State hopes database will speed up Native land claims

The State of Alaska has created a database with more than 8 million acres of land listed in it to speed up the process of Alaska Native Allotment Act claims. The database, which will be shared with the Bureau of Land Management, is expected to help Alaska Natives whose claims have not been fulfilled because the federal land they selected was transferred to the state.

Minimum wage initiative petition has 12,000 signers

JUNEAU — An initiative to increase Alaska’s minimum wage yearly to keep up with inflation has at least 12,000 signatures, petition sponsor Ed Flanagan said. Flanagan, a former state labor commissioner, is sponsoring the initiative along with Tom Cashen and Jim Sampson. Both Cashen and Sampson also are former state labor commissioners.

“In that position you get a lot of windows into workers’ lives,” Flanagan said. “You get a real feel for how folks are doing down at the lower end of the wage spectrum.”