Liz Ruskin, APRN

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska’s congressional delegation, federal agency decisions that shape life in the 49th state, money in politics and elections. She has deep roots in Alaska and this is her third stint in Washington, a city she has grown to love.

She was born in Anchorage and is a West High graduate. She studied political science at the University of Washington and has an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia. During graduate school, she moved to Washington to intern as a D.C. correspondent. But for her first real journalism job, she moved back to Alaska to work at the Homer News. She was there for three years before taking a job at the Anchorage Daily News. Over the course of nine years in Anchorage, she covered City Hall, courts, state politics, and Native and rural affairs.

Then, in April 2001, she moved back to Washington to work in McClatchy Newspaper’s D.C. bureau as a correspondent for the Anchorage paper. She stayed in the position for five years.

She took a year off for a journalism fellowship at the University of Colorado in Boulder, then freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio.

When a vacancy occurred in APRN’s one-person Washington bureau, she jumped at the opportunity. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013.

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

Yesterday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she believes it’s “important” that the Senate hold a hearing on President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court. “I do believe that the nominee should get a hearing," she said then. Today, on Twitter, Murkowski essentially said there should be no nominee. Download Audio

A new report raises doubts about whether the missile defense system housed largely at Fort Greely can protect the U.S. from a North Korean attack. The GAO says the Missile Defense Agency is compromising reliability with a rushed schedule as it expands the number of interceptors at Greely to 40. Download Audio

For her annual address to the Alaska Legislature, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski tucked her Senate accomplishments into a speech that was decidedly homey and reassuring. The theme: "Certainty." Download Audio

The death of Justice Scalia has unclear implications for one Alaska-specific case: Sturgeon v. Frost. Oral arguments in the case last month were the last formal arguments Scalia heard. Download Audio

A bill to privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers cleared the Transportation Committee in the U.S. House last night. Rep. Don Young says he amended it to protect Essential Air Service and Alaska's air taxis. Download Audio

President Obama’s 2017 Air Force budget would slow the pace of buying F-35s. That’s the new fighter jet slated for Eielson Air Force Base. But top Air Force officials still speak highly of the plan to station them at the Fairbanks base. Never mind that one general lost consciousness when discussing the F-35's budget. Download Audio

President Obama’s 2017 Air Force budget would slow the pace of buying F-35s, the new fighter jet slated for Eielson Air Force Base. But the Air Force chief of staff still speaks highly of the plan to keep them at the Fairbanks base.

A U.S. House bill would turn air traffic controllers into employees of a non-profit corporation. Surprisingly, the air traffic controllers’ union supports it. Alaska Congressman Don Young says the bill would also undermine Essential Air Service. Download Audio
2017 budget

President Obama delivered his final budget to Congress this morning. It has a picture of Denali on the cover, and several big-ticket Alaska items among its pages. Download Audio

Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards says the state wants authority to pursue charges against former VECO boss Bill Allen for allegedly transporting a young woman across state lines for sex. The state has tried before, but in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch today, Richards cites a new law that requires her to allow the state to pursue the federal case, or provide a detailed explanation why she won’t. Download Audio

President Obama wants to impose a $10-per-barrel tax on crude oil. An industry adovcate calls it an attempt to punish oil companies. Sen. Lisa Murkowski gave it "absolutely no chance" of passing Congress. Download Audio

The age-old effort to split up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is back. Republican senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Steve Daines of Montana have co-sponsored the latest bill.

The age-old effort to split up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is back. Republican senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Steve Daines of Montana have co-sponsored the latest bill.

A prototype of an earthquake early warning system called Shake Alert is close to launch. Soon, West Coast residents will be able to get alerts on their cell phones a few seconds to a few minutes before a big quake strikes. But the warnings won’t cover Alaska.

Congress has approved a Coast Guard bill that includes several land transfers Alaska’s congressional delegation has pursued for years. One of them is at Point Spencer, to advance the possible construction of an Arctic deepwater port near Nome. Bering Straits Native Corporation hopes to develop the port, in partnership with the state of Alaska. Download Audio

The Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation is largely funded by a federal tax on the sale of guns and ammunition, and sales nationwide are booming. But now the division may have to give back a portion of its bounty. Download Audio

The FDA issued an alert this morning to stop imports of genetically engineered salmon.

In Washington, the side streets of Capitol Hill look suitable for running the Iditarod. But the U.S. Senate did meet this morning. For all of 10 minutes. Only the female senators from two northern states participated. Download Audio

The big snow storm that struck the East Coast over the weekend has delayed the start of Congress’s work week. But when the Senate returns, it will take up one of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s biggest priorities: an energy modernization bill. Murkowski says the energy world has changed a lot since 2007, when the last such bill passed Congress. Download Audio

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today announced a slew of staff changes. Current and former employees say the timing of the multiple departures is coincidental. For those of you keeping score at home, sharpen your pencils: We'll take it from the top. Download Audio