Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Multiple news outlets report Mike Dubke is about to be named as President Trump’s new communications director. The Washington-based political strategist has worked on several Alaska campaigns, including those of Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan. Listen now

Gov. Bill Walker took action this week to try to stem the epidemic of overdose deaths from heroin and other opioid drugs.

Alaska Congressman Don Young says he’s never smoked marijuana. But Young says he wants to change federal law to help marijuana entrepreneurs do business. The issue has Young joining forces with congressmen of different stripes. Listen now
Rep. Sam Kito lll addresses the Alaska House of Representatives on April 7, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

State Rep. Sam Kito III wants to close a $200,000 funding gap at the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), which oversees the activities of candidates, political groups and lobbyists. Listen now

Alaska’s budget reserves could be gone in 10 years if the state government doesn’t take action to balance its budget, the Legislature’s nonpartisan finance expert said Wednesday (Feb. 15). Listen now

A proposed bill would increase the fee Alaskans pay to the state when they buy studded tires by 1,500 percent. Listen now

Republicans in the U.S. House, trying to roll back environmental rules of the Obama Administration, have turned to a rule that prohibits several methods of hunting predators in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuges. Amid talk of “puppy killing,” Alaska Congressman Don Young argued it’s up to the state to manage wildlife populations. Listen now

The Assembly's ideological persuasion has major implications for both local and state politics, yet turnout in municipal elections tends to be extremely low. Listen now

Under a proposed statewide income tax bill in the Capitol, Alaskans would have a choice when they apply for their annual permanent fund dividend: whether or not to set aside money to pay for their next year’s state income tax liability. Listen now

Alaskans would pay a tax on income for the first time since 1980 under a bill introduced in the Legislature on Friday. Listen now

Alaska law bars the state government from spending money to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Starting next January, the federal government will require Alaska residents boarding commercial flights to have ID cards that meet REAL ID standards. Listen now

The state gets the bulk of its royalties from oil produced on the North Slope in the form of oil rather than in payments from the producers. This week, lawmakers are considering a contract to sell some of that royalty oil to the Alaska-owned refinery and fuel marketing company Petro Star. Listen now

The faculty senate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks voted no-confidence in University President Jim Johnsen’s leadership on Monday, Feb. 6. The vote followed the same move by the Anchorage faculty Jan. 13. Johnsen addressed the issue Jan. 8 at a meeting of the Senate Education Committee. Listen now

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers said Alaska’s courts are leading the way in cutting costs in a way that doesn’t threaten vital services. Listen now

For most of the past 20 years, Alaska Congressman Don Young has been either a committee or subcommittee chairman. But now he wields no gavel. Listen now

Lawmakers are considering tripling the state’s motor fuels tax over the next two years. A bill would raise the tax from a national low of 8 cents per gallon to 16 cents in July, then 24 cents per gallon in July 2018. Listen now

The U.S. Senate today (Feb. 7) voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Education secretary. DeVos is the only one President Trump’s cabinet nominees so far to face serious trouble on the Senate floor. Senators were evenly divided, 50 to 50, and Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaker in favor of confirmation. Alaska’s two senators were split. Listen now

Climate change has always been a sticky issue for Alaska policymakers. In a state that sits on the front lines of global warming but remains deeply dependent on oil, it sometimes seems like the easiest option is just not talking about it at all. Listen now

Alaska’s state government can save money by privatizing some services at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, or API. But it doesn’t look like it would save if it privatized all services. Listen now

Former Alaska Senate President Kevin Meyer is going after PACs in what he said is an effort to improve public trust. Meyer hopes to change Alaska’s campaign finance law to address PACs controlled by individual lawmakers and candidates. Listen now