Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

The U.S. Senate this morning passed Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s energy modernization bill, by a vote of 85-12.

State workers wouldn’t see pay hikes based on experience until oil prices rise sharply, under a bill introduced Monday in the House. Download Audio

The Legislature didn’t finish its work in time for the scheduled end of the session Sunday, but it became clear that the largest stumbling block is how much and how quickly to scale back tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

Since 2008, Alaska's Renewable Energy Fund has supported scores of projects around the state. But so far, it has not been included in this year's budget. Download Audio

A week and a half after ballots were cast, outstanding votes in Anchorage's municipal election have all been counted. Download Audio

Retired EPA scientist Phil North, the alleged mastermind behind the effort to block the Pebble mine, spent a full day answering questions from a congressional committee Thursday. Now, he says he's done with the issue - or he hopes he is - and he's heading to Bali. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker says he would veto the purchase of a legislative office building in Anchorage if that item remains in the state infrastructure budget. Download Audio

The University of Alaska faces a $50 million budget cut, due to a legislative committee vote on Thursday. Download Audio

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallottt was in Washington, D.C. this morning to make another plea for a road between King Cove and the all-weather airport in Cold Bay. Congressman Don Young threatened to build the road himself. Download Audio

House Bill 126, aimed at strengthening the dated Alaska Code of Military Justice, passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee Thursday morning and now moves on to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Download Audio

As the Alaska House continues its marathon debate on the oil and gas tax credit bill, the Senate is moving its own version forward, hoping to beat the clock with just four days left. Download Audio

Senator Bill Stoltze announced on the Senate floor today that he will not seek re-election. The Chugiak Republican cited health concerns, although he clarified that he was not dealing with an immediate health threat. Download Audio

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