Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Late on Memorial Day, House and Senate negotiators completed their conference committee work on a proposed state operating budget. They were 26 hours ahead of a still looming deadline.

The Legislature is on Day 126 of what was supposed to be a 90 day session -- and many Alaskans are wondering, what’s taking so long? Download Audio

The first bill to come out of the Legislative special session may be one that streamlines handling of children in state custody. Download Audio

The Arctic is one step closer to having a new U.S. icebreaker. The full Senate Appropriations committee this morning passed a bill that includes $1 billion for a heavy duty polar ship. The panel also approved millions in Defense and Coast Guard spending likely to go to Alaska, and to Kodiak in particular. Download Audio

Former Fairbanks borough mayor Luke Hopkins announced his resignation from the board of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation. He is expected to challenge North Pole Republican John Coghill. Download Audio

In the debate over how to close Alaska’s nearly $4 billion dollar budget hole, one issue hasn’t gotten much attention: new sources of revenue. Download Audio

Personnel and per diem costs tallied for the recently ended extended legislative session --so far-- total about $520,000. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker called the Legislature back to work after it failed to pass a budget by the constitutional deadline last week. Lawmakers now have 30 days to try to accomplish what they couldn't do in the last four months: pass a budget and make some progress on closing the state's $4 billion deficit. Download Audio

Alaska lawmakers are back at work Monday after failing to pass a budget by the constitutional deadline last week. It’s the first day of a special session called by Governor Bill Walker.

Lawmakers couldn't pass a budget plan during 121 days of regular session and will now try to break the gridlock in a special session. All current proposals include using permanent fund earnings to fill the deficit. But the idea of the permanent fund is that it will be...permanent and some Alaskans say, don't touch it.

In Washington, both sides of any Arctic drilling dispute want to show they have locals on their side. Sen. Lisa Murkowski bolstered her case for more offshore leasing with the help of an Arctic Slope mayor. He testified that communities like his need the industry. But other Arctic residents sat in the back of the hearing room, passionately opposed to offshore drilling. Download Audio

Governor Bill Walker called the Legislature into a special session that begins Monday to finish the work lawmakers failed to complete during the 121-day session that ended Wednesday. Download Audio

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget Wednesday and will reconvene in special session next week. One proposal that was recently passed in conference committee and could come back in the special session has leaders in cruise ship port communities concerned. The measure would leave those towns without millions of dollars they normally receive from state head-tax revenues. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker has called the legislature into a special session to address the budget and other bills lawmakers failed to pass during the 121-day session that ended Wednesday.

The Senate passed its version of the oil tax bill Wednesday, handing it off to the House with less than twelve hours left in the session. But the Senate legislation left out key elements of the House bill that passed last Friday. Download Audio

The Legislature is preparing to vote on the capital and operating budgets Wednesday. But how the state will pay for the spending plans remains uncertain. And there’s much work left to do. So legislators expect Gov. Bill Walker to call them back into a special session. Download Audio

State lawmakers cut education funding in the proposed budgets by nearly $13 million Tuesday night. They moved the money into the oil and gas tax credit fund. Download Audio

Alaska’s government has never in 40 years used permanent fund earnings to balance the state budget. That could change this year. How the Legislature and Governor Bill Walker handle a plan could have big implications on Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividends. Download Audio

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan chaired a hearing in Washington this morning on marine debris, and he if there was consensus on what the focus should be. "Plastics?" Download Audio

Alaska Republican leaders from all parts of the GOP spectrum are uniting behind Donald Trump for president. On Monday, the Trump campaign’s Alaska branch released a list of honorary co-chairs. Download Audio