E-911 & VPSO Program Begins
A Legislature closely split between the two main political parties faced numerous contentious issues. Among ongoing fiscal challenges, state agency budgets were cut, creating tension with the executive branch. Despite these challenges, a number of significant measures gained support. Public safety garnered attention with the passage of bills creating enhanced 911 emergency call systems, the Village Public Safety Officer program, anti-stalking laws, concealed weapons permitting, and a sex-offender registry. Natural resource management remained at the forefront, as always, with the creation and expansion of parks and habitat areas, and the implementation of tax credits for oil and gas exploration. Municipalities were buoyed by funding for a number of electrical interties and the implementation of a matching grant program for capital projects. Such projects were boosted by the passage of a $740 million capital budget in 1993-the largest such budget in ten years and twice the amount of the previous year.
Despite these successes, deep divisions were often the focus by most accounts, with intractable issues such as capital punishment, game management, energy creation and delivery, and charitable gaming at times overshadowing other areas of policy. Governor Walter Hickel called a special session in 1994 to address unfinished budget items and a change he desired to the statute of limitations for auditing the tax filings of oil producers. The House declined the legislation, choosing instead to have the issue settled by the courts.
Voters defeated the latest in a series of efforts to move the capital to south central Alaska and, separately, approved the FRANK initiative, requiring that the full cost of such a move be provided to voters in any future such attempts.
Beyond the Legislature
A federal trial results in a $5 billion verdict in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case; however, appeals ensure that the case would go on for many years to come.
The long-running mental health lands trust case to determine how one million acres originally set aside for the benefit of public mental health programs could be used is settled by the state's Supreme Court.
Joe Vogler, chairman of the Alaska Independence party disappears.
Tommy Moe of Anchorage wins Olympic gold in downhill skiing.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed.
Islamic extremists detonate a truck bomb in the garage of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia peaceably separate in the "velvet divorce."
Oslo Accords end the first Intifada between Israel and Palestine.
South Africa frees itself of institutionalized racial segregation with the end of Apartheid government.
The "Chunnel," a transportation tunnel under the English Channel, connects Great Britain and France.
War between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic and the Rwandan genocide begin.