban Signed Into Law Today

Today, thanks to legislation led by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines), Alaska’s strong anti-texting law is officially back on the books. Last year, a number of judges questioned whether the law at the time covered texting while driving, but the new law is clear—it is illegal to text while driving in Alaska.

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NEWS: House Democrats Call on NOAA to Assist With Tsunami Debris

“Tsunami debris threatens Alaskan coastal resources, communities and economies”

JUNEAU – Today, eight members of the Alaska House Democratic Caucus called on the federal government to create an aggressive plan to protect Alaska’s coastline from the threat posed by debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan.

“This debris could cause serious ecological, health and safety concerns for our coastal communities, not to mention significant economic impacts that could ripple throughout the state,” said House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (Juneau). “We know it’s coming—the first of it is already here. We need federal resources to get an idea of what we’re up against so we can develop the best way to deal with these waves of debris that could keep coming for months or more.”

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