Articles & Op-eds

07.07.20

KDLL: Federal aid, Kenai program deadline extended

by Elizabeth Earl

The deadline for businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program was extended last week and now runs until August 8. The PPP offers loans to businesses for relief from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. These loans become grants and don't have to be paid back as long as 60 percent of the money is used for payroll and other eligible expenses. The program surfaced in March, and while many businesses applied for it then, others were left out. Notably, commercial fishermen were largel… Continue Reading


06.29.20

Gray TV: Push from Washington, military officials to bolster Arctic strategy

by Peter Zampa

The White House is making it known they want to enhance the U.S. presence in the Arctic. Alaska is the lone U.S. state that borders the Arctic, and leaders in Washington say they want to make sure the resources are there to strengthen the U.S. position. That efforts begins with ice breakers. "The Arctic is an area where geo-strategic activity continues to rise at a pretty remarkable rate," said Ret. Maj. Gen. Randy Kee, executive director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center. Kee says severa… Continue Reading


06.29.20

KTOO: A new rule makes seasonal fishermen and crew members eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program

by Tyler Thompson

A new rule to the Paycheck Protection Program allows commercial fishing businesses to include their crew member payroll when they apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. Previously, the PPP recognized crew members as "self-employed" by the Internal Revenue Service. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young urged the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration to make the fix. Murkowski said last month that the previous requirements left crew wages out of th… Continue Reading


06.28.20

KINY: Delegation Announces PPP Fix for Commercial Fishing Businesses

The Alaska Congressional Delegation applauded a rule that allows commercial fishing businesses to account for crew member payroll when applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The U.S. Department of Treasure and the Small Business Administration approved the move Thursday. Senator Lisa Murkowski said the program has provided a lifeline to Alaska businesses to help them weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, "Many of our fishermen, the ultimate small businesses, were unintentionally… Continue Reading


06.27.20

Cordova Times: Murkowski pushes improving PWS warning system

In the wake of warnings of a potential massive landslide due to a melting glacier and thawing permafrost, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is urging federal oceans officials to prioritize improvements to tsunami monitoring in Prince William Sound. Murkowski's letter to Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Neil Jacobs and Assistant Administrator for Weather Services Louis Uccelini asked for NOAA to provide a long-term plan for monitoring non-seismic landslide-induced tsunamis in Princ… Continue Reading


06.26.20

KTUU: Commercial fishing businesses now eligible for larger paycheck protection loan; deadline is fast approaching

by Cheyenne Matthews

Commercial fishing businesses can now apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loans that include crew in payroll costs, as the Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration has amended a rule that previously counted crew as independent contractors, Alaska's congressional delegation announced Thursday. Commercial fishing businesses have been able to apply for the PPP loans before now, but the loan amounts would not have allowed businesses to count the fishing crew as employees when … Continue Reading


06.25.20

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska senators blame Democrats for blocking police reform bill

by Erin McGroarty

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is calling out Senate Democrats for blocking a police reform bill Wednesday morning. The Senate Justice Act, proposed by South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, included incentives for police departments to ban choke holds, required more disclosure regarding the use of force and no-knock warrants, and penalized the falsifying of police reports. The bill also urged additional use of police body cameras, made lynching a federal hate crime and outlined addit… Continue Reading


06.18.20

KTUU: Murkowski discusses the future of policing across the country

As protests surrounding the issue of police brutality carry on across the United States, members of Congress are sharing their thoughts on how the debate could reshape their communities. The Gray DC staff interviewed lawmakers on how police training, accountability, funding and force could change in their states because of this call for action. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is looking at the border efforts at safe policing reform. "Making sure that these standards that we're seeking to put in … Continue Reading


06.16.20

KTVA: Energy industry can play role in economic recovery, Murkowski says

by Megan Mazurek

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the energy industry can play a big role in the country's economic recovery. Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. She led a hearing Tuesday examining the impacts of the pandemic on the country's energy sector. Many oil companies slowed production when oil prices plunged to historic lows. Not only was it caused by low demand during the pandemic, but an oil trade war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Sen. Murko… Continue Reading


06.13.20

Cordova Times: Hearing focuses on wildfire management during pandemic

by Margaret Bauman

Protection of Alaska fire crews from COVID-19 was the focus of a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, June 9 chaired by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Wildfires in Alaska often happen in remote regions, where the closest communities are small and lack significant health and medical resources, said Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Residents of these communities are concerned about visitors to the area due to the pandemic, she said. The Sw… Continue Reading


