Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Native Vietnam vets get another chance to claim 160 acres

Congress passed a sweeping public lands bill that includes a provision allowing Alaska Native veterans of the Vietnam War era apply for land allotments. Critics worry about a land grab.

Ferry reform effort gets a legislative boost

The effort to reform the Alaska Marine Highway System took a step forward Thursday. The House Transportation Committee voted to instruct staff to draft legislation that would establish a public corporation to take over the system. But it’s a long way from a done deal. Listen now

Alaska, oil companies to determine economic viability of gasline within 60 days

Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he didn’t hear much interest in Alaska’s gasline at a conference in Texas. But he did hear interest from companies in investing in North Slope oil.

Lawsuit seeks to eliminate Medicaid application backlog

The Alaska Division of Public Assistance director says the backlog has been shrinking recently, including a large decrease in the past month.

Cost to move Legislature could be up to $45M if state builds office, analysts find

The first-year cost is closer to $3 million if the state rents office space instead of building new facilities, analysts find.

Emmonak votes to keep alcohol and remain ‘damp’

Voters in the Western Alaska community of Emmonak have narrowly decided to continue restricted alcohol sales and remain a so-called "damp" community under local option laws.

Legislature’s failure to finish work leads Dunleavy to call immediate special session

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget or a crime bill Wednesday, the last day of the 121-day session. But it will pick up Thursday where it left off, after Gov. Mike Dunleavy called the Legislature into a special session.

Bill to fund full, $3,000 PFD fails narrowly in state Senate

The bill would require an additional $1.3 billion in combined cuts to state spending and savings.

Update: Begich and Treadwell throw their hats into Alaska Governor’s race

After days of rumors and speculation, Mark Begich has announced that he is running for governor in the Democratic primary. Mead Treadwell, former Lt. Gov. under Sean Parnell, announced his candidacy in the Republican primary. Listen now

Opt Out Bill Could Cost Alaska $97 Million in Federal School Funding

Senate Bill 89 aims to increase the authority of parents, allowing them to opt their children out of standardized tests, and educational programming dealing with sexual health. Download Audio

Sam Kito III Named As New Juneau Representative

Governor Sean Parnell on Friday morning named Sam Kito III as the new District 32 representative to the Legislature for downtown Juneau and Douglas. Download Audio

Governor declares emergency for Alaska Native languages

Gov. Walker’s order directs the state to use traditional place names on state signs and to promote indigenous languages in public education. Listen now

Alaska CDQ group wants Congress to count heads

The largest of the Community Development Quota groups says it's getting a raw deal. Coastal Villages Region Fund says it has the largest population and deserves a larger share of the fish.

EPA reconsiders restrictions on Pebble

The EPA is officially reconsidering the proposal it made during the Obama administration to essentially block the Southwest Alaska project.

Artists call on Legislature to fund state arts council

If the Legislature does not override the governor’s veto, the Alaska State Council on the Arts will lose funding on Monday, making Alaska the only state in the U.S. without an arts council.

Senate Finance Committee sends $3,000 PFD to floor vote

Supporters of a full dividend have said the state should follow the formula in a 1982 law, while opponents have said the full amount would put the future of the earnings reserve and dividends at risk.

Veto blocks cruise funding for Marine Exchange

Alaska’s primary provider of real-time marine vessel tracking has lost 11 percent of its funding. That’s following a line item veto by Gov. Mike Dunleavy in the 2020 capital budget.

Behavioral health focus of Mat-Su Health Foundation grants

A Mat-Su nonprofit is looking to fill the funding gap for behavioral health services with more budget cuts on the horizon at the state level. One program benefiting from that grant money is aiming to curb the earliest sources of drug and alcohol abuse with a focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences awareness. Download Audio

Federal furlough drives Alaskans to the unemployment line

Hundreds of furloughed federal workers in Alaska are filing unemployment claims. They'll have to pay back any benefits they receive once they get retroactive pay.

Alaska’s governor-elect makes key appointments

Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy’s cabinet is taking shape with several key positions announced Monday. Only one has worked for a state government.