FYI – News briefs & announcements – Jan. 22

Behen appointed to Voc Rehab Committee
Governor Sean Parnell appointed Homer fitness technician Kelly Behen to the Alaska State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee as a representative from the Statewide Independent Living Council.
Behen, who works with Curves of Homer, is also an election board official with the State of Alaska and Kenai Peninsula Borough. She is co-founder of the Depression Bi-Polar Support Alliance of Homer, and has been a peer support worker, administrative clerk and chair of the Kenai Peninsula Housing Initiatives Board of Directors. She received an associates degree in human services from UAF and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work.
The Vocational Rehabilitation committee promotes employment of people with disabilities by creating statewide interest in the rehabilitation and employment of people with disabilities.

Minimum wage petitions at 43,000 signatures
The minimum wage ballot initiative petition was submitted to the Alaska Division of Elections last Friday with more than 43,000 signatures. If approved, the question of raising Alaska’s minimum wage will be put to voters in August’s statewide primary election.
After having the highest minimum wage in the nation for the four decades following statehood, Alaska has fallen in recent years to 17th place among the states; behind even Florida and Arizona. A single parent working full time at the current minimum wage of $7.75, earns only $16,120 annually. That’s less than two-thirds of the poverty rate for a family of three in Alaska.
Had the Alaska Legislature not repealed in 2003 the modest cost of living adjustment mechanism they had approved less than a year earlier in the bill raising the Alaska minimum wage to $7.15, that wage would be $9.53 today.
Alaskans for a Fair Minimum Wage, a ballot measure group led by three former state Labor Commissioners has sponsored the petition. The initiative would raise the minimum wage from the current $7.75 to $8.75 on Jan. 1, 2015, then to $9.75 on Jan. 2016. Each year thereafter it would be adjusted by the change in the Anchorage Consumer Price Index, or $1 over the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater.

State signs agreements for LNG Project
Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash, Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell and Alaska Gasline Development Corporation President Dan Fauske announced they have signed a Heads of Agreement with ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp., regarding the proposed Alaska LNG project.
The project would provide gas to Alaskans and be one of the largest export projects of its kind in the world.
In addition, the two commissioners also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TransCanada defining the pipeline company’s role in developing the midstream (pipeline) portion of the project.
Governor Parnell announced in a Friday, Jan. 10 speech that he will ask the Alaska Legislature to take up bills that authorize DNR to modify leases, allow the state to enter gas shipping agreements, revise the production tax for natural gas, authorize AGDC to participate in liquefaction and make other changes.

Hill plunges to new Polar depths
Homer resident Christie Hill (RIGHT) took top honors at the 2014 Polar Bear Plunge in Seward over the weekend, raising the highest amount of money for the event this year.
Hill, who has plunged into the icy depths 15 times now, raised $10,151 for the American Cancer Society this year.
Over the years, Hill has raised more than $200,000 for the fight against cancer.

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Posted by on Jan 21st, 2014 and filed under Announcements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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