News Minute: Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. AKST
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's revenue commissioner says Gov. Mike Dunleavy plans to pursue his goal of repaying Alaskans money they missed out when checks from the state's oil-wealth fund were capped. Dunleavy campaigned on paying residents a full Alaska Permanent Fund dividend and included that in his budget draft. The draft did not include money Alaskans missed out on when payouts were reduced. Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman says repayments are apt to be a big issue and may require separate legislation.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Three Alaska groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to demand it enforce the cleanup of polluted air around the state's second-largest city. The lawsuit filed Friday in Seattle by the Earthjustice group says Fairbanks-area winter air is among the most polluted in the U.S. The lawsuit says the state of Alaska has failed to submit a serious plan to improve air quality.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A former Alaska elections director is returning to that role. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer announced he has appointed Gail Fenumiai (feh-NEW-mee-eye) as director of the Division of Elections. She is set to start Jan. 2. Fenumiai held the job from 2008 to 2015. Meyer chief of staff Josh Applebee says the change in leadership is not expected to be a problem in ongoing litigation over a Fairbanks House seat.
KENAI, Alaska (AP) - The city of Soldotna is planning a special election March 9 to seek voter backing for construction of a field house. The Peninsula Clarion reports voters will be asked if the city should issue $10 million bond in bonds and increase sales tax by a half percent. The cost of a field house is estimated at $11.8 million. Sales tax now stands at 3 percent and would increase to 3.5 percent.
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