Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

In his annual State of the State Address on Wednesday, Gov. Bill Walker pushed a lot of the same ideas and proposals for solving the state’s budget crisis as last year. Listen now

The state Senate is generating ideas to make significant cuts to the state budget. They’d like to lock in lower spending levels into the future. Listen now

The petition to change Anchorage's non-discrimination ordinance, which protects the civil rights of the LGBTQ community, will not move forward. A group of Anchorage residents submitted an application for the "Protect Our Privacy Initiative" in early January. Wednesday municipal attorney Bill Falsey said it was not legal because it addresses too many different subjects. Listen now

State Representative Tammie Wilson of North Pole continues to press for reform of the State Office of Children’s Services. Wilson cited a 30 percent growth in the number of reportedly endangered kids being removed from parents in recent years, and some constituents unhappy with how the system has treated them. Listen now

On January 17, the 30th Alaska State Legislature was sworn into office. It faces a fiscal crisis that’s grown over the past four years, as oil revenue declined. Listen now

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department sat for a confirmation hearing today. Sen. Lisa Murkowski used the opportunity to condemn the Obama administration, which she says has treated Alaska like a park and tried to safeguard it from Alaskans. She pressed Rep. Ryan Zinke to review Obama's environmental decisions in Alaska. Listen now

When the Alaska Legislature convenes later this month, it will consider a budget that makes no further cuts to Alaska’s Pioneer Homes. Final decisions are months away. Listen now

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump repeatedly promised to “repeal Obamacare and replace it with something great.” Early this morning the U.S. Senate took an initial step toward repeal. As for the replacement, Alaska’s two senators describe something still in the formative stages. Listen now

Last year, when most Democrats were in the minority in the Alaska House of Representatives, they held regular caucus meetings that were open to the public before voting in sessions on the House floor. Most of the Democrats who were out of power last year will be in the majority this year. But it’s not clear whether the majority caucus will hold these pre-session open meetings. Listen now
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan introduced legislation that would authorize construction of the single lane, non-commercial, gravel road between King Cove and the all-weather airstrip in Cold Bay. Listen now

Alaska’s congressional delegation cheered last year when the Missile Defense Agency awarded an $80 million contract to the Kodiak missile launch facility. But in the U.S. Senate this week, the contract was at the top of one Republican senator’s pork list. Listen now

The state of Alaska and the Anvik Tribe have signed an historic justice agreement. The government to government pact provides a template for tribal courts to administer restorative sentences in certain lower level cases, as an alternative to the state criminal justice system. Listen now

President-elect Donald Trump today leaned on Congress to quickly get rid of President Obama’s signature heath care law. But Lisa Murkowski is among five Republicans in the U.S. Senate sponsoring an amendment to slow the repeal. Listen now

Thousands of Alaskans lost their jobs in 2016, and in the forecast for 2017, it doesn’t look like the economy is going to stop shrinking anytime soon. Listen now

Lawmakers couldn’t agree last year whether to permanently provide health insurance to the survivors of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty. Starting next week, they’ll have another chance. Listen now

Wilbur Ross, the nominee for Commerce secretary, is a billionaire investor, a specialist in distressed industries. But does this New Jersey–born Floridian know anything about Alaska? Sen. Dan Sullivan says he's learned Ross was in the state on one fateful afternoon in 1964. Listen now

You could consider it a zoning decision of landscape proportions: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management completed a planning document for Alaska’s Eastern Interior. The most contentious part of the plan is the Forty Mile Mining District, which includes the towns of Eagle and Chicken. Listen now
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Officials in Anchorage are weighing a potential sales tax to deal with state's on-going fiscal challenges. The two percent tax is forecast to bring $90-$150 million in new revenues to the city and is intended to, in part, offset property taxes. Listen now

Sen. Dan Sullivan often warns colleagues about Russia's military threat. But at a hearing on Russia's pre-election hacking, Sullivan didn’t discuss Russia at all. Listen now

Republicans have dropped their plan to diminish the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics. But not everyone agrees the House majority should have backed down. Alaska Congressman Don Young is among those who want the ethics office reined in. Listen now