06.12.20

Chronicles: $800 Million Federal Emergency Fund Proposed to Prevent Family, Youth Homelessness

by John Kelly

A bipartisan group of Senators has proposed an $800 million emergency fund to help communities address family and youth homelessness as advocates fear a potentially disastrous wave of instability as coronavirus continues to hamper the economy. "Hundreds of thousands of families will be at risk" of eviction as local moratoria expire this summer, said Ruth White, executive director of the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare. "For many, the only resource available will be foster care pla… Continue Reading


06.08.20

KTVA: Alaska's senators support federal measure to help struggling businesses

by Joe Vigil

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act. Some of the highlights of the legislation include reducing the required percentage of expenses dedicated to payroll from 75 percent to 60 percent when it comes to loan forgiveness. Small businesses that take advantage will have five years to repay the loan instead of two years. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is proud to support the bipartisan measure. "This bill improves our previous efforts by making… Continue Reading


06.05.20

KTUU: Sen. Murkowski rallies for the Equal Rights Amendment to be signed into law

by Gilbert Cordova

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ben Cardin of Maryland are rallying support for the Equal Rights Amendment to be signed into law. According to EqualRightsAmendment.org, "The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters." Alaska ratified the Equal Rights Am… Continue Reading


06.01.20

KDLG: Sen. Murkowski pushes for an additional $1 billion in federal fisheries relief funds

by Tyler Thompson

Alaska's fishing industry was allocated $50 million in CARES Act funding in early May to ease financial losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial and sport fishing businesses that incur more than 35% in losses will be eligible for aid. NOAA Fisheries and The Pacific Marine Fishery Commission will evaluate each entity's spending plan. According to NOAA, submissions and approvals will "occur on a rolling basis." Additional money could be on the way for the fishing industry. Senator Lisa M… Continue Reading


05.28.20

VOA News: US Coronavirus Death Toll Exceeds 100,000

The United States now has more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, a toll larger than the number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. As the country passed the threshold, a bipartisan group of senators renewed their call for a moment of silence to be held Monday to honor the dead. "The nation must mark this dark moment with unity and clarity,"?said Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii.?"At this time of almost unimaginable pain, it is essential that we pause to honor every life lost, a… Continue Reading


05.28.20

The Hill: Trump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits

by Rachel Frazin

The Trump administration is making it easier for renewable energy projects to take advantage of certain tax credits amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued a notice Wednesday that said it would give some companies that started construction in 2016 or 2017 an extra year before they have to put their projects in service. The notice also allows some companies additional time to receive materials for construction in order to meet a requirement to … Continue Reading


05.27.20

Associated Press: Four U.S. Senators Are Calling for a Moment of Silence to Honor COVID-19 Victims

Four U.S. senators, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are calling for a moment of silence to honor those who have died from COVID-19. The moment of silence is planned for noon Monday. The U.S. on Wednesday surpassed 100,000 deaths related to the pandemic, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Murkowski, a Republican, said too many families have seen loved ones suffer or been unable to have proper memorials for those who have died. "These impacts cannot be undone, but my heart is w… Continue Reading


05.26.20

Utility Dive: Murkowski, Collins, Tillis urge Treasury to extend aid to solar industry

by Catherine Morehouse

Three Republican senators on Thursday sent a letter to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, urging the department to take additional steps to provide aid to the renewable energy industry. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is leading the effort, according to her office, to extend safe harbor requirements for the "start of construction" on renewables projects, as well as modifying the "physical work test" rule, which dictates when signi… Continue Reading


05.26.20

Ed Source: Schools would get $1 billion to help homeless students under bipartisan federal proposal

by Carolyn Jones

Homeless youth and families, who've been largely left out of federal coronavirus aid, would get more than $1 billion under a bipartisan proposal put forth this week in the U.S. Senate. The proposal includes money for shelters, motel bills, food, school supplies and other services intended to help homeless students, whose numbers are expected to grow as unemployment soars to Depression-era levels nationwide. "It's what we need right now during this crisis," said Darla Barbine, executive directo… Continue Reading


05.25.20

KTUU: Alaska state senators share Memorial Day Messages

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Senator Murkowski Shares Memorial Day Message: "For Alaskans, Memorial Day is typically our big kick-off for summer, with sunlight nearly all day and a long weekend to enjoy the great outdoors with our friends and family. It is also a day of tradition and ceremony as we honor the fallen who have served our nation. "This year is different for us as many of our Memorial Day ceremonies are cancelled or as we follow new guidance due to the coronavirus. But it doesn't take a large… Continue Reading

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