On Jan. 12, 1987, new legislation that left Alaska’s congressional delegation unhappy marked the beginning of the 100th U.S. Congress. Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz, introduced H.R. 39, which aimed to prevent the development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Alaska’s U.S. Rep. Don Young and U.S. Sens. Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski all denounced the bill, claiming that it ignored Alaskans. The new bill revived the unending fight between environmental groups and Alaskans who were pro-development.
Rep. Don Young, rumored to be considering the 1990 gubernatorial bid, clarified that his chances of running in the next race were less than expected. Claiming that he would only run if he felt the state was being “poorly run,” Young said that he hoped current Gov. Steve Cowper would do well in the coming years. Young also was working on passing amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Back at the state Capitol, state legislators had much to do in the upcoming legislative session. Prefiled bills included a proposal to institute the death penalty, a plan to establish funding to support the University of Alaska, and creating a constitutional amendment making the Permanent Fund Dividend program permanent.
“This Day in Juneau History” is compiled by Empire freelancer Tasha Elizarde, who sums up the day’s events — 30 years ago — by perusing Empire archives.