List of colleges able to administer state scholarship funds due soon

JUNEAU -- By early April the state hopes to have a definitive list of Alaska colleges and other post-secondary schools qualified to administer student scholarship funds from the state. The executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, Diane Barrans, says schools have until March 15 to apply.

She says the vetting process will include reviewing a school's financial position, faculty and equipment.

Barrans testified before the Senate Education Committee, which is crafting a version of the governor's scholarship proposal.

The panel approved amendments calling for scholarships to be paid from money generated from an oil royalty settlement fund and for scholarships to be awarded to students based on merit and financial need. They also approved extending eligibility for scholarship funds to non-traditional schools, like flight, beauty, technical and faith-based schools.

-- The Associated Press

Measure would criminalize certain 'sexting', expand stalking definition

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell has proposed legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable Alaskans -- including the elderly and those with disabilities -- from being unduly influenced, abandoned or taken advantage of financially.

The measure, introduced Wednesday, is part of a larger package of crime bills pushed by Parnell to protect those that he considers among the state's most vulnerable residents.

Hearings have begun on his proposal that, among other things, would criminalize certain "sexting" and expand the definition of stalking.

-- The Associated Press

Bill would give state energy authority more autonomy

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell is proposing legislation that would allow the Alaska Energy Authority to buy, build and own new power projects.

In November, the agency recommended the state pursue the Susitna hydroelectric project as a way to help meet Alaska's goal of having 50 percent of its electricity generation from renewable sources by 2025.

The agency's acting director wrote in a letter to lawmakers last month that the bill would allow the authority to continue pursuing Susitna.

Among other things, the measure would allow the agency to create subsidiary corporations to buy, build, own, keep and operate power projects.

Parnell has proposed $65.7 million to move ahead with Susitna as a way to help meet Railbelt electricity needs.

-- The Associated Press