Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Trump’s emergency declaration splits Alaska delegation

A close vote is expected when the Senate decides whether to reverse President Trump’s declaration of an emergency to build a wall on the southern border. The Alaska delegation is split on the question.

Murkowski back in GOP fold on health care

Last weekend, Sen. Murkowski made headlines for breaking with her party over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. But she fell in line with her Republican caucus Wednesday on a controversial health care vote. Listen now

Judge says BLM must reassess climate impacts of oil leases

The ruling stems from a challenge to lease sales in Wyoming, but if it stands, it could complicate the Trump administration’s effort to produce more petroleum from public lands. Opponents of ANWR drilling say the BLM's analysis of the climate impact of leasing there is inadequate, too.

Ballot initiative to move Alaska Legislature’s meetings clears early hurdle

After the sponsors get some official documents, they’ll have one year to collect more than 28,000 qualified signatures to put the question to voters in 2020.

As his crime bills languish, Gov. Dunleavy renews the idea of a special session

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, at a news conference Monday, again suggested he could order Alaska lawmakers into a special session unless they start advancing his batch of criminal justice bills.

As memories of the Exxon Valdez fade, a plea to Congress to retain the lessons learned

A group of Alaskans traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask lawmakers to renew a fund that allows the government to launch a spill response and pay compensation, even before the company at fault is held to account.

New icebreaker won’t have much time for the Arctic, says Coast Guard boss

The Coast Guard expects to launch the first of three new icebreakers in 2024, but don't expect to see much of it in Alaska.

Last year, local governments shelled out $2.6 million for ‘ears on the ground’ in Alaska’s capital

At least $2.6 million in public money went to state lobbyists in 2018. That’s Alaska cities, boroughs and school districts hiring private contractors to represent them in the state capital.

Walker Wins Primary … For Libertarian Senate Nomination

Walker had been a registered Republican until this spring. He hasn't campaigned or raised any money. He hasn't even joined the Alaska Libertarian Party Facebook page. So, when Walker got 2,600 votes – more than Fish and Kohlhaas combined – it was not expected. Download Audio:

Lawmakers add funding for public defenders

Anchorage Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt opposed the added money. He proposed firing higher paid lawyers and replacing them with lower cost, less experienced lawyers. Listen now
Insurance will give SEARHC members more flexibility in health care and generate revenue for the Native medical organization. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

SEARHC to Receive $53 Million Settlement from Federal Government

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will receive a $53 million settlement from Indian Health Service for about fifteen years of unpaid contract costs. Now SEARHC president and CEO Charles Clement hopes the federal agency will continue to pay its bills. Download Audio

Coin toss could determine control of Alaska House

Election workers are scheduled to audit the remaining absentee ballots Nov. 23. If the vote count is still tied after that, then there will be a recount.

‘It won’t be easy’: Universities, Medicaid hit hard as Dunleavy vetoes nearly $400 million from budget

Gov. Mike Dunleavy says the cuts were necessary to balance the budget by next year, while still paying full permanent fund dividends under the formula in state law.

Upper Cook Inlet fishermen take issue with Dunleavy Board of Fish appointee

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced four appointments to the Alaska Board of Fisheries Monday. One of Dunleavy’s picks has served on the board in the past and is likely to go through a heated confirmation process.

Kenai and Sitka newspapers misreported voter eligibility before primary

Fewer than 100 votes could have made the difference in two races in the Kenai area. Listen now 

House deadlock persists after Knopp votes for himself for speaker

Rep. Gary Knopp said on the House floor that he committed to being the 21st vote for a Republican nominee, but he didn’t say which one. He then voted for himself to become speaker.

Alaska GOP Gov. Dunleavy disbands state climate response team

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has formally disbanded the task force formed by his predecessor to guide the state's response to global warming.

Murkowski explains why she’ll vote to cancel Trump’s emergency

"One can be for border security ... and at the same time question whether the administration has overreached in using the National Emergencies Act in the way that it has,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said on the Senate floor.

Bill seeks to require jail time in cases similar to 2018 Justin Schneider assault

Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche, the bill sponsor, says the measure would prevent a case like that of Justin Schneider from happening again.