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Politics

Stories about politics.

Courtesy of KTOO

On Jan. 24, the Village Public Safety Officer working group adopted the final version of the recommendations it introduced earlier this month.

Hoffman Fights For Power Cost Equalization Again

Jan 27, 2020

Protecting the subsidy that helps lower the cost of power in the bush is Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel’s number one priority again this legislative session.  

Last year, the governor’s budget would have transferred, or "swept," the Power Cost Equalization funds into other projects. But Hoffman fought hard to protect it, and succeeded. Now he wants to get legislation in place to protect the program in the future.

REAL ID In The Bush

Jan 27, 2020

Sen. Lyman Hoffman of Bethel has joined the chorus of those criticizing the Dunleavy administration’s plans to ask local communities to help pay for their residents to obtain REAL ID Act compliant documents. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the Dept. of Homeland Security will require all driver licenses and ID cards to be REAL ID compliant if one wants to use them to board an airplane. And Hoffman may be able to leverage the funding. 

Senate Majority Leader Lyman Hoffman

Jan 24, 2020

Sen. Lyman Hoffman is now one of the more powerful people in the Senate. He became the Senate Majority Leader last summer when former Senate Majority Leader Mia Costello, a Republican, decided to break with the caucus and meet with lawmakers in Wasilla. Hoffman also maintains his seat on the Senate Finance Committee. That means that as lawmakers grapple with a major shortfall in the state budget, Hoffman will be in the middle of all of it.

“Yes,” Hoffman said. “That’s exactly the way I like it.”

Before being appointed by the Council mid-term to his present seat, Mark Springer had served two previous terms on Bethel’s City Council. It’s his third time on the ballot.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

This week marks the final meeting where Bethel resident Mark Springer will chair the Alaska Marijuana Control Board. Gov. Mike Dunleavy chose not to reappoint Springer to another term. Springer talked to KYUK about the work he and other members of Alaska’s first Marijuana Control Board did to regulate what had been an illegal substance as it made the transition to a legal Alaska industry.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on Monday, Jan. 15.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel has a pool again. The Yukon Kuskokwim Fitness Center reopened on Monday, after nearly three weeks of closure due to frozen pipes and other mechanical issues caused by the cold snap.

Bethel City Council will have to decide how to fund community action grants after losing funding from alcohol sales taxes.
City of Bethel

The Bethel City Council was impressed by City Attorney candidate Elizabeth “Libby” Bakalar. Bakalar will be invited for an on-site interview, scheduled the same day that the three candidates for city manager make their visit.

Bethel City Council will have to decide how to fund community action grants after losing funding from alcohol sales taxes.
City of Bethel

During the regular meeting on Jan. 14, the Bethel City Council will do something it doesn’t usually do: conduct a job interview over live radio. The city council will interview one candidate for city attorney.

Bethel City Council will have to decide how to fund community action grants after losing funding from alcohol sales taxes.
City of Bethel

The Bethel City Council likes all three final candidates for city manager so far. In the first round of video interviews last week, each candidate showed different strengths. As a result, the council invited them all to Bethel for on-site interviews scheduled for some time next month.

Courtesy of KTOO.

In 2019, U.S. Attorney General William Barr declared a public law enforcement emergency for rural Alaska after his visit to the state. Alaska lawmakers then formed a working group to fix the Village Public Safety Officer program, a key state service which has battled budget cuts, high turnover and an evolving job description. Now the working group has come up with a list of recommendations that lawmakers hope will  solve some of the issues with the program. 


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