Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

House Democrats Confirm Kito To Downtown Juneau Seat

Sam Kito III is now at work as the newest member of the Alaska Legislature. He replaces Juneau Rep. Beth Kerttula, who resigned her House seat last month for a Stanford University fellowship. Download Audio

Primary Election: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller

It will soon be decision time for Alaska voters on which of three Republican should face incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Begich in November. The statewide public radio forum, Talk of Alaska has offered each of the three an hour-long live opportunity to answer phone calls from public radio listeners statewide. Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan have had their turn, and next up is Joe Miller. APRN: Tuesday, 7/29 at 10:00am Download Audio

Mexican Consulate Readies To Help On Deferred Action Plan

The Mexican government, through it's consulate in Anchorage, has issued a statement regarding President Barack Obama's announcement regarding deferred action on illegal immigrants.

Rep. Young Riles Indian Country With Hearings on ‘Land in Trust’ Powers

The Interior Secretary’s power to take land into trust for tribes could create pockets of Indian Country across Alaska. Tribes see it as an opportunity to police their own territory and improve village safety. Others see it as the reservation model that Alaskans rejected in the land claims settlement act 44 years ago. Outside the state, land-into-trust is controversial, too. Download Audio:

White House invites Alaskan to State of Union

Lydia Doza got a text message she nearly ignored. It led to a special White House invitation to honor her efforts inspiring Native American youth to choose STEM careers. Download Audio
Members of the Alaska Supreme Court today reversed the lower court’s decision and reinstated Dean Westlake as the winner of the Democratic primary in House District 40. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Supreme Court declares Dean Westlake winner of House District 40 Primary race

The Alaska Supreme Court has reinstated Dean Westlake as the winner of the Democratic primary in House District 40, which covers the North Slope and Northwest Arctic. Listen Now

Teacher turnover costs state’s school districts around $20M per year

Alaska schools hire about 1,000 new teachers each year to offset the annual turnover of staff. And it's a process that doesn't come cheap. Listen now

New $521M Anchorage budget pays for more safety, snow plows, homelessness efforts

The new budget is about $12 million dollars over last year’s, and taxes to the maximum allowable limit under the city’s charter. Listen now

Sweeney Interior nomination in limbo

President Trump nominated Tara Sweeney for high office at the Interior Department. But Alaska's U.S. senators say the nomination seems to be held up over her ownership of stock in an Alaska Native corporation. Listen now

At crucial moment, Denali Commission faces leadership gap

The top job at the federal agency tasked with coordinating help for Alaska villages threatened by climate change will soon be vacant. Listen now

State officials weigh shift to more voting by mail

Rural Alaskans don’t want a system that entirely relies on mail. Listen now

Begich discusses campaign viability, ‘path forward’

Democratic candidate for Alaska Governor Mark Begich said, like many Alaskans, he was surprised by Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s abrupt resignation and withdrawal from the campaign. Listen now

PFD promise key to Dunleavy’s win in Hoonah

Mike Dunleavy won an electoral majority in 6 of 132 precincts with an Alaska Native majority. One was Hoonah, where the Republican’s promise of full Permanent Fund dividends apparently resonated with voters.

Alaska gasline project board ousts its $1 million man

The state’s highest paid employee was fired from $45 billion gas line project today.

Cannabis advocates wary of Dunleavy’s Marijuana Control Board appointments

Alaska’s marijuana industry and its advocates are concerned about Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointment of two people to the Marijuana Control Board that the advocates say could slow or halt the industry’s growth and hamper the state’s ability to regulate it.

Big win for Murkowski: Public lands bill passes Senate

The U.S. Senate today passed a massive public lands bill, and to the delight of its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the vote was overwhelming.

Proposed Medicaid cut raises concern for health centers, hospitals

Gov. Michael Dunleavy has proposed a $249 million cut to Alaska's Medicaid program, one of the most expensive parts of the state budget. Health care providers say cuts could mean services for Alaskans will look “dramatically different than they do today.”

Lawmakers want to know more about economic impact of state budget proposal

Alaska lawmakers still face a lot of uncertainty as they decide how deeply to cut funding for government services and permanent fund dividends — or whether to reopen a debate on taxes.

Medicaid cuts, while aimed at access, still raise concerns

As Gov. Mike Dunleavy seeks to close a $1.6 billion budget gap, the administration looked to Medicaid, where it could cut a lot of costs: $249 million.

State-sponsored raffle for public schools generates almost $1M in first year

Last year, the state established the program, allowing Alaskans to donate a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividends to the raffle. The raffle generated $976,400, and 75 percent of that -- $732,300 -- will go to schools.