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Politics

Stories about politics.

Rep. Bob Herron, D-38, Bethel
Alaska State Legislature

Former Alaska State Rep. Bob Herron, a Bethel Democrat, had a stroke on Sunday. Alaska House Majority Leader Steve Thompson, a Republican from Fairbanks, announced the news on the House floor on Monday.

Sen. Donny Olson listens to testimony in a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, March 5. 2014.
Skip Gray / 360 North

Alaska Sen. Donny Olson represents the state’s largest senate district. It stretches from the lower Yukon River, across the Bering Straits region, into the Interior, and spans the North Slope Borough. His work in the Legislature requires him to support rural communities across this vast landscape. KYUK talked with Olson about his plans for this session.


Bethel City Council has postponed voting on the Uniform Remote Sellers Sales Tax Code, which would enable the city to collect taxes on purchases made by Bethel residents online. Council will revisit the issue on April 14.
City of Bethel

Bethel residents may have to start paying sales tax on online purchases soon. Bethel City Council unanimously voted to join the Alaska Remote Sales Tax Commission, a state-wide organization that will help Alaskan cities collect sales tax on online purchases by their residents. 

Bethel City Council has postponed voting on the Uniform Remote Sellers Sales Tax Code, which would enable the city to collect taxes on purchases made by Bethel residents online. Council will revisit the issue on April 14.
City of Bethel

Despite an evening power outage on Jan. 28 that took out lights all over Bethel, the city council powered through its meeting agenda, which included the renewal and transfer of Fili’s Pizza’s liquor license.

Bethel City Council has postponed voting on the Uniform Remote Sellers Sales Tax Code, which would enable the city to collect taxes on purchases made by Bethel residents online. Council will revisit the issue on April 14.
City of Bethel

The Bethel City Council meeting on Jan. 28 will cover liquor licenses and taxes.

Fili’s Pizza is applying to renew its liquor license for selling beer and wine. In addition, the ownership is changing hands. Current owner Mefail Saliu is selling the restaurant to Marina Inc., a company partially owned by Todd Perez. Perez formerly managed Caribou Traders Liquor Store, which shut down earlier this month when Bethel entered local option alcohol status that allowed restaurants to continue selling beer and wine.

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel) on the Alaska House floor.
Courtesy of Tiffany Zulkosky

As the 2020 Legislature kicks into gear, lawmakers have other priorities than just passing a state budget. Bethel Democrat Tiffany Zulkosky, who is also the only Alaska Native woman in the House, is focusing both on the state establishing stronger relationships with Alaska Native tribes, and on drafting a sustainable state budget.


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.”

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