Donna Arduin, right, director of the Office of Budget and Management, speaks with Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, at a Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Sen. Stedman is Co-Chair of the Committee. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Donna Arduin, right, director of the Office of Budget and Management, speaks with Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, at a Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Sen. Stedman is Co-Chair of the Committee. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capitol Live: Annual salaries of key figures in the governor’s office

Quiet day ahead on House, Senate floors

3:10 p.m.

How much are employees in the office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy earning?

The state of Alaska responded to a Freedom of Information Act request that was submitted by Empire reporter Alex McCarthy back in December. The list is much longer, but here are some of the annual salaries of key figures in the governor’s office:

Donna Arduin, Office of Budget and Management director, is earning the top salary of $195,000.

Dunleavy is earning $145,000.

Tuckerman Babcock, chief of staff, is earning $160,008.

Ed King, chief economist: $150,000.

Amy Demboski, deputy chief of staff: $135,000.

John Muller, policy advisor: $150,000.

Ben Stevens, policy advisor: $150,000.

— Kevin Baird

3:05 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, nominated 41 Alaskans to military service academies this week, including three Juneauites.

Sullivan nominated Juneau resident Dugan McNutt to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He also nominated Juneauites Adonis Buzard and Raymond Matiashowski to the U.S. Naval Academy.

“I am honored and humbled to put forward a truly outstanding batch of candidates from Alaska to our nation’s military service academies,” Sullivan said in a release. “Each candidate represents the best and brightest of a new generation — highly educated young leaders with a deep desire to contribute their talents toward serving the communities and country they love. I am excited to see all that these Alaskans accomplish in the years ahead.”

The nominees were selected by Sullivan’s Service Academy Selection Board, which includes seven members from across the state. Many of them are service academy graduates, and they review the applications, interview every applicant and recommend some of them for nomination.

One of those board members is Juneau resident — and featured Empire columnist — Win Gruening.

They volunteered countless hours reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, and discussing the qualifications of potential nominees,” Sullivan said in the release. “I am thankful for the breadth of expertise they brought to this process to nominate young Alaskans to become the next leaders of the world’s greatest military.”

The full list of nominees is as follows.

U.S. Air Force Academy:

• Maximus Addington, Anchorage

• Uriah Alenepi, Eagle River

• Theodore Handley, Homer

• Katheryn Kelsch, Palmer

• Ian Mikale Llaneza, Anchorage

• Madison Maroney, Anchorage

• Isabella Mollison, Eagle River

• Alexander O’Neill, Anchorage

• Clare Catherine Porter, Eagle River

• Sarah Price, North Pole

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy:

• Victoria Austin, Hoonah*

• Ethan Christiansen, Anchorage*

• Kyle Collins, Anchorage

• Collin Dyches, Eagle River*

• Cordell Johnson, Eagle River

• Dugan McNutt, Juneau

U.S. Military Academy:

• Victoria Austin, Hoonah*

• Kenneth Donnolly, JBER

• Joshua Gray, Fairbanks

• Teeana Nicholai, Palmer

• Christopher Orta, Anchorage

• Laelle Robison, Wasilla*

• Jacob Smith, Fairbanks

• Emi Soldwedel, Anchorage

• Michael Stoddard, Anchorage*

• Aaron Warner, Fort Wainwright

U.S. Naval Academy:

• Adonis Buzard, Juneau

• Ethan Christiansen, Anchorage*

• Jacob Christy, Anchorage

• Collin Dyches, Eagle River*

• Kevin Leach, Anchorage

• Mikaela Maroney, Anchorage

• Raymond Matiashowski, Juneau

• Eliot Merriner, Anchorage

• Aaron Motis, Nome

• Walter Nagel, Palmer

• Michael Prater, JBER

• Kiera Puls, Anchorage

• Wade Quigley, Girdwood

• Grace Reitzig, Wasilla

• Laelle Robison, Wasilla*

• Matthew Ross, Anchorage

• Isaac Ruse, Delta Junction

• Jackson Servant, Anchorage

• Cameron Sheldon, Anchorage

• Michael Stoddard, Anchorage*

*Received more than one nomination from Senator Sullivan

— Alex McCarthy

11:40 a.m.

Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson’s Black History Month bill gained bipartisan support on the Senate floor this morning when 14 senators requested to become co-sponsors.

After the floor session, Gray-Jackson said she was surprised to receive so much support. Her Senate Bill 40 has been referred to the State Affairs Committee and she hopes the bill will pass this month.

The following senators signed on as co-sponsors: Sens. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage; Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage; Donny Olson, D-Golovin; Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks; Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau; David Wilson, R-Wasilla; Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak; Chris Birch, R-Anchorage; Natasha Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; John Coghill, R-North Pole and Bert Stedman, R-Sitka.

Read our full story here: Gray-Jackson hoping Black History bill passes this month

— Kevin Baird

10:15 a.m.

The House keeps its session to under nine minutes today. Maj. Shane Halverson of the Salvation Army of Juneau gave the invocation, specifically mentioning the passengers on the missing Guardian flight. I believe Halverson’s wife Gina, also a Salvation Army major who co-leads the Salvation Army here in town, gave an invocation on the floor recently.

Reps. John Lincoln, Mark Neuman, Ivy Spohnholtz and Adam Wool are all absent, leaving us with 36 representatives here today.

Rep. Chris Tuck proposes the House adjourn until Friday, Feb. 4. There’s an objection — because Feb. 4 is a Monday, not a Friday. He restates it. Nobody objects. They’ll be back here Monday.

— Alex McCarthy

Leadership remains unsolved in the House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
                                Leadership remains unsolved in the House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Leadership remains unsolved in the House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire) Leadership remains unsolved in the House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

9:15 a.m.

It looks like it will be a slow day here at the Capitol. There’s a House session scheduled for 10 a.m. and a Senate floor session scheduled for 10:30 a.m. We’ll be there to see if anything wild happens, but there’s been no buzz that we’ve heard about the House getting a majority together so the sessions will most likely be uneventful.

While the House still is without the ability to conduct business, some legislators have taken to doing research on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s appointees. A group of eight Democratic lawmakers are sending a letter to Dunleavy this morning, asking him to clarify Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin’s business history in regard to her involvement in the private prisons business.

With the Alaska Department of Corrections reportedly considering privatizing prisons (among many other possibilities), these lawmakers are worried about a possible conflict of interest for Arduin. You can read their letter embedded below.

Read the full story here, via Kevin Baird: Dems want governor to look into budget director’s business history

— Alex McCarthy

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