Alaska Legislature to convene amid budget, virus concerns

    Alaska State Capitol Building

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska lawmakers are set to convene from the coronavirus pandemic and a near decade long run of budget deficits.

    Reserve money is depleted, and tough decisions are ahead on how to use the state’s nest-egg oil-wealth fund. But it’s unclear who will lead those debates starting Tuesday.

    Neither the House nor the Senate has organized majorities, which control the agenda. In Alaska, party often is just one consideration. Policy positions and personalities factor in, too.

    All this comes against the backdrop of COVID-19. Some lawmakers have gotten the vaccine, and protections have been taken against the virus. But an official says the policies could be changed by the incoming Legislature.

     

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    Events

    • Insurance Marketplace

      The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace is open for enrollment for 2021 health coverage through Saturday, May 15. Sign up is at healthcare.gov. The SEARHC Patient Health Benefits team is available to assist with enrollment free of charge. Contact the team at outreach@searhc.org or call 966-8684.

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    • Park is OPEN

      National Historical Park's Visitor Center is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of the winter. The trails are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Park film, Voices of Sitka, is shown at 11 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and Jr. Ranger books and badges are available. Visitors are to maintain social distance and wear a mask when that isn’t possible while in the facility.

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    • Sitka Local Foods Network 4th Annual Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest

      Do you think you have a great idea for a food business or product from Sitka? Do you grow food,fish for food, or cook food in Sitka? The Sitka Local Foods Network is hosting the fourth annual Sitka Food Business Innovation Contest in an effort to spark local food entrepreneurs so we can make more local food available to residents and visitors. The contest entry deadline is Friday, March 5. There is a small $25 entry fee for this contest. All participants (business and individual) must complete and submit your contest entry form by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 5, 2021 (by snail mail so it arrives before the deadline to Sitka Local Foods Network, Food Business Innovation Contest Entries, 408-D Marine Street, Sitka, Alaska, 99835, or by email with the Subject Line of “Food Business Innovation Contest Entries” to sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.com).

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