James Brooks

The Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to censure Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, for his recent comments claiming that some rural Alaska women become deliberately pregnant, and others delay abortions so they can get a “free to trip to Seattle” with Medicaid funds.

The 25-14 vote, brought by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, means little on its own. It’s a stern statement that the subject of the motion has done something wrong and is worthy of discipline.

“There is nothing punitive beyond a rebuke of his statements,” Spohnholz said.

In the first week of September, 45 years ago, Robert Mottram flew by helicopter to the Chilkat Mountains west of Admiralty Island. It was not a pleasant experience.

On Sept. 4, 1971, Alaska Airlines Flight 1866, en route from Anchorage to Seattle via Cordova, Yakutat, Juneau and Sitka, slammed into a mountainside while approaching Juneau International Airport. All 111 people aboard the aircraft were killed. It was — and remains — Alaska’s worst air disaster.

“It’s like being on another planet,” wrote Mottram, the Juneau bureau chief for the Associated Press, at the time.

JUNEAU — The 29th Alaska Legislature on Monday began its fifth special session since the gavel first sounded in January 2015, but lawmakers appear uncertain on their path forward and unsure even what the next few days will bring.

The Alaska Senate voted 16-4 on Monday to approve an $8.73 billion state operations budget that includes $571 million in cuts and sets up the full Legislature to begin a debate on taxes.

The Senate’s budget will be combined with an $8.66 billion version the House passed last week. A final, compromise version of the budget is not expected until the end of the Legislative session, after lawmakers have figured out how to pay for it.

JUNEAU — After almost four years of preparation and planning, plus millions of dollars in implementation, Alaska’s new standardized testing scheme appears bound for the garbage can less than two months before students take it the second time.

JUNEAU — The Alaska Senate voted by a wide margin Tuesday morning to approve the state’s buyout of TransCanada and advance the Alaska LNG Project, also known as AK LNG.

After a 16-3 vote, Senate Bill 3001 moves to the House, where the House Finance Committee has been meeting for 11 days to consider the buyout. The House is expected to hold a final vote on the buyout today, ending the special session called to consider it.

On the Senate floor Tuesday morning, senator after senator rose in support to speak in favor of the buyout and the AK LNG project in general.