Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Alaska shutdown could have far-reaching effects

There’s a long list of state government services that would grind to a halt on July 1st if lawmakers can’t agree to a budget.

Long-time Mental Health Trust CEO resigns amid board controversy

The CEO of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority resigned Wednesday and will take on a different role in the organization. Some of the trustees allege that his resignation indicates violations of the Alaska Open Meetings Act. Listen Now

Focus Turning To Senate’s Sealaska Bill

Sealaska land-selection legislation is poised to pass the U.S. House. But the bill most likely to get through Congress appears to be in the Senate. The House version, introduced by Alaska Congressman Don Young, is among 14 measures merged into a larger bill this week. What’s called the Conservation and Economic Growth Act is scheduled for floor action next week.

As Legislature Eyes Budget Cuts, Public Media Funding Targeted

Between operations and infrastructure, public radio and television were granted $5 million in state funds in the last budget. With the proposal offered by the House Finance subcommittee, funding would be reduced to $2.5 million. Download Audio

Politicians Split On How To Judge New Oil Tax System

Now that a bill lowering taxes on oil companies has passed, the big question is: Will it work? Download Audio

Begich Concedes Senate Race to Sullivan

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has conceded the Alaska Senate race to Republican Dan Sullivan. Begich called Sullivan to congratulate him Monday. He said he urged Sullivan "to adopt a bipartisan resolve in the Senate."

Sen. Murkowski Seeking Answers On Japan Tsunami Debris

It’s been nearly a year since an earthquake in Japan triggered a tsunami that devastated whole communities in that country’s Northwest area.

Young Speaks on Obama Energy Plan

Alaska Congressman Don Young gave Interior Secretary Ken Salazar a piece of his mind on the Obama Administration’s energy policy Wednesday. Young tried to drive his point home by showing up late into the hearing wearing a beanie on his head. It was topped by a propeller, and sported a pin that said “Obama’s Energy Plan.”

PFD earning, taxes highlight governor’s fiscal discussion

Governor Bill Walker gathered Alaska leaders from around the state in Fairbanks over the weekend to talk about state services and how to pay for them. The event called: “Building a Sustainable Future: Conversations With Alaskans” resulted in some clear and predictable messages, but it’s uncertain when or if they will result in legislative action. Download Audio:

Congressional panel to hear criticism of EPA’s Pebble process

A U.S. House Committee chairman has announced a hearing to examine whether the EPA unfairly blocked the Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska with a so-called “pre-emptive veto,” before the mine has even applied for permits.

Growing a modern workforce in Ketchikan

The Ketchikan Shipyard had a reputation in the 1980s and '90s as a giant money pit. The state spent millions to build it, and critics complained it couldn’t do cost-effective repairs. It closed for two years. Then, with big infusions of public cash, the yard got going again. It is now building two major new ferries. Today, a shipyard executive spoke at a U.S. Senate hearing about what he hopes will be the yard’s new reputation, as a model of workforce development for modern manufacturing. Download Audio

ANWR Campaigns March On, No End in Sight

Congress is so stuck in partisan mire it hardly passes any bills these days. So it would seem unlikely it could pass anything as controversial as opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Still, two campaigns, Arctic Power and Alaska Wilderness League, remain on the job in Washington, D.C. One has been fighting for 20 years to allow oil development on the coastal plain of the refuge, the other working just as long to ensure that day never comes. Download Audio

Alaska Delegation Seeks New Limits On National Monuments

For over a hundred years, presidents have used the Antiquities Act to order permanent protections for federal land and resources at sea. Now, Alaska’s congressional delegation is looking to curb that authority. Download Audio

Libertarian Party Not Considering Murkowski for Ballot Spot

Photo and Story by Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage The Alaska Libertarian Party announced today they will not consider letting Senator Lisa Murkowski use...

What Does The Ruling On DOMA, Prop 8 Mean For Alaska?

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and sending a California same-sex marriage case back to the lower court. But the court does not affirm gay marriage as a constitutional right. Download Audio

Board of Fish Discussing Cook Inlet Salmon Issues

This week the board of fish is dealing with the contentious battles over Cook Inlet salmon. In both the Kenai and the Mat-Su Boroughs many are fighting over fish that are disappearing. Download Audio

Stevens’ Time in Office Hard to Summarize

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage Governor Sean Parnell told reporters this afternoon that he first heard of the crash and the possibility that...

Multi-partisan House majority takes shape

The newly-formed House majority is working out who will fill its committee seats. Meanwhile, the majority coalition is still trying to add more Republican members who are currently in the minority.

Lawmakers add funding for public defenders

Anchorage Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt opposed the added money. He proposed firing higher paid lawyers and replacing them with lower cost, less experienced lawyers. Listen now

Search Continues For New Major Partner For Pebble Mine

The major remaining partner in the proposed Pebble Mine said Monday that so much has already been spent on the project that it could get by with a much smaller budget next year. Download Audio