Inside/Outside morning news update for Jan. 7

  • All us media gadflies covered the moment when Alaska’s junior senator was officially welcomed into Congress. KTUU and KTVA have battling video coverage. Becky Bohrer with the AP, and APRN I opted for style over substance here.
  • Nothing says official in the 21st century like an updated Wikipedia page Read Sen. Dan Sullivan’s here.
  • Nothing like a McHugh Pierre hiring to make McScandal headlines. The Dispatch writes about the hire
  • Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner isn’t expecting a boost in education funding this session, according to the Juneau Empire. In fact, she’ll consider it a win if education doesn’t take a cut. She also said that the minority is going to continue to push for Medicaid expansion.
  • The Juneau Access Road might be part of Gov. Bill Walker’s spending freeze, but that hasn’t stopped forward movement on parts that have already been paid for. KTOO has the details.
  • The Keystone Pipeline might have been the first piece of legislation for the GOP run congress, but don’t get your hopes up on another pipeline building boom. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the White House intends to veto the bill if it makes it on the president’s desk.

  • It might have been all Sen. Sullivan all the time with Alaska media, but for political wonks, yesterday was known as Biden Time! Did he deliver or what?
  • In a move that made more than a few eyebrows raise, APRN and this site report that Gov. Bill Walker fired half of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation board of directors AND instructed two other members to not sign a confidentiality agreement. To sum up what some on my site are saying in the comments: “The LNG line is dead. Long live the LNG line.”
  • Dan Sullivan’s treasurer has some work to do on his FEC filings.
  • CNBC drew the short straw and had the misfortune to report that Brent crude oil dropped below $50 for the first time since 2009.
  • The ongoing political battle over the requirement for U.S. steel to be used on building Alaska’s newest ferry continues in coverage from the Dispatch.
  • The Tea Party’s power grab revolt might be smoldering into ashes, but Politico reports that that hasn’t stopped House Speaker Boehner from seeking his revenge.
  • Juneau Empire reports that an Aleut Corp subsidiary settled the 2010 Adak oil spill for $700,000.
  • Politico explains why this congressional session is the one that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand might have success in pushing for changes in military command structure regarding sexual assault cases.
  • The House GOP wants to use dynamic scoring in making tax policies. It might be a complex matter, but the National Journal sheds light on this murky subject and lays out their case as to why these changes matter.
  • House Democrats are filing legislation to create a statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program.
  • The Hill discovered that Gov. Chris Christie is quickly putting the finishing touches on his formal 2016 presidential announcement by moving it up by a month or two in order to prevent former Gov. Jeb Bush from getting unstoppable momentum.
  • The New York Times explains why Gov. Chris Christie is going to need to do a lot more than hug Jerry Jones if he wants Texas to join his presidential cheerleading squad.
  • Rick Perry, the governor with a head of hair that would make a Ken Doll weep, is heading back to New Hampshire in February as part of a 2016 early primary state tour, according to The Hill.
  •  APRN reports that Rep. Cathy Munoz will be reintroducing a bill this legislative session to add sexual orientation to the state’s anti-discrimination law.
  • Net Neutrality might have wider influence than once thought. The Hill has an extraordinary piece that gives hope to those concerned with this issue.
  • The Congressional Office of Compliance gave an advanced copy of their report about parity gaps in the laws protecting private sector and other federal employees, but not legislative workers, to the Washington Post.

9 thoughts on “Inside/Outside morning news update for Jan. 7

  1. AH HA

    What the heck? I thought these Dems were going to play ‘Budget Hawk’ this session.

    Statewide Pre-Kindergarten Program?

    Maybe after Young Master Kawasaki gets his tongue back in his mouth he can explain how he proposes top pay for this?

  2. Garand Fellow

    I might not understand your question, and in any event there are lots of people better qualified to answer your question. However, speaking about unrestricted revenues the legislature can reappropriate at any time money appropriated earlier for any purpose. For capital appropriations there is a process and there is a clock or deadline for spending appropriations. Bond proceeds can only be spent on projects described in the bond documents for revenue bonds and on projects approved by voters in the instance of bonds that required voter approval, but bond proceeds can be reappropriated to pay debt service or call bonds.

    The Constitutional BRF has a special requirement so far as legislative approval, and there are some simple requirements to use available money to repay amounts taken out of the fund with any cash at year end, but those simple requirements can become a little complicated. I don’t remember much about that.

    You can look at the Dept. of Revenue website and see how much cash the state has invested and where. Those amounts include money appropriated but not spent, owed but not paid, and warrants that haven’t yet cleared. It’s the Dept. of Administration that determines how much money is available for appropriation, but the legislature appropriates money each session to be spent in the coming fiscal year based upon an estimate of what will come in during that fiscal year. The state has substantial assets that do not show up on its balance sheet, for example securities held by state agencies like AHFC and AIDEA, which could be appropriated by the legislature, and it has lots of debt that is state debt but doesn’t show up on the state balance sheet such as University debt. I hope someone comes in with a more clear and comprehensive answer.

  3. Lynn Willis

    From the ADN Article: “It was a consistent position of guard leadership that the chaplains were out of line and off the reservation. I don’t know what part McHugh played in that,” Dyson said. “Be that as it may, McHugh is a very bright and attractive and talented guy — and whatever his sins of the past, I really hope that he has more opportunities to use his talents.”

  4. Lynn Willis

    Can somebody explain exactly at what point appropriated funds can (or cannot) be returned to the state treasury for re-appropriation or other use such as replenishing reserve accounts? Does the legislature have to produce evidence to justify any such action? Rumours of substantial amounts of state funds ($8 billion?) are being held for later expenditure. On a small scale, I understand a reversal of an allocation, regardless of the Anchorage Mayor’s appeal, was used to bring about the demise of the Tennis Courts for Anchorage.

  5. birchstick

    Sen Dyson’s quotes at he end of that ADN Pierre story make me sick on multiple levels. “This guy’s attractive”…”chaplains are off the reservation”…
    I HOPE his words were taken out of context.

  6. Anonymous

    Yes, Walt Disney gets it right all the time but anyone who grew up on a farm knows that God quite often doesn’t get it right. Two-headed calves are just the beginning of it. And that cross-dressing youth walking in front of a truck was sad.

    Still, the United States and western Europe appear to most people to be on a continuum of social norms moving quite rapidly in a certain direction, and the Munoz legislation is likely one more benchmark along the trail. When Swedish boys are visiting in the summer Norwegian farms put their ewes in the barn at night.

    Bad day to be a cartoonist in Paris it seems.

  7. AH HA

    I have not missed a chance to vote for Cathy Munoz and I suppose I’ll support her on this bill. If for no other reason than to watch the Religious Right squirm.

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