Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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Credit rating agencies see improved outlook for Alaska, but note risks from budget uncertainty

As Alaska lawmakers decide what to do about the budget, one group that’s keeping an eye on the outcome are the agencies that rate the state’s ability to pay off its debts. And they say Alaska's rating is actually showing positive signs.

Email records: Little contact between Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s former aide and oil company that hired him

Interest groups and some Alaska lawmakers have been scrutinizing Stevens’ move from state service to the private sector, saying the quick transition between them raises questions about whether Stevens is complying with state ethics laws.

This year’s Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends would be $1,100 under budget compromise

This year’s permanent fund dividend would be $1,100 under a compromise budget proposal that the Legislature will vote on this week.
A ochre and white concrete building in a greay cloudy day

It’s masks off at the Alaska Capitol — but the public is still barred

The ban is keeping out summer tourists, forcing lobbyists to do business by Zoom and stopping Alaskans from witnessing key committee meetings and floor sessions in-person.
A white woman with a turquoise scarf speaks into a microphone frmo a desk.

Mat-Su senator introduces bill to bar transgender girls from school sports

An advocate for transgender rights called the bill "horrific".
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House passes budget, leaving potential gap from federal relief rules

The budget includes most of what Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed for state agencies. But it doesn’t include funding for permanent fund dividends.
A woman in a blue surgical mask speaks on a microphone

Alaska House bill would fund schools ahead of time, prevent pink slips

House Bill 169 would fund education ahead of the rest of the state budget, to avoid teachers and other school staff receiving layoff notices next month. This happens when the Legislature goes deep into May without passing a budget, triggering notices required under teachers’ contracts.
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With help from Alaska’s Murkowski, Vanita Gupta is confirmed as associate attorney general

"I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated throughout her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice," Murkowski said.
A white man with a mustache speaks while sitting at table

Senators unveil bill to extend, limit Alaska disaster declaration as deadline for food aid looms

Some Alaska state senators are aiming to pass a bill that would extend Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s disaster declaration, but with more limited powers than were in place until mid-February in order to continue providing food aid and assist in other COVID-19 response areas.

Alaska legislators apologize after breaking COVID rules by bringing friends for ping-pong, basketball at Capitol gym

Members of the public who are barred from the state Capitol complex due to pandemic safety rules attended a social gathering with legislators in a complex building last week.
Woman with blonde hair in a purple dress stands at a podium

Tshibaka resigns from Dunleavy administration and announces run for Murkowski’s US Senate seat

Kelly Tshibaka, who has led the sprawling Alaska Department of Administration since early 2019, in a statement said she is running “for the Alaskans who believe government is of the people, by the people and for the people. The D.C. insiders need to be held accountable to us.”
A committee room with a wood desks all around

New attorney general targets Alaska’s high rate of sex crimes at confirmation hearing

During his confirmation hearing on Monday, Treg Taylor said his first priority as Alaska’s attorney general is to end the state’s position as the worst for sex crimes.
man at a desk before a microphone with his nose visible over the top of his mask

‘Let’s end this charade,’ Wasilla lawmaker says, removing his mask on the House floor

State Rep. Christopher Kurka of Wasilla left a House floor session on Monday morning after taking off his facemask.

Alaska Senate president has new view of COVID-19 threat after senior aide is hospitalized

A senior aide to Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche has been hospitalized with COVID-19. Micciche said the illness has given him a new perspective on the threat the disease poses to the people working in the Capitol.
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Alaska senators skeptical over Dunleavy administration’s plan to privatize rural DMVs

The state-run Division of Motor Vehicle offices in Haines, Homer, Valdez, Tok, Delta Junction and Eagle River would be eliminated under a plan presented Thursday by Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka.
A white man gestures at a podium

GOP Gov. Dunleavy says he’s recovered from COVID-19, and nudges Alaskans on vaccines

Alaska Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy said Friday that he’s feeling better and nearing the end of his isolation after getting sick with COVID-19 — and, he added, he didn’t even lose his sense of smell or taste
A white man in a black suit

Judge rules against Alaska governor in appointments debate

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy was barred by law from making recess appointments of the same individuals lawmakers had failed to confirm to the posts, a state court judge ruled Thursday.
woman stands on the floor of the Legislature under a board that displays the vote count

Dunleavy asks Alaskans to be aware of COVID-19 pandemic misinformation

Gov. Mike Dunleavy warned Alaskans away from “misinformation” regarding the pandemic and his administration’s response to it. He encouraged people to challenge those making allegations.
Governor Dunleavy peeks through a door with a man in a suit in the foreground

11 days after appointment, Alaska Attorney General Ed Sniffen leaving job

Alaska Attorney General Ed Sniffen is leaving his position 11 days after Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed him.

Banned from the Capitol, Alaska lobbyists contend with pandemic predicament

If you think Alaska lawmakers’ job is tough right now, consider, for a moment, the plight of the lobbyist. They’re paid for access to and intelligence on what’s happening in the Capitol — but for now, they’re banned from the building.