Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

The House spent six hours debating oil and gas tax credits Tuesday night. And they’re not done yet – lawmakers will pick up the bill again Wednesday. Download Audio

Proposals to make the state attorney general an elected position have appeared year after year in the Alaska Legislature. This time the measure, sponsored by Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, has moved through three committees and is pending in Senate Rules. Both sides of this debate -- pro and con -- say they want to keep politics out of the AG’s office. Download Audio

A bill to ban organizations like Planned Parenthood from teaching sex education in public schools failed in a House Committee Tuesday. Download Audio

The outlines of changes to the Permanent Fund became clearer today. Senate Finance Committee introduced a bill that would pay for much of the state government’s budget using the Fund’s earnings. It also would reduce residents’ Permanent Fund dividends, but make them more stable for the future. Download Audio

The Ketchikan Shipyard had a reputation in the 1980s and '90s as a giant money pit. The state spent millions to build it, and critics complained it couldn’t do cost-effective repairs. It closed for two years. Then, with big infusions of public cash, the yard got going again. It is now building two major new ferries. Today, a shipyard executive spoke at a U.S. Senate hearing about what he hopes will be the yard’s new reputation, as a model of workforce development for modern manufacturing. Download Audio

For the second time in two days, House lawmakers have postponed a final vote on Gov. Bill Walker's controversial oil tax bill, a cornerstone of the governor's efforts to close the state's $4 billion budget deficit. Download Audio
Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, at a Senate Majority press availability, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The state Senate voted 16-2 on Saturday to pass a bill overhauling Alaska’s criminal justice system. Download Audio

Proposals to spend Permanent Fund earnings on the state budget will be a major focus of the legislative session’s final nine days. Download Audio

With just over a week left in the legislative session, lawmakers are wrangling over the always-contentious issue of oil taxes. Gov. Bill Walker had requested a complete overhaul of the state's oil and gas tax credit program. The House Resources scaled back that proposal. Now, a third committee has weighed in. The House Finance committee chose a middle route -- while also introducing some changes that weren't even in the governor's bill. Download Audio

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to allow people to carry concealed firearms on University of Alaska campuses. Download Audio

As the legislature's conference committee hashes out the state's operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the University of Alaska is standing by, waiting to see just how large the fiscal dent will be. Download Audio

The state corrections officers union wants Governor Bill Walker to retract key sections of a report released last year that criticized Department of Corrections policies and some officers’ actions. Download Audio

The Forest Service is in a bad place: To pay the cost of fighting mega fires, the agency has had to raid other programs, including its fire prevention budget. Sen. Lisa Murkowski supports a plan to end so-called “fire borrowing.” But Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told her it’s not penciling out as they’d hoped. Download Audio

Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young says he's looking forward to a spirited and energetic campaign as he seeks a 23rd term in Congress. Download Audio

Residents of the North Slope Borough have voted to recall Mayor Charlotte Brower. Download Audio
House Finance Co-Chairs Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake) and Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) confer during Saturday's hearing. The House and Senate Finance committees have most of the work this session, as lawmakers consider buying out TransCanada's stake in the Alaska LNG project. (Rachel Waldholz/APRN)

State budget talks are entering their final phase. The House and Senate have appointed members to a budget conference committee. Download Audio
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, speaks at a Native Issues Forum in Juneau, April 5, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Donald Trump may be the leading Republican candidate for president, but Alaska Congressman Don Young is no fan. He blames "the people" for "following a pied piper over the edge of the cliff."

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has declined to let the Alaska Department of Law act as federal prosecutors to pursue sex-trafficking charges against the once-powerful owner of oilfield services company VECO.

North Slope Borough voters have voted in favor of recalling Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower.

Upsets over financing for school capital projects and a tax-cap calculation will leave Administration with budget challenges, though more liberal-leaning Assembly. Download Audio