Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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Alaska Legislature prepares to sue governor over school funding

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Lawmakers say they hope a lawsuit won’t be needed. But lawyers for the Legislature and the Dunleavy administration differ on whether a law passed last year can provide funding for next school year.

Senate sends criminal justice bill to Dunleavy’s desk

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The bill repeals much of the controversial three-year-old law known as Senate Bill 91. While that law reduced criminal sentencing, the new measure increases sentencing.

Lawmakers are wary of targeted ads from Dunleavy administration

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Dunleavy administration is using state-funded, mass text messages and social media advertising to target lawmakers not in line with the governor’s agenda. Some legislators say the tactic is hurting the chances of finding compromise on divisive issues at the heart of an ongoing special legislative session.

Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked Arctic offshore drilling

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The Trump administration Tuesday appealed a federal court decision that blocked plans to re-open vast portions of Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil drilling.

Can ‘Indian country’ powers combat violence in rural Alaska? Sullivan says he’ll discuss it with AG Barr.

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is coming to Alaska this week. Sen. Dan Sullivan said he will focus on rural law enforcement, particularly for the more than 70 Alaska villages that have no police officers.

Supreme Court rules against Alaska man in free speech case

Associated Press

The Supreme Court is ruling against an Alaska resident in a case that affects people arrested by law enforcement officers who want to sue and claim their arrest was retaliation for something they said or wrote.

What happens if Roe v. Wade goes? In Alaska, ‘nothing’

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

With two new conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion opponents hope now is the time to revisit Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision says the U.S. Constitution contains an implied right to privacy that covers a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. But in Alaska, the right to abort is stronger than that.

Oregon Lakes Fire doubles in size over Memorial Day weekend

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

High winds and dry conditions helped the Oregon Lakes Impact Area Fire more than double in size over the three-day weekend.

The “8.5 mile” fire destroys a home, spreads to State Forest land

Claire Stremple, KHNS – Haines

A five-acre fire destroyed one home in Haines and spread to State Forest land Monday night.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District staff vote to strike

Renee Gross, KBBI – Homer

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District employees voted Wednesday to strike next fall over rising health care costs.

DEC permit renewal would increase Cook Inlet oil producers’ wastewater discharges

Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer

Environmental groups are protesting the state’s move to renew a federal permit that allows oil and gas producers to release a variety of pollutants into Cook Inlet.

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