Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Miller Kicks Off Campaign in Wasilla

U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller kicked off his campaign last night in Wasilla before a few hundred supporters. Miller drew cheers as he hit on popular Tea Party themes, like abolishing the IRS and ending state surveillance. And he may be the only candidate in the race with a personalized country-western anthem. Download Audio

Legislature makes slow progress on criminal sentencing overhaul

Lawmakers found they had less room and not enough desks or phones to go around on Monday. That’s because they’re sharing space in Juneau’s Bill Ray Center while the Capitol is being renovated.

Trial Challenging Restrictions For Medicaid-Funded Abortions Continues In Anchorage

State attorneys are about to finish questioning witnesses for the defense in a trial that could determine whether or not the state removes some restrictions for Medicaid - funded abortions for low income women. Download Audio

Lawmakers: TransCanada buyout likely, but is state ready?

Lawmakers say it’s all but inevitable they'll approve the governor’s request to buy out TransCanada and take a larger stake in the Alaska LNG project. But they are raising concerns about the state’s ability to take the company’s place. Download Audio

Supreme Court overturns parental notification law for minors seeking abortions

The Alaska Supreme Court overturned the state's parental notification law for minors who are seeking abortions. The voter-passed initiative required unmarried women under 18 who wanted to terminate their pregnancies to notify their parents 48 hours before the procedure. The court deemed it unconstitutional. Listen now

Walker orders state agencies to pursue grants to fight opioid epidemic

Gov. Bill Walker took action this week to try to stem the epidemic of overdose deaths from heroin and other opioid drugs.

Walker administration appoints climate adviser, promises new policy “soon”

Nikoosh Carlo began work this month in a newly created position: senior adviser for climate. Listen now

Murkowski says Pruitt’s Pebble decision surprised her

Sen. Murkowski says the EPA administrator's move to keep alive proposed limits on the mine seemed out of character. Listen now

Walker admin says Corps moving too fast on Pebble

The proposed gold and copper mine would sit upstream from Bristol Bay. Gov. Bill Walker has said he doesn’t support the mine and believes the priority should be on the region’s salmon.

Former House District 38 Rep. Zach Fansler to plead guilty to harassment

Almost six months after he was accused of slapping a woman in his hotel room, former House District 38 Representative Zach Fansler is pleading guilty, though not to assault.

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

Medicaid decision allows more beds for substance abuse treatment

Medicaid has an old rule that says it won't pay for substance abuse treatment if a facility has more than 16 beds. Alaska can now ignore that restriction.

Sheffield memoir ‘from Great Depression to Alaska Governor’s mansion’

The autobiography chronicles former Alaska Gov. Bill Sheffield's beginnings as the son of a farmer in the Great Depression, to when he arrived in Alaska in the 1950s, to his term as governor from 1982 to 1986. Sheffield was also CEO of the Alaska Railroad and director of the Port of Anchorage.

Republican Talerico falls one vote short of becoming House speaker

The vote was the latest action in a stalemate that’s preventing Alaska’s House of Representatives from beginning work this session.

Education commissioner says it’s time to review school funding formula

State Education Commissioner Michael Johnson also told lawmakers Wednesday that he didn’t consult with school districts before the Dunleavy administration proposed a $20 million cut to education funding.

Dunleavy seeks to scuttle Ocean Rangers cruise ship monitors

Voters in Alaska approved a 2006 ballot measure that put independent environmental watchdogs on cruise ships. But Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration is looking to scrap the program.

Regulators: Top Dunleavy administration official can’t conceal consulting firm’s clients

Staff at the Alaska Public Offices Commission this week said Mary Ann Pruitt, Dunleavy's contract communications director, is required to disclose the clients of PS Strategies, an advertising and political consulting firm she owns.

State funding for early education restored, but services this year could still be affected

“Plans have been put in place that it’s hard to walk back from, because this was such a disruption,” said Tlingit and Haida Head Start director Amber Frommherz.

VAWA bill would create limited ‘Indian Country’ for 5 Alaska tribes

The Violence Against Women Act renewal bill would allow up to five Alaska tribes territorial jurisdiction in their villages to prosecute domestic abuse and other crimes, whether the accused is a tribal member or not. 

Alaska Legislature confirms all of Dunleavy’s commissioners

The closest votes were for Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price and Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.