Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Emmonak votes to keep alcohol and remain ‘damp’

Voters in the Western Alaska community of Emmonak have narrowly decided to continue restricted alcohol sales and remain a so-called "damp" community under local option laws.

Navy plans to be more active in the Arctic

As part of an increased presence in the Arctic, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said he'd like to send a ship through the Northwest Passage this summer.

Dunleavy administration pick for $94,000-a-year labor relations manager comes without labor relations experience

Jared Goecker started as the state’s labor relations manager last month – a job that includes helping to supervise negotiation of union contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. His boss said she interviewed several candidates for the job and that Goecker was the best fit.

Democrats on US House committee move anti-drilling ANWR bill

A bill to close the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling cleared the House Resources Committee Wednesday. The bill is unlikely to become law, but the session offered Congress members a chance to argue their case, and some did so loudly.

Senate passes budget that ignores most of Dunleavy’s cuts

On a 19-1 vote, the Alaska Senate approved a budget with a $3,000 dividend — and a $1.2 billion gap between what it spends and what it makes.

House Fisheries urges pressure on B.C. over transboundary mining

A legislative committee heard from mine critics on both sides of the border during a Tuesday hearing in Juneau. It’s part of an effort to pressure British Columbia to tighten its mining regulations to reduce the threat of pollution from transboundary mines.

Dunleavy administration being sued for withholding $20M in education funding

The Dunleavy administration is being sued by education nonprofit Coalition for Education Equity over his refusal to release $20 million in funds that were delegated to public schools last year by the Legislature. 

House committees take different approach on crime bills

House members have brought different ideas on addressing crime to the House Judiciary and House Finance committees.

Senate bill to change PFD formula advances

Senate Bill 103 would split the annual draw from permanent fund earnings evenly between dividends and state government.

Mine opponents ask SEC to investigate Pebble’s parent company

Two groups allege Northern Dynasty Minerals has described a massive deposit to potential investors while Pebble's permit application describes a mine barely a tenth that size.
Marijuana for sale at a dispensary in California. (Photo: Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons)

Pot could leave black mark on immigration cases

Federal immigration authorities issued a “policy alert” about cannabis. It's causing a stir among Alaska immigration attorneys and exposes a gulf between federal policy and Alaska values on what constitutes “good moral character.” 

Legislature considers plastic bag ban

The state legislature is considering a ban on plastic shopping bags.

Interior delays offshore drilling plan, citing judge’s decision

The Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic and throughout U.S. coastal waters is on indefinite hold.

Survey: Southeast business leaders pan Dunleavy budget priorities

A questionnaire sent to business leaders across Southeast Alaska found deep misgivings over the governor’s approach to balancing the budget.
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Amid Anchorage budget adjustment, state actions loom large

In discussions over first-quarter budget revisions, a lot Anchorage's financial future depends on decisions from legislators in Juneau.

Two tribes, Dunleavy at odds over tribal sovereignty

Two tribes say that Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his administration aren’t doing enough to consult with their leaders on big issues facing the state.

Proposed agriculture funding cuts would hurt ‘state’s ability to feed itself,’ farmers say

Alaskan farmers say the state gets a big bang for the small buck the state provides to agriculture. That’s why they say big cuts like those proposed by Governor Mike Dunleavy would inflict serious, long-term harm to the industry.

Lawmakers urge Dunleavy to engage B.C. over transboundary mining

State lawmakers from both the House and Senate are urging the Dunleavy administration to continue the state’s engagement with British Columbia over pollution threats from transboundary mining.

State ends Wellpath contract to run psychiatric institute, could open up contract for bids

The company will continue to work at the facility through December. The state also has hired a contractor to study whether it makes sense to privatize API.

As Capitol reporters dwindle, Alaska lawmakers grapple with rise of political blogs

The newest member of the Alaska Capitol press corps isn't your average reporter -- he once made the news for posing for photos in a Speedo. But he's one of a growing number of political bloggers who are trying to fill in gaps left by Alaska's shrinking mainstream media.