American Indian

By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

The Alaska House and Senate have reached a deal on the state’s operating budget. For weeks, the two bodies have been at an impasse over whether to fund cost-of-living raises for public employees. House Democrats argued that the state should not go back on its contract with state workers, while Senate Republicans held that it was inappropriate to grant them a pay increase when the state faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit. The House Republican majority acted as a go between.

Conference Committee, House and Senate scheduled to meet Friday

Representatives of the state House and Senate serving on the Legislative Conference Committee are scheduled to meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. Their assignment is to come up with a compromise operating budget. The Senate calendar shows it plans to convene tomorrow at 11 a.m. and the House at 2 p.m. Friday. Lay off warning notices were sent Monay to about 10-thousand state employees, giving them 30-days-notice they’ll be laid off if the Legislature doesn’t pass a budget by July 1.

Gov. Sean Parnell vetoed a bill that would have scrubbed Courtview - the state's onlne criminal records database - of any charge that did not result in a conviction. The Alaska Court system has adopted a rule that would wipe the records of any person who was arrested but not charged with a crime.

Proposals to increase education funding for the coming fiscal year range from the Senate's $100 million addition to the state operating budget, to the House's $25 million and the Governor's $10 million.

The AFL-CIO says it would oppose any move by Legislators to increase the minimum wage, which would take a proposed $1 an hour increase off the ballot for August, saying lawmakers did that in 2002, then gutted the minimum wage hike the following session.

Joaqlin Estus

AGING IN ALASKA

March 17 - 21, 2014,  As a part of KNBA Morning News, News Director Joaqlin Estus shared a series of stories that discuss the value of Elders, the personal rewards of maturity and the opportunities and challenges of an aging Alaskan population. 

This special news series was made possible through a MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowship, a project of New Media and the Gerontological Society of America.

Two people were medivacced from King Cove to Cold Bay in the Aleutians, where locals continue to push to have a road put in so people can take that trip by road.

Legislators consider advocating for an American Indian Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC.

Legislators are considering a bill to do away with a film tax credit program, questioning its benefits to Alaska.

The state of Alaska spends more money litigating against its Alaska Natives than do all the other 49 states combined, according to the chairman of a national Commission on Indian Law and Order.

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Jan. 28, 2014
 

January is National Glaucoma Awareness month, and the National Eye Institute wants to remind people, especially Alaska Natives age 40 and up, to get an eye exam to prevent permanent blindness due to glaucoma.

Dr. Ann Coleman is a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, and Chair of the National Eye Institute Glaucoma Subcommittee. She says the disease is associated with high pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve.