The second full week of January was a busy one, news fans.
The 28th Alaska Legislature began arguing over what promises to be the issue to suck all the oxygen out of the room from here until adjournment: Another oil tax reduction proposal. Alaska Governor Sean Parnell detailed the plan to reduce state revenue and cope with the smaller purse as best he could in his latest State of the State Address. Democratic lawmakers were quick to criticize him. And for the second year in a row, Alaska Dispatch's staff asked itself what problems the Legislature could attempt to solve if oil didn't always command so much attention.
Meanwhile, members of the Alaska Republican Party tucked into settling (or escalating) a dispute about who will control the party and its money. Those fireworks have been going on between the “old” and “new” guard since at least April, and they show no signs of letting up despite the fire danger they pose to all that wood paneling in party HQ.
Between all that excitement, we wondered whether the pipeline company TransCanada might be too busy to build the Alaska natural gas project it won a sole license for, whether Alaska health insurance policies will skyrocket as major components Obamacare starts taking effect, and why the feds didn't keep a shorter leash on the man they relied on to ferret out convictions of some Alaska militia members. Plus, the state of Alaska finally has some good news about the effort to restore its wild population of wood bison.
Read all that and more below. Miss a week and miss a lot!