Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Anchorage Office of Emergency Management Readies For Earthquake Drill

Anchorage was hit hard during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, which caused terrible destruction downtown and along Turnagain Arm. For the 50th anniversary of that event, the city is planning to take part in emergency drills that involve all schools and city agencies. This week is declared Earthquake Preparedness Week by city officials, and residents are urged to be prepared for the real thing.

RUNNING 2014: Alaska Legislature

Meet the legislative candidates running in contested primary races from the Anchorage and Matanuska Valley on KSKA-FM and Alaska Public Media. Programs start at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 12.

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.

With Foster Care Cases Up, Lawmakers Consider Funding Triage

The Walker administration is pushing for more funding for the Office of Children’s Services, in response to the growing number of foster children in the system. Listen now:

S&P warns further downgrades may be on horizon

Standard & Poor's downgraded Alaska's credit rating Tuesday after months of warnings to shore up the state budget. With plunging oil prices wreaking havoc on the state's budget, the agency knocked the state down a notch from the top AAA rating it has held for the last four years. Download Audio

CIRI eyes land in refuges, NPR-A to fulfill promise

Alaska’s delegation to Congress writes bills every year to transfer or sell federal land to local governments and Native corporations. In late May, Sen. Lisa Murkowski sponsored one public land bill for Native corporations that’s particularly far-reaching -- apparently more expansive than the senator intended. Listen now

Anchorage pushing for port, more flexible finances from Legislature

In a departure from big wish lists of the past, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz's legislative request has only one capital budget project, coupled with a number of law changes designed to give local governments more financial flexibility. Listen Now

Hughes leaves Senate majority over budget

For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus. Palmer Sen. Shelley Hughes left the caucus last Thursday to oppose the state budget. Listen now

Murkowski, Sullivan contend with less-Republican Senate

Last year, it was all eyes on Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The fate of health care and tax bills seemed at times to turn on what she would do. But this year is shaping up differently in the Senate, and both Alaska senators will have to contend with new dynamics. Listen now

House bill to declare state of emergency for Alaska Native languages passes committee

A bill to declare a state of emergency for Alaska Native Languages has moved out of one state House committee and into another. House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 19 saw widespread testimonial support from Alaska Native academics, Tribal members, and non-Native Alaskans as well. Listen now

Senate joins House in recognizing Alaska Native languages emergency

A report by the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council said the state should make it policy to promote Alaska Native language schools wherever possible. 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.

In Congress, Alaskans are split over shutdown

Republicans in Congress remain mostly united behind President Trump and his rejection of legislation to re-open government departments unless it includes $5 billion for a border wall. But the Alaska delegation is split on this.

ERA now, Murkowski says

Sen. Murkowski is pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment. Yes, she knows that sounds like 1972 is calling and asking for its protest sign back.

How would a $20M cut affect public schools statewide?

The proposal would need to go-ahead from the legislature before becoming a reality. But school administrators are concerned about the possibility.

US Senate sidelines “Born-Alive” bill

The stage was set for a divisive vote related to late-term abortion, and one open question was how Sen. Lisa Murkowski would vote.

FDA clears path for genetically engineered salmon

Genetically engineered salmon is on its way to the United States. The FDA announced Friday it is canceling an import alert, the last barrier keeping the AquAdvantage Salmon out of the country.

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.