Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Fairbanks City Council approves ‘cannabis cafