Articles & Op-eds


KTUU (NBC): Murkowski calls for in-state care for vets

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski questioned Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Thursday on why so many Alaskan vets have to go to the Lower 48 for health care when the same care could be purchased from providers in Alaska. Murkowski said more needs to be done treat Alaskan vets in their home state. "Sometimes its demand exceeds the capacity, sometimes our veterans are told they have to travel to Seattle because the procedures aren't available in Alaska," Murkowski said. "We are … Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: AK Delegation Responds to Offshore Initiative

Alaska's Congressman Don Young, a Republican, had harsh words for the new offshore drilling plan. Young says the plan actually stalls U.S. efforts to become energy independent, essentially placing a moratorium on Pacific Coast oil development. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) had a more positive spin on it. Speaking in Juneau on Wednesday, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) said offshore resource development should provide a level of revenue sharing for affected coastal states.Listen to the audio from APRN… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Obama plan would open OCS to development, close Bristol Bay

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Obama administration's announcement Wednesday of its plans for offshore U.S. oil and gas exploration will strongly affect Alaska's Arctic Ocean coastline and the Bristol Bay region. The expansion of Outer Continental Shelf development gives Alaska's largest-grossing lease sale clearance to continue its plans for drilling. "This was one of the important milestones on our continual effort to mobilize a drilling ship into the Chukchi or the Beaufort (seas)," said Shell Al… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Alaska senators return with opinions of health care reform

by By Lisa Demer. Originally published March 30, 2010

They were on opposite sides during the debate leading up to health care reform in Congress and it's the same now that Alaska's two U.S. senators are back in Alaska talking about the result. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat who backed the reforms, says the legislation is packed with opportunity for people who didn't have it before to get health care and that most people calling his office now just want to know how it will affect them. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who opposed the legislation, s… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Murkowski on gas, Palin, and health care reform

The health care bill didn't do much to fix costs, we need some kind of gas line, and it doesn't look like Sarah Palin will be a big part of this year's re-election campaign. At least, that was the gist of a conversation Sen. Lisa Murkowski had with reporters in her Anchorage office Tuesday morning. Murkowski said she doesn't think the health care bill signed last week will deliver the benefits it promises; the main problem, she said, is its failure to address costs. Murkowski voted against the … Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Feds overreaching on health care, energy, Murkowski says

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski says America may have a new health care reform law, but the debate is far from over. In her first news conference Tuesday since the bill was passed, Murkowski says the legislation needs more work. She also touched on energy issues at the Anchorage conference and if there was a theme, it was frustration over federal intrusion into so many issues important to Alaskans and Americans. Although Murkowski opposed health care reform, she now believes it should… Continue Reading


KTUU (NBC): Health care bill will raise small businesses' costs, Murkowski says

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- While Sen. Mark Begich says the recently passed health care reform bill will move Alaskans forward, Sen. Lisa Murkowski says her constituents are upset about the health care legislation. She says the bill will impact small businesses negatively, and efforts to employ additional people and expand business will be slowed by additional costs. "When you have costs that are associated with the employer mandate, it's going to shift to the workers in the form of lower wages, fewe… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska delegation splits over health care reform vote

FAIRBANKS - Alaska's Congressional delegation split across party lines in reaction to the passing of the Democrat-backed health care bill. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, was not available for comment nor did he release a statement on the bill's passing but was "pleased to see health reform moving forward," according to an e-mail from press secretary Julie Hasquet. Rep. Don Young and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, both Republicans, publicly chided the bill's passing. In a conference call Sunday evening, Y… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily News: Alaska delegates divided on health care bill

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski called it an example of "March madness." Her Republican colleague, Rep. Don Young, asked on Twitter whether "anyone understands this convoluted health care bill?" And Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, said he plans to vote for the health care bill when it's back in the Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives moves toward a final health care vote on Sunday, Alaska's congressional delegation hasn't changed much in how they intend to vote on health care: 100 perc… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Congress Moves Towards Health Care Vote

As U.S. House Democrats whip up support for Sunday's vote on health care legislation, Alaska's delegation has not shifted its position. You can listen to the audio here. # # #… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Education Secretary Says AK Trip Shaped Views On Rural Students

