Inside Alaska Business

Office of the Governor

Governor Bill Walker signed the following into law:

SB105—Improves medical transparency in Alaska, requiring healthcare providers to publicly post cost of services and provide good-faith estimates. It also improves billing for marital and family counseling.

HB267—Allows local governments to confirm that hunting and fishing activities subject to taxes within their jurisdictions are being accurately reported.

HB135—Gives Alaska school districts more time and flexibility to provide the local match required under the School Construction Grant Program, loosening the existing three-year deadline; it can now be extended by the Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development to a maximum of seven years.

HB212— Expands Alaska’s rural school construction fund so that major maintenance projects at existing schools can qualify for money, instead of funding only the construction of new schools.

HB197—Helps establish community seed banks; creating repositories for seeds that have been tried and tested for success in Alaska will help improve opportunities for Alaskans to grow food, grains, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other commercially viable plants.

Walker and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced the selection of a veterans’ cemetery site at Mile 344 of the Parks Highway, an ongoing project since the 1970s.

In August First Lady Donna Walker christened the M/V Tazlina in Ketchikan; it will enter service in May 2019.


Sitka Physical Therapy and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) are preparing to affiliate. Combining Sitka Physical Therapy with SEARHC will provide improved access to quality physical therapy services for all Sitkans and enhance the sports medicine services offered to SEARHC patients. The affiliation will also strengthen the Consortium’s staff and service portfolio in delivering pain management, rehabilitation, and long-term care services.

Graphite One

Graphite One Resources commenced its summer 2018 Field Program at its Graphite Creek deposit located near Nome. The 2018 Field Program is a significant step in the company’s ongoing field work in support of its Graphite Creek deposit pre-feasibility study.


Lynden Transport was awarded its sixth consecutive No. 1 ranking and its 22nd overall award in the 35th annual Logistics Management Quest for Quality Awards, receiving the highest scores among less-than-truckload western regional carriers in the on-time performance and information technology categories and topping the overall weighted scores.


The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a single Federal Record of Decision (ROD) for the Donlin Gold project following completion of the federal National Environmental Policy Act process, the first action of its kind for both agencies nationwide. Along with the ROD, USACE issued a combined permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Additionally, BLM issued the Offer to Lease for the right-of-way for those portions of the natural gas pipeline that would cross federal lands.


More than 1,700 Mat-Su homes will gain access to 1 GIG internet speeds as GCI expands its fiber network into the Meadow Lakes area. The $4 million project covers sixty square miles and brings Meadow Lakes’ residents the same speeds they’d enjoy in major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles or Atlanta.

Also in the Valley, GCI’s Wasilla store will get a complete remodel and expansion this year. The new design revamps and streamlines the customer experience and includes space where GCI small business customers can receive personalized service.


The University of Alaska Fairbanks established a new Department of Military and Veteran Services (DMVS) to support veterans, military students, and their families. The DMVS provides a variety of coordinated services for veterans during their time at UAF. Those efforts include help with educational benefits earned through military service, peer mentoring, and paperwork. The department also gives veteran students a place to connect with other veterans.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management is offering two new undergraduate degrees starting this fall: the bachelor of applied management degree offers students with degrees or certificates an opportunity to develop their management skills and the bachelor of sport and recreation business degree is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in sports, recreation, and tourism.