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By the Associated Press

The Alaska House has asked the Senate to meet in joint session to consider potential overrides of vetoes made by Gov. Bill Walker. House Speaker Mike Chenault says he sent a letter to Senate President Kevin Meyer asking for a joint session Friday. Chenault said he's not sure where the votes might be to try to override any particular veto. But he said there's enough interest on his side to at least hold a session to consider potential overrides.

By Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media

Tribes across the country would have new opportunities to reclaim lost artifacts under a new Senate bill. The Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony, or STOP Act, would prevent the export of cultural and religious items.

Martin Heinrich is the junior senator from New Mexico who introduced the STOP Act to the Senate.

“It’s time to make sure that items that are deeply religious or deeply connected to individual tribes are respected, are not sold on the auction block,” Heinrich said.

Governor Bill Walker has signed into law a bill to cut down on the number of people in prison and the number of repeated returns to prison. The legislation is based on recommendations made by the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission. In a prepared statement, the Governor's office said the new law will put $99 million over six years into crime-reduction programs such as substance abuse treatment, pretrial services, and support for inmates re-entering society. The law is expected to reduce the state's prison population by 13 percent by 2024, saving the state $380 million.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

Construction is beginning on a Native children’s dental clinic and health services facility in Anchorage. Southcentral Foundation provides statewide dental services to Alaska Native and American Indian beneficiaries of the Indian Health Service. At a ground-breaking ceremony Monday, SCF president and CEO Katherine Gottlieb said the new clinic will add 32 dental chairs to the 15 they have now, and create an environment designed to put children at ease.

by The Associated Press

The owners of the downtown Anchorage legislative office building have filed an administrative claim seeking $37 million in damages following a botched lease deal.

Lawmakers earlier this year mulled buying the building after a state court judge invalidated their lease but Gov. Walker threatened to veto that purchase. The Legislative Council has since decided to pursue office space in another building.

by the Associated Press

Gov. Bill Walker is proposing a new, statewide 3-percent sales and use tax, an alternative to his proposal to reinstate a personal income tax.

The sales tax bill was among the measures introduced Monday, as lawmakers began a special session called by Walker to address the state's budget deficit. Certain items would be exempted from the sales tax, including groceries, wages and real estate purchases or rentals.

The Department of Revenue estimates the tax could generate $500 million annually.

KNBA News - June 17, 2016

Jun 17, 2016

Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan Drops Out of U.S. Senate Race

By Associated Press

Alaska won't have two U.S. senators with the same name. Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan says he’s dropping out of the Republican primary race challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Sullivan tells KTUU he can best serve Alaskans by working on local and statewide issues. Alaska's junior U.S. Senator and former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan was elected in 2014.

The “White House Champions of Change” program is scheduled Friday to present Cook Inlet Tribal Council, or CITC, with an award for an innovative educational program that teaches kids about advanced technology. In a prepared statement, the tribe said its fabrication laboratory, or “Fab Lab,” gives students access to tools such as high-tech design programs, industrial grade manufacturing machines and sophisticated electronics and programming.  

By Associated Press

Alaska won't have two U.S. senators with the same name. Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan says he’s dropping out of the Republican primary race challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Sullivan tells KTUU he can best serve Alaskans by working on local and statewide issues. Alaska's junior U.S. Senator and former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan was elected in 2014.

New federal rule could prevent litigation over Native children in state custody

By Jennifer Canfield, KTOO - Juneau

Under new federal guidance, it will be easier for potential Alaska Native and Native American parents to adopt Native children in state custody.

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