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Newly elected Gov. Bill Walker has stopped new spending on six state megaprojects, including the small gas pipeline project that supporters view as crucial competition to spur along the development of a larger pipeline.

Nathaniel Herz
The events will be on five consecutive Saturdays starting Jan. 3 in Valdez, followed by Juneau, Nome, Fairbanks and Anchorage. The last two are Feb. 6 in Wasilla and March 7 in Ketchikan. Nathaniel Herz
Republican leaders in the Alaska Legislature are asking new Gov. Bill Walker to quickly cut the budget as falling oil prices lead the state to a projected $3.5 billion budget gap.Nathaniel Herz
So far, new Gov. Bill Walker’s high-level appointees haven’t skewed to one party or the other -- and a top aide coordinating the transition says that in some conversations about prospective appointees, Walker hasn’t even known their party affiliation. But that hasn't stemmed criticism, especially from some Republicans.Nathaniel Herz
The Alaska Bar Association's Ethics Committee has offered informal advice regarding personal use and other ethical issues attorneys may face as Alaska prepares to legalize recreational marijuana use and develop a marijuana industry.Laurel Andrews
As the Anchorage Assembly's new committee on legalization of marijuana met briefly Tuesday to outline how it will work to craft local  laws, the Fairbanks North Star Borough announced it will follow Anchorage in forming a working group to explore legalization. Suzanna Caldwell
Alaska's Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott walked an unusual path to his role as the state's second-ranked elected official, and as a result may have an unprecedented role within the administration of Gov. Bill Walker. Just how significant that role will be, however, remains to be seen.Pat Forgey
A question in a survey distributed by Kodiak Sen. Gary Stevens asks whether lawmakers should continue to have to submit receipts for qualified office expenses or if the money should be treated as compensation, which would be taxable. Dermot Cole
As Alaska looks to close a looming budget deficit by largely relying on the state’s savings accounts, some are pondering longer-term solutions to the state’s fiscal predicament, including some uncomfortable ideas like instituting new taxes or diverting some of the earnings of the Permanent Fund.Nathaniel Herz
Gov. Bill Walker signed an agreement Tuesday to share information and cooperate with a Japanese company examining options for natural gas exports, saying it meets the needs of Alaska and potential consumers in Japan. Alaska Dispatch News

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