Next session, state lawmakers will have to be a little more careful about what they ship down to Juneau. The Legislative Council has amended their moving reimbursement policy in response to the Federal Aviation Administration discovering hazardous materials in a representative’s air freight.
Wes Keller, a Wasilla Republican, was found to have shipped multiple items that violate FAA rules on an Alaska Airlines cargo plane as part of his relocation to Juneau last January. Among his belongings were a small amount of ammunition, a cigarette lighter, and a can of StaticGuard aerosol fabric spray. Because the state pays moving costs for lawmakers, Keller’s goods were shipped under the Legislative Affairs Agency account.
“It wasn’t intentional,” says Keller. He says a bin that he meant to transport via ferry got mixed in with his air freight.
The Legislative Affairs Agency was cited by the FAA for the violation. The initial fine was nearly $20,000, but the FAA agreed to halve it contingent on a change to state policy. At a Wednesday meeting, the Legislative Council voted to end reimbursement for the shipment of any item that qualifies as a hazardous material under state or federal law. The Council also added a new rule that goods shipped via a state account must be inspected by Legislative Affairs Agency staff before being put on a plane to Juneau.
- President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department sat for a confirmation hearing today, chaired by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She used the opportunity to condemn the Obama administration for its many resource protections in Alaska.
- Jason Coday was ordered to serve a combined sentence of 101 years in prison for the murder of 26-year-old Simone Kim in August 2006.
- The 32nd annual Legislative Welcome Reception will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall. The event is free and The Prospector Hotel will provide food.
- Dozens of canines howl in John Hanson Jr.’s dog yard, excited by the sound of a snow machine pulling up to the kennel.