Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Ballot initiative to move Alaska Legislature’s meetings clears early hurdle

After the sponsors get some official documents, they’ll have one year to collect more than 28,000 qualified signatures to put the question to voters in 2020.

Rep. Young shoves reporter on way to VAWA vote

Congressman Don Young has apologized for shoving a female reporter at the U.S. Capitol today. He was on his way to vote for the Violence Against Women Act.

Lawmakers amend budget to stop reimbursing municipalities for school bond debt

The House Finance Committee voted Wednesday for an amendment that would stop the state from reimbursing municipalities for existing school bond debt.

Alaska aims to be first state receiving federal Medicaid funding as a block grant

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told President Donald Trump in a letter dated March 1 that top federal Medicaid official Seema Verma has urged Alaska to be the first state to receive Medicaid dollars as a block grant.

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. 

Upper Cook Inlet fishermen take issue with Dunleavy Board of Fish appointee

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced four appointments to the Alaska Board of Fisheries Monday. One of Dunleavy’s picks has served on the board in the past and is likely to go through a heated confirmation process.

Aboard Alaska’s endangered ferries, passengers fear a “giant step back in time”

Step onboard the MV LeConte, where a single trip last week showed how Southeast Alaska residents have knit the state's ferries into their lives – and how they would adapt if the ships stopped running, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing.

Bill would extend moratorium on state reimbursing municipalities for school bonds

The state stopped covering 60%-70% of new school bonds beginning in 2015. This moratorium is scheduled to end next year; North Pole Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson has sponsored a bill to keep the moratorium in place.

Anchorage keeps liberal-leaning Assembly, says no to alcohol tax in initial municipal results

In unofficial results for Tuesday’s Municipal election in Anchorage, two Anchorage Assembly members handily won reelection, while three new faces will join the local municipal body.

Lawsuit seeks to eliminate Medicaid application backlog

The Alaska Division of Public Assistance director says the backlog has been shrinking recently, including a large decrease in the past month.

Most Dunleavy budget cuts face legal, political obstacles

With most of the budget, if the Legislature decides to fund more than what the governor wants, he can use his line-item veto to remove the money. But not in the case of the school funds.

Judge deals blow to King Cove road

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason has thrown out the Interior Department's land exchange agreement for the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, a deal intended to allow for a road to connect King Cove to Cold Bay.

Alaska state senators say PFD formula could be changed

Splitting the draw from permanent fund earnings between government and dividends would make dividends more predictable.

Interior secretary nominee faces jabs over prior lobbying work

David Bernhardt has a lot of experience at the Interior Department. He has also represented the oil industry as a lawyer and lobbyist, and that drew a masked troll to his confirmation hearing Thursday.

Nome woman arrested after confronting Dunleavy at airport

During Governor Mike Dunleavy's visit to Nome yesterday, which was one of his scheduled “roadshow” stops around the state, he was greeted at the airport by Brenda Evak, who was ultimately taken away in handcuffs for alleged disorderly conduct.

Opposition strong in Dunleavy budget testimony in Bethel

Twenty-five people came out to testify about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget to a full room in Bethel on Saturday.

Alaska House subcommittees propose much smaller cuts than those in Dunleavy’s budget

The House Finance subcommittees have proposed a total of $47 million in reductions from the portion of the current budget the Legislature controls.

Dunleavy gives budget pitch as hundreds rally outside in Anchorage

As the governor made his case for drastic changes to the state's budget, a crowd outside railed against cuts to services like education, healthcare, and the ferry system.

Which Native voices? On Arctic Refuge, lawmakers practice selective listening

It's all about who you ignore. Rep. Don Young told his colleagues to disregard the anti-drilling Gwich'in witnesses while pro-development Inupiat witnesses accuse Democrats of erasing them from the land that's been their home for thousands of years.

On Talk of Alaska, Dunleavy takes calls on budget cuts, taxes

Gov. Mike Dunleavy fielded questions about his budget proposal and plan for Alaska’s fiscal future during an appearance on Alaska Public Media’s statewide call-in show Talk of Alaska Tuesday morning.