By The Associated Press

Alaska lawmakers approve $500,000 furniture budget

ANCHORAGE — An Alaska state House-Senate committee has approved a $500,000 budget for new furniture at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office that is being remodeled, but lawmakers themselves will make do with old furniture from storage and state surplus when they move in next year.
The budget approved Monday by the Legislative Council is for new furnishings in public spaces, hearing rooms and staff offices at the leased downtown building, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Parnell proposes changes to how lease sales approved

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell is proposing changing how the Department of Natural Resources approves oil and gas leases.
Parnell introduced SB59 on Tuesday. In his transmittal letter, he says the measure would help streamline the state's permitting process.
Currently, he says the department grants lease approval for exploration or development in conjunction with individual plans of operation for a lease or project.
He says separate public notice is required for each approval, often resulting in repetitive approvals within the same geographic area.

State, UAF host strategic minerals conference

 ANCHORAGE — State officials and the University of Alaska Fairbanks will again host an Alaska Strategic and Critical Minerals Summit.

The event is scheduled for Friday in Fairbanks.

The Department of Natural Resources says the focus will be on the state’s strategy for exploring, developing and processing strategic minerals and related activity by business and university officials.

Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan says a goal of the second summit is to stimulate private-sector investment, activity and responsible resource development.

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