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Week of September 16, 2019

    1. Early Voting Starts on Monday!!!
    2. Ballot measure on voting issues is confusing – but you should pay attention
    3. Your phone bill is about to go up
    4. Faith and Climate Science with Katharine Hayhoe
  1. State Reports:
  2. Federal Reports:
  3. News Links:
    1. State News:
    2. National News:

Early Voting Starts on Monday!!!
Municipal elections are here. In-Person Absentee Ballots will be available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., at the Borough Clerk's Office, City of Fairbanks Clerk's Office and City of North Pole Clerk's Office starting Monday, September 16, 2019. Vote early. It’s the cool thing to do! More info here.


Ballot measure on voting issues is confusing – but you should pay attention
Alaskans for Better Elections is a group that is promoting a ballot measure that would change the way Alaskans vote. The measure is currently tied up in a court battle but signature gathering has been allowed to begin by the judge. The voting measure was rejected after Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer followed advice from the Alaska Department of Law. In a legal opinion signed by Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, the department advised that the measure would violate a prohibition on including multiple topics within a single piece of legislation.
What would the initiative do?
·   The first section would enact a ban on so-called “dark money” political contributions. If a group donates to a political cause, that group would be required to disclose where its funding came from. In addition, any group that gets more than 50% of its funds from out of state would have to disclose that in any political advertising it funds.
·   The second section eliminates party-specific primary elections. All candidates for statewide or legislative office would run in a single primary, and only the top four candidates would advance to the general election.
·   The third section installs ranked-choice voting. In the general election, voters would be asked to rank their preferred candidates 1-2-3-4. When the votes are counted, the winning candidate is the one who receives more than half the No. 1 votes. If no candidate passes that hurdle, the candidate who received the fewest No. 1 votes is eliminated, and his or her supporters’ votes go to their second choice. The totals are retabulated, and the process continues until there is an outright winner. More info on rank choice voting here.  


Your phone bill is about to go up
A fund used to subsidize telephone and internet services to rural Alaska is running out of money. Currently because of a few bad actors in the telecommunications game the fund is spending more money that it is making in fees which means that the fund will be exhausted shortly resulting in millions of dollars that go to GCI, ACS, United Utilities and more drying up. State regulators are looking at the issue but have no resolutions at this point. You really should read this article here.

Faith and Climate Science with Katharine Hayhoe
I got to sit with Dr. Hayhoe this week while she visited Alaska to speak on Climate Change and let me tell you….she is smart….and kind…and practical. From her essay Where Will We Be In 10 years: “my hope for the next decade is not that climate change will move higher up our priority lists. Instead, I hope we realize that the reason for all of us to care about a changing climate is because it has an impact on everything we already care about: political stability and a healthy economy, our own health and welfare, the well-being of those less fortunate than us and ultimately the ability of this planet to continue to support our civilization as we know it. If climate change continues unchecked, it is our collective fate– not the planet’s– that hangs in the balance.” She spoke about how climate change is a “threat multiplier,” a phrase coined by the Department of Defense to indicate that one threat exponentially impacts other threats. I would encourage you to visit her website: where she has videos and essays and handy info links to FAQ’s about climate change.

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State Reports:
Bradner’s Economic Report September 10th  

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Federal Reports:

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News Links:

State News:
Oil tax initiative group introduces steering committee and defends ballot measure
Some Native Corps think the Gov misrepresented Alaska in his comments on Pebble
People oppose consolidating the Universities
Candidates for City of Fairbanks Mayor have been busy  

National News:
Congress is back in session and the budget debate is on
Will the federal government shut down again this year?
House passes bill that blocks drilling in ANWR
Trump puts entire coastal plain in jeopardy

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