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says his visit last year to a village in southwest Alaska has affected his view of rural education - and what must be done to help rural students. Listen to the audio here.… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Alaska Railroad chief Pat Gamble to head University of Alaska

FAIRBANKS - Pat Gamble will be the next president of the state university system. Gamble is president of the Alaska Railroad Corp. and a retired Air Force general. He has also developed various ties to academia and emerged Tuesday from the university Board of Regents' short list as the coming replacement for outgoing president Mark Hamilton. Gamble said this interaction with university leaders during the regents' review reminded him that Alaska and its university are both relatively young and … Continue Reading


Homer Tribune: Low-interest federal loans available

Alaska's halibut and sablefish fisheries include a built-in, low-interest federal loan opportunity to help new entrants buy shares of the fish. The loans are funded by a fee of up to 3 percent of the dockside value of the catch. Seventy-five percent of the total goes to recover management and enforcement costs; 25 percent supports the loan program. Fishermen are eligible for 80 percent of the purchase price of quota shares, paid back for up to 25 years at a low interest rate; currently 6.5 perc… Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Murkowski to address Arctic leaders

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is scheduled to speak Thursday, March 18, before a broad group involved in Arctic issues. Her staff said the address will be posted to YouTube. Alaska's senior senator, Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Energy committee. She's to speak to the standing committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, a group of legislators and non-governmental organizations from around the Arctic. Her topic is the Alaskan perspective on offshore oil and gas development in the Arct… Continue Reading


Ketchikan Daily News: EDITORIAL: Women in history

Three Alaska women are among the newest recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. Congress. In conjunction with Women's History Month, which is celebrated every March, Congress recently recognized the achievements of about 200 Women Airforce Service Pilots who served during World War II. These brave women - including Ellen Campbell of Juneau, and Virginia Wood and Nancy Baker of Fairbanks - flew fighter, bomber, transport and training aircraft duri… Continue Reading


Op-Ed: Southeast’s Economy and Promises

Once upon a time, the Southeast timber industry was one of the largest economic drivers in Alaska. In 1990, timber jobs hit an all time employment high. Now the timber industry consists of a few remnants, scratching desperately to hang on. Southeast has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Alaska, and it's the only region in the state where the population is declining and the average age is increasing. One of the leading reasons economic development is so challenging in Southeast is the … Continue Reading


Alaska Dispatch: Wrestling with the feds

Alaska's relationship with the federal government has been a rocky one since statehood 50 years ago -- the remote state needs federal money, which has grown to a third of the economy, but an independent populace also wants the feds to back off when it comes to rules. Addressing the state Legislature in Juneau on Thursday, Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski spoke of the long-standing tug-of-war for money, on one hand, and for state sovereignty, on the other. "Alaska has been a sovereign state … Continue Reading


Juneau Empire: Murkowski: Public will be heard on Sealaska bill

Public hearings in Southeast region to begin in early MarchBy Kim Marquis U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has committed to hearing more from Southeast Alaska residents about Sealaska lands legislation under consideration by Congress. Murkowski said her senior staff would hold a series of meetings in the region on Senate Bill 881, starting in early March. Describing the meetings as "listening sessions," she said the staff would "sit down with the people, listen to their concerns raised and put maps o… Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily news: Congress changes cut into state earmarks

Stevens: With senator out, atmosphere change, Alaska is down from first to sixth.By ERIKA BOLSTAD WASHINGTON -- Alaskans may have lost their title as the No. 1 per capita recipients of earmarks, but it doesn't mean the federal spigot has run dry for the state that made the so-called "bridge to nowhere" a buzzword for wasteful spending. There's no question the state has seen a decline -- Alaska's congressional delegation landed $227 million in earmarks in 2009, compared to $87 million in 2010, … Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Murkowski trumpets GOP chances for 2010

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says Republicans have the Democratic Party ``absolutely scrambling.'' Murkowski spoke Saturday to more than 150 people at a Republican fundraiser in Fairbanks, the Fairbanks Republican Women's annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Murkowski a year ago said things looked downright gloomy for the GOP but the shifting national mood gives Republicans a chance at a historic showing at the polls in 2010. Murkowski says a year of Democratic missteps has given R… Continue Reading

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