Young's Sealaska bill would cost US $2M over a decade

Cost, though small, would trigger pay-as-you-go law

Estimates by the Congressional Budget Office show Rep. Don Young’s Sealaska land bill will cost the U.S. government $2 million in timber receipts over a decade.

The office found passage of the Southeast Alaska Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act would affect direct spending. Therefore pay-as-you-go procedures apply, even though $200,000 — or one-tenth of the bill’s projected 10-year cost — is a miniscule fraction of one percent of the $1.5 trillion 2011 budget deficit projected by the CBO.

According to the Office of Management and Budget the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 “requires that all new legislation changing taxes, fees, or mandatory expenditures, taken together, must not increase projected (federal) deficits.” Legislation that does not meet this requirement could trigger automatic across-the-board cuts in selected mandatory programs.

The congressman doesn’t see the budget office estimate as a major hurdle to passing his bill, spokesman Luke Miller said.

“It is important to keep in mind that the main reason the legislation scored the way it did, is because as a simple accounting matter, it is a cost for the federal government to give back portions of land that the United States originally took from Southeast Alaska’s Native people,” Miller said. “The CBO provides an accounting of money, that’s it, it does not take anything more into account. Congressman Young is only asking for what is owed to Alaska’s Native people and a Congressional Budget Office score does not tell you that.”

Young’s bill would authorize Sealaska to select the rest of its land entitlement from federal lands outside the area originally delineated for that purpose by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. 

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at


Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:41

This Day in Juneau History: Jan. 22, 1987

On Jan. 22, 1987, Gov. Steve Cowper prepared to discuss the final part of his fiscal plan: budget cuts. The total amount suggested to be cut by his temporary cabinet was $300 million, which tore funding from a variety of different programs. However, although what propositions Cowper accepted were still a mystery, Press Secretary David Ramseur confirmed that the cuts he did accept totaled at about $200 million. Cowper was to give a speech directly to the Alaska Legislature discussing the specifics of his recommended cuts.

Read more
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:40

Fire calls for Jan. 22, 2017

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement and public safety agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent. Anyone with information about a crime can report a tip anonymously to

Read more
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 07:40

Man caught with 3 pounds of meth on Southeast Alaska-bound ferry sentenced to 20 months

A 21-year-old man who was caught transporting three pounds of methamphetamine — reportedly the largest seizure in Southeast Alaska in at least 10 years— on the ferry between Bellingham and Ketchikan last May was “a patsy, plan and simple,” his defense attorney argued.

Read more


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback