Senate passes its version of state budget after charged debate

first_imgSenators and onlookers gather in the Senate chambers in the Alaska Capitol shortly before debating state operating budget amendments on Thursday. The Senate passed the measure later in the day. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)The Alaska Senate voted to pass its version of the state operating budget Thursday.Listen nowThe budget is the first in the state’s history that would draw from Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to pay for government services.The Senate voted 13 to 7 to pass the budget, House Bill 286, after a sometimes charged debate. The vote came after the Senate defeated 24 proposed amendments, including one that would have raised permanent fund dividends to the full amount under a formula set by state law.Eagle River Republican Sen. Anna MacKinnon said the majority chose not to pursue more budget cuts.“The people of Alaska expect us to come together,” MacKinnon said. “The people of Alaska are divided. If we cannot unite around a position at this point in our history, they are confused.”The Senate bill would spend $4.2 billion on the portion of the budget the Legislature focuses on each year. Four out of 10 of those dollars would come from permanent fund earnings.The budget includes $1 billion to pay for permanent fund dividends. Dividends would be $1,600, which lines up with the House’s budget bill.Anchorage Democratic Sen. Berta Gardner said the budget is imbalanced.“This body, in this budget, is relying on our savings accounts and dividend reductions,” Gardner said. “And that’s not a fiscal plan – it’s a permanent fund-only plan.”Bethel Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman defended the budget.“It does provide services that Alaskans have grown to depend upon,” Hoffman said. “Everyone is not pleased. And my friend and co-chairman when I was in the House of Representatives Ron Larson said, ‘If not everyone is happy, then maybe we’ve done a good job.’”The Senate version of the budget doesn’t include $1.28 billion for school funding. The Senate would provide that money in separate legislation, House Bill 287.Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski proposed the PFD amendment, which would have set dividends at roughly $2,700. That’s the amount they would have been under the formula used until two years ago. Wielechowski said the Legislature is ignoring its laws by lowering the dividend.“Well, we’re not following those statutes with the way the bill is currently written,” Wielechowski said.  The PFD amendment failed in an 8 to 12 vote.Another budget amendment would have added $10 million to the University of Alaska budget. The amendment would have restored most of the money the Senate Finance Committee cut from the House version of the budget.Anchorage Republican Sen. Natasha von Imhof spoke against it.“While cuts and restructuring have been painful for students, for faculty and staff as well as communities, the university system is just one of 17 statewide departments that we the Legislature are responsible for funding,” von Imhof said. The university funding amendment was defeated, with only the five minority-caucus Democrats voting in favor of it.A conference committee is expected to resolve differences between the House and Senate budgets.The legislative session is scheduled to end on Sunday. But lawmakers will likely miss that deadline. While voters passed a law in 2006 setting the session at 90 days, the Alaska Constitution allows sessions to be up to 121 days.last_img read more

Anchorage police arrest dozens in Operation Midnight Sun

first_imgAround 100 uniformed and undercover officers, including aerial support from Alaska State Troopers, were split into eight teams and conducted a variety of crime suppression activities all over Anchorage in “Operation Midnight Sun.” (Anchorage Police Department photo)Dozens of alleged criminals were swept up this week in what Anchorage police are calling “Operation Midnight Sun.”Listen nowPolice say uniformed and undercover officers worked with state and federal law enforcement agencies over the course of several days during the coordinated, street-level crime suppression operation.Police say the operation resulted in the seizure of nearly 20 guns, a little less than a pound of drugs and five stolen vehicles. It also led to a total of about 60 felony charges or arrests for outstanding warrants, including the arrest of one man on a murder charge.Anchorage police lieutenant Jack Carson says Operation Midnight Sun went beyond the department’s day-to-day police work to do something more proactive.“Crime suppression is actually going out and targeting criminal activity before they can victimize somebody,” Carson said. “So, we’re taking it to ’em prior to that, so we’re actually going out there and seeking them out and arresting them.”Anchorage police say the operation brought together the FBI, ATF, DEA and others. It also included an Alaska State Trooper helicopter helping spot and track suspects from the air.Carson says that required a highly coordinated effort.“You know, it’s one of the biggest operations that we’ve run with all of our federal partners,” Carson said. “We’re doing this type of stuff everyday,but just not to this level.”Anchorage police say the operation was possible because the department has increased the number of officers on the force and noted that Anchorage residents can expect similar coordinated efforts in the future.last_img read more

AP Government transfers 32 IAS officers

first_imgAmaravati(AP): The Andhra Pradesh government transferred as many as 32 IAS officers and gave postings to seven others, in a bureaucratic reshuffle. The transfer orders were issued Friday midnight. Three senior IAS officers including a Special Chief Secretary, who served in the previous Chief Minister’s Office, have not been given any postings yet, though they were transferred out three weeks ago. Also Read – Women docs appointed in key posts in Tirupati Advertise With Us Two junior IAS officers of 2015 batch, V Vinod Kumar and C M Saikanth Varma, got elevated to the rank of Joint Collector and posted as Project Officers of Integrated Tribal Development Agencies at Parvathipuram and Seethampet respectively. Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam issued a government order notifying the transfers and postings. Budithi Rajsekhar (1992 batch) has been moved out yet again after the government issued orders earlier transferring him from the Agriculture Department but subsequently cancelling them. Also Read – Event management students of SPMVV exhibit talent Advertise With Us He has now been made Principal Secretary of School Education. B Udayalaxmi (1993) has been posted as Principal Secretary, Labour and Employment. Finance Secretary Muddada Ravichandra (1996) has been posted as Secretary, Social Welfare, while incumbent Mukesh Kumar Meena (1998) has been shifted to the Tribal Welfare Department. Joint Collectors of eight districts have been replaced while three major cities got new Municipal Commissioners in the rejig. Advertise With Us K V N Chakradhara Babu (2011) has been posted as Joint Managing Director of Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited. S Nagalakshmi (2012) will be the new Managing Director of AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited at Visakhapatnam, in a post that has been lying vacant. A Mallikarjuna (2012) has been given the crucial post of CEO of Aarogya Sri, the flagship health insurance scheme of the government. M Hari Narayanan (2011) has been brought in as Executive Director of AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, while V Prasanna Venkatesh (2012) has been posted as Commissioner of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. Srijana Gummalla (2013) has been posted as Commissioner of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation. Additional Director General of Police-rank IPS officer Madireddy Pratap (1991), who is currently Director General of Special Protection Force, has been transferred and posted as Vice-chairman and Managing Director of AP State Warehousing Corporation.last_img read more

Mike Pompeo Jaishankar hold talks to strengthen IndiaUS

first_imgNEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his American counterpart Mike Pompeo on Wednesday and discussed ways to strengthen the Indo-US strategic partnership. “Welcoming a close friend. Continuing the emphasis on high-level Indo-US exchanges, EAM Dr S Jaishankar warm-heartedly welcomed Secretary Pompeo as the first US dignitary visiting India after elections. Secretary Pompeo is the first Foreign Minister to be hosted by EAM,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with a picture of the two leaders. Also Read – After liquor, Bihar bans ‘pan masala’ as well Advertise With Us Pompeo, who arrived here Tuesday night, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning and discussed various aspects of the bilateral relationship. “Working together to further deepen our strategic partnership. Secretary Pompeo called on PM Narendra Modi to exchange views on various aspects of Indo-US relationship. PM will meet President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit,” Kumar tweeted with pictures of the Modi-Pompeo meeting. Also Read – Demanding Scindia as MP Congress chief, supporters threaten mass resignation Advertise With Us The US Secretary of State’s talks with the Indian leadership are the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the return of the Modi government to power last month. Pompeo’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, later this week. Ahead of the strategically-important India-US talks, diplomatic sources on Tuesday said India meets the US waiver criteria for procuring the S-400 missile defence system from sanctions-hit Russia, and asserted that New Delhi cannot “wish away” its defence ties with Moscow. The details of the Jaishankar-Pompeo meeting were immediately not known, but India’s missile defence system deal with Russia, terrorism, H-1B visas, trade and the situation arising out of US sanctions on buying oil from Iran, were likely to be discussed during the talks.last_img read more

Tributes paid to Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj at BC Boys Hostel

first_imgRajamahendravaram: Mulnvasi Sangh celebrated 145th jayanthi of Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj at BC Boys Hostel here on Wednesday. Participating in the meeting, Sangh state president G Vasu, BAMCEF organising secretary A Adinarayana said Shahu Maharaj strived for the welfare of downtrodden and succeeded in bringing downtrodden from the clutches of upper castes. He is an inspiration to all in society and everyone should emulate him, they said. Shahu is a great person with vision, they lauded.last_img

Here is the timeline of ups and downs in Donald Trump Kim

Seoul: President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea on Sunday, their third high-stakes meeting since they launched negotiations last year to resolve the nuclear crisis. Some key developments in the Trump-Kim diplomacy: March 7, 2018: A special South Korean envoy returns from visiting Pyongyang and says Kim is willing to discuss the future of his nuclear arsenal with Washington. Days later, Trump accepts Kim’s invitation to meet. Also Read – EAM Jaishankar calls on European Parliament President David Sassoli Advertise With Us April 21, 2018: North Korea says it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and is shifting its focus to improving its economy. Trump tweets the move is “big progress!” May 9, 2018: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Pyongyang to prepare for the planned Trump-Kim meeting. North Korea frees three Americans who had been imprisoned. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us June 12, 2018: Trump and Kim meet in Singapore for the first summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Kim vows to work toward achieving complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. January 1, 2019: Kim in his New Year’s Day speech says he hopes to continue his nuclear summitry with Trump, but also that he would seek a “new way” if the United States persists with sanctions and pressure against North Korea. Advertise With Us February 27-28, 2019: Trump and Kim meet in Hanoi, Vietnam, for their second summit. The meeting collapses with reaching any agreement after Trump rejects Kim’s calls for major sanctions relief in return for dismantling his main nuclear complex in a partial denuclearization step. April 13, 2019: Kim says he is open to another meeting with Trump, but sets the year’s end as a deadline for Washington to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the diplomacy. May 9, 2019: North Korea fires two short-range missiles toward the sea in its second launch in five days, ending a pause in ballistic testing. The launches are seen as measured efforts to dial up pressure on Washington and Seoul without actually causing the negotiations to collapse. June 29, 2019: In a tweet message, Trump invites Kim to shake hands during his planned visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Kim’s vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, calls Trump’s offer “a very interesting suggestion.” June 30, 2019: Trump shakes hands with Kim at a jointly controlled area inside the DMZ and becomes the first US president to cross over into North Korean territory. Kim then walks over the demarcation line into South Korea with Trump. read more

Use only one bucket on July 21 challenges Samantha Akkineni

first_imgHyderabad: Amid severe water scarcity, the ‘One Bucket Challenge’ is going viral on social networking sites. Tollywood actress Samantha Akkineni initiated the challenge on Thursday through her official twitter account. The challenge is to use only one bucket of water throughout the day on Sunday i.e., on July 21.Reducing the pressure on depleting water resources,Samantha running a social campaign to mark the importance of saving water for future and challenging fans to adopt a habit of using precious water wisely. Samanthaurged her fans, followers and mostly the people of Hyderabad to use only one bucket of water for whole day including bathing, drinking and for all other purposes. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us From celebrities to celebrity fans, several tweets and comments poured appreciating and accepting the challenge. One of the social media messages reads, “Hyderabad is running out of water. We take water for granted. This July 21st take the #one-_bucket_challenge lets help the government fights this crisis. The less we use, the more we save.” tweeted by Nag Aswin, actor Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us Boosting friends to take up the challenge a motivational tweet reads: “Do you care about future? About water? If yes, you guys know about the current water scarcity in Hyderabad and other areas.Take up this #one-_bucket_challenge and do your bit. #Save_Water #July21st,”shares Charandeep, another actor.Samantha also promised to share the photographs of her water usage throughout the day.last_img read more

Skill development must for policing says SP

first_imgChittoor: In view of the changing trends and the mindset of people, the police should update their skills in policing, stressed Superintendent of Police Ch V Appala Naidu. Apart from the skills, he added technology should also be applied in policing to deal with crime effectively. Participating as chief guest in ‘Mass Disposal Demo’ held at District Police Office (DPO) here on Friday where home guards have excelled their skills in various faculties like controlling the agitating mobs, fire accidents and others, the SP said the speedy involvement of police in emergencies would deliver the fruitful results in cracking the cases. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us The police have to rise up to the expectations of people in accidental incidents like fire accidents and others, he pointed out. “Their clever response would save the lives as well as the assets in a considerable way,” he added. Naidu said police should have to follow a technical way to regulate public meetings and advised them to keep their physical and mental stamina at higher level to face any type of eventuality. The SP expressed his satisfaction over the Mass Disposal Demo held by home guards. Additional SP (Operations) K Krishnarjuna Rao and others were present. Over 500 policemen participated in the demo programme.last_img read more

Sure that BJP will give stable developmentoriented govt under

first_imgNew Delhi: BJP president Amit Shah on Friday congratulated B S Yediyurappa after he took oath as Karnataka chief minister, and expressed confidence that the party will run a stable, pro-farmer and development-oriented government under him. “Congrats to BS Yediyurappa, newly sworn-in CM of Karnataka. I am sure under his leadership and under the guidance of PM Modi, BJP will give a stable, pro-farmer and development-oriented govt in the state. I assure people of Karnataka that BJP is committed to fulfil their aspirations,” Shah, also the Union home minister tweeted. Yediyurappa was sworn in as chief minister of the state for the fourth time on Friday. Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 76-year-old leader at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan.last_img read more

Ward Volunteers have key role in implementing Navaratnalu MLA

first_imgTirupati: The `Ward Volunteers’ have key role in urban areas in the implementation of `Navaratnalu,’ the 9 major welfare initiatives of YSR Congress Party government, said MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy. He was speaking at a function held in the Municipal Corporation office here on Sunday to give away the appointment orders to 1,314 candidates selected to the post of `Ward Volunteers’. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us Speaking on the occasion, Reddy said that the `Ward Volunteers’ should act as a bridge between the government and the people to ensure the effective implementation of welfare programmes reach all the needy beneficiaries. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy fulfilled his promise with the appointment of Grama-Ward volunteers all over the state taking a step forward towards the implementation of the prestigious `Navaratnalu,’ he averred. Also Read – TDP flays government for sand problems Advertise With Us He said of the 2,606 Ward Volunteers proposed in the city 1,314 `Ward Volunteers’ were appointed and the orders were given to the selected candidates on Sunday while the remaining 1,292 will also be appointed soon. Reddy told the newly appointed volunteers that they will have good future if they do their best to serve the people. Each volunteer is allocated 50 families in the wards in the city. Advertise With Us Municipal Corporation Commissioner PS Girisha said that Andhra Pradesh is the first state in the country to appoint volunteers to help the administration in the implementation of government welfare and other programmes. Commissioner said a two-day training programme for 90 municipal officials of Kadapa and Chittoor district including 12 from Tirupati Corporation will be conducted and the officials in turn will act as trainers to the volunteers in their respective municipalities.last_img