Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

ISER study analyzes economic impacts of state cuts, taxes

To cut? Or tax? That is the conundrum state lawmakers are facing in the midst of a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. There are options on the table, but consensus on a fix remains elusive. A recent study looked at how different scenarios would affect Alaska's short-term economy. Listen Now

Murkowski: Alaskans ‘Scared to Death’ of Water Reg

The White House is reviewing a highly controversial EPA rule on streams and wetlands. Sen. Lisa Murkowski pressed the EPA boss on it, saying it has Alaskans from all sectors worried.

Alaska Tries To Curb Cruise Ship Kickbacks

Every summer, a million tourists pass through Southeast Alaska. It's a boon to local retailers, who rely on the extra customers to make up for slower winter months. But with lots money being spent, business can get dirty. Listen Now

Murkowski Unveils Early Education Legislation

Senator Lisa Murkowski unveiled the “Early Intervention for Graduation Success Bill” on Friday at East High School in Anchorage. Murkowski says this legislation would not introduce a new program, but would expand on dropout legislation that is already in place.

Begich Takes In About $810K During 3Q

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich took in more than $810,000 during the last quarter for his re-election bid. The Alaska Democrat reported ending the quarter, Sept. 30, with $2.4 million on hand.

How Are Alaska’s Schools Doing?

Last year, half of Alaska's schools were considered failing under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Next year, every single school – even the state's blue ribbon ones – would have gotten an "F" grade. So, Alaska decided to join dozens of other states across the country and apply for a waiver. Friday, the state Education Department has unveiled its new system for judging schools, with hopes of providing a better picture of how well the state's education system is working and where it needs to be improved. Download Audio

Walker, Mallott Sworn Into Office

It was a celebratory tone in Juneau today during the inauguration ceremony for Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott. Download Audio

Funding Cut To Kivalina School Could Pose Legal Problem For Legislature

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance committee slashed more than $40 million in state dollars from the capital budget. A rural school project the state is legally obligated to complete was among the reductions.

Congress Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

It’s been a big week for Alaska in Congress. Lawmakers removed the Alaska exemption in the Violence Against Women Act, a significant gain for advocates of tribal authority. Download Audio

NTSB Report on Wasilla Midair Crash Inconclusive

The NTSB has released a preliminary report on a January midair collision of two light planes. Download Audio

Coast Guard Gears Up for Shell’s Chukchi Season

Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft says if Shell is allowed to drill in the Chukchi Sea this summer, the Coast Guard will be there with five ships and two aircraft. But, the admiral says, nothing about the Arctic is easy. Download Audio:

Anthony Mallott Named CEO of Sealaska

A second generation of Mallotts is taking over the helm at Sealaska. The regional Native corporation’s board of directors named Anthony Mallott as president and CEO during a shareholders’ meeting Tuesday night in Anchorage. He’s the son of former CEO and long-time board member Byron Mallott, who’s running for governor as a Democrat.

Republicans Deny Allegations of Rule-Breaking in Preference Poll

Alaska’s Super Tuesday events infused the state’s Republican Party with new blood. Young voters registered in large numbers to vote in the 2012 Presidential Preference Poll and to participate in district conventions. But, many are not feeling a warm welcome from party veterans and some are even alleging rule-breaking in Super Tuesday’s process.

Congress let CHIP expire; Denali KidCare OK for now

Funding for CHIP, the low-income children's health insurance program, has expired. Several states are close to running out of money. But the Alaska Division of Health Care Services says the state has enough money to continue funding its CHIP program, called Denali KidCare, until April. Listen now

Alaska Federation of Natives Wraps Up Annual Convention

The Alaska Federation of Natives wrapped up their annual convention with the usual process of amending and voting on resolutions. The resolutions process was similar to past conventions except for the notable difference this year of candidate endorsements. Download Audio

As memories of the Exxon Valdez fade, a plea to Congress to retain the lessons learned

A group of Alaskans traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask lawmakers to renew a fund that allows the government to launch a spill response and pay compensation, even before the company at fault is held to account.

Rep. Young Celebrates 40 Years In Congress

Congressman Don Young has passed two milestones this month. Saturday he surpassed the late Senator Ted Stevens for amount of years in federal elected office. And earlier this month, he marked his 40th year since being first elected, in a special election in 1973.

Anchorage Chamber announces 2016 legislative priorities

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce this week released its legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Download Audio

Hundreds Rally in ‘Fed Up with the Feds’

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks Hundreds of people rallied in Fairbanks Wednesday to protest what they see as overreach by the federal government. ...

Scientists Say Funding Cuts Threaten State’s Tsunami Preparedness

The federal government is proposing at least a million dollar reduction in funding for tsunami programs in Alaska. The agency in charge says the cuts are necessary and won’t hurt the state’s tsunami preparedness, but some scientists and officials disagree. They say the reduction in funding will weaken Alaska’s tsunami programs and leave the state’s coastal communities at risk.