Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

At Anchorage hearing, Alaskans protest Dunleavy budget proposal, advocate for income tax

More than four dozen people testified against Gov. Mike Dunleavy's budget proposal at a March 2 Anchorage Caucus meeting, with many asking lawmakers to consider tapping into new revenue sources to fund state services.

Republican senators concerned with scale of proposed budget cuts

While Democratic senators have been most outspoken in their opposition to Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts, it’s the Republicans who control the Senate majority. Several Republican senators on the Finance Committee have expressed concerns.

Alaska lawmakers weigh becoming only state to not fund medical education

Sixty-one percent of Alaska medical students who attend the WWAMI program return to Alaska. That’s higher than the national average of graduates who stay in state, but it’s lower than what Alaska lawmakers would like to see.

Critics say shutdown will doom Arctic projects in court

The Trump administration continued work on some Alaska oil development projects, despite the partial shutdown. Critics say that could invalidate the government's ultimate decisions to approve them.

Online ‘trolls’ spark support for Juneau’s furloughed federal workers

Despite assumptions from the outside, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history isn’t a vacation. Many federal workers are having a hard time paying bills.

Gov. Dunleavy faces political, legal obstacles to enacting far-reaching budget cuts

Governor Dunleavy's power to reduce Alaska's budget only goes so far – there are legal and political obstacles that stand between the governor and his goal of a balanced budget.

For $1B Radar, It’s Clear

The Missile Defense Agency today confirmed Clear Air Station as its preferred location for a new type of radar system, called Long Range Discrimination Radar. The selection of Clear helps solidify Alaska’s role as host to the ground-based mid-course missile defense system, designed primarily to shoot down warheads from North Korea. Download Audio:

State labor economist says state policies have affected recession length

Dan Robinson, research chief for the state’s labor department, told the Senate Finance Committee that uncertainty over the size and spending of state government are contributing to Alaska’s recession.

Alaska state ferry supporters come out in force

A long procession of Alaskans signed up to testify Tuesday over the future of the state’s ferry system.

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.

Dunleavy’s Fish and Game nominee vows tough stance against federal agencies

The governor’s pick to lead the Alaska Department of Fish and Game told lawmakers he’d push back against federal agencies that interfere with Alaskans’ right to hunt and fish.

Industry launches campaign to rid ocean of plastic. Is it for real?

The plastics industry has a new billion-dollar campaign to get plastic trash out of the ocean. Sen. Dan Sullivan and a close ally are working on a bill to enhance that campaign. But is industry really suited to clean up the mess its products create?

As Dunleavy’s budget looms, two Alaskans see diverging futures for Mat-Su

Alaskans on both sides of the budget debate weigh in on the proposal to dramatically cut state spending to pay full Permanent Fund dividends.

Is Alaska Ready To Move Past AGIA?

Is AGIA being put to bed? When the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act was first introduced in 2007, it was sold as the state's best hope of getting work started on a natural gas pipeline. But six years after the bill's passage, the Parnell administration thinks it's ready to go beyond that framework in an effort to get a LNG project built.

Butler to Return as Alaska’s Top Doctor

Jay Butler is returning to his job as the state's top doctor. Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson says in a release that Butler will be both the state's chief medical officer and director of the Division of Health. Download Audio

Murkowski Answers Questions on ‘Talk of Alaska’

Jane Lubchenco interrupted the meeting in Anchorage this morning to announce there had been an earthquake in Washington DC.

Dunleavy outlines approach ahead of big budget rollout

Gov. Michael Dunleavy has not proposed a public vote on spending cuts, and he says there isn’t time to do that with this budget.

Murkowski field hearing highlights rural Alaska’s unique energy issues, solutions

When Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski chose Bethel for a field hearing of the Senate Energy Committee – which she chairs – she had a very specific point to make. Download Audio

Proposed initiative would move Legislature to Anchorage

Attempts to move Alaska’s capital historically have failed due at least in part to the cost. There has been only one previous initiative to move just the Legislature — to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in 2002. It failed by a two-to-one margin.

Begich to View Post-Mortem bin Laden Photos

Associated Press An aide to Senator Mark Begich says he will view post-mortem photographs of Osama bin Laden taken after the al-Qaida leader was...