Articles & Op-eds


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


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Lisa Murkowski touts Republicans’ future

FAIRBANKS - What a difference a year makes. That was the message delivered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to more than 150 people at a Republican fundraiser in Fairbanks on Saturday, saying a shifting national mood gives the GOP a chance to have a historic showing in 2010. "We've got the Democratic Party absolutely scrambling," she said. Murkowski, with the help of Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, as emcee, offered the keynote speech at the Fairbanks Republican Women's annual Lincoln Day Dinner. … Continue Reading


Anchorage Daily Planet: EDITORIAL: Time is running out

When U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is right, she's right. She told a joint session of the Legislature that Alaska is going to have to do its part in getting its stores of natural gas to market. She says the window for a gas line remains open, but there is no time to procrastinate. "Maybe America can wait for Alaska's natural gas. Perhaps industry can wait," she said. "But Alaska cannot wait. We can't wait because other parts of our state's economy are not strong enough - they're not strong enough -… Continue Reading


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Murkowski attacks federal spending, urges gas line

JUNEAU-Sen. Lisa Murkowski told the Legislature on Thursday that a number of federal policies, which she said are often "overreaching" in scope, are working against Alaska's long-term interests. She said deficit-backed stimulus spending generally hasn't helped here or in other states. Murkowski led her address to a joint session of the Legislature with a swing at last year's economic stimulus plan, saying it has failed to meet promised increases in unemployment. She said fiscal policies, when m… Continue Reading


The Associated Press: Murkowski: Alaska needs economic 'soul searching'

LEGISLATURE: U.S. senator tells lawmakers that state needs to get gas to market. JUNEAU -- Alaska's economy faces significant threats from environmentalists, federal regulations, and even from within in the form of problems like high student dropout rates and domestic violence, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Thursday. The Republican told a joint legislative session she would do her part in Washington to fight such things as reactive or overreaching federal policies, but Alaska must do some "sou… Continue Reading


KSRM Radio: Murkowski Urges State to Move on Natural Gas

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski urged the State Legislature to keep moving forward to move North Slope natural gas to market. She said there is still an "open window of opportunity" for the state's natural gas, despite the development of shale gas. However, she stated Alaska couldn't afford to procrastinate with a natural gas line while this window remains open. She said that natural gas needed to get to market to keep the economy of Alaska strong. Murkowski, quoting an ISER study, said 31 percent … Continue Reading


The Hill: Murkowski ‘will never drop’ fight to move Alaska out of Ninth Circuit

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she will fight to move Alaska out of the liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which has served as a venue for environmental group challenges to oil drilling plans. But she acknowledged that it's an uphill battle. "So-called public interest litigation groups view Alaska as fertile ground to push the edges of environmental advocacy, without regard to the Alaskans who may be hurt by the outcome," Murkowski said in a speech before t… Continue Reading


Alaska Public Radio Network: Murkowski: DC Not Helping Fix Economy

Senator Lisa Murkowski on Thursday gave her annual report to the state legislature, focusing on the national economy and pointing at what she called the federal government's "flawed," short-term approach to fixing it. You can listen to the audio here. Dave Donaldson, APRN - Juneau… Continue Reading


KTUU: Murkowski talks with lawmakers about federal funding

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski came to the state capital Thursday with some troubling news for Alaskans who rely on federal dollars. She says money is becoming difficult to bring home as attitudes change in Washington. Murkowksi addressed a joint session of the House and Senate in a visit she makes each legislative session to update everyone on what she's doing in Washington, where earmarks aren't what they used to be. Very few U.S. senators, in their home states, would be able to reco… Continue Reading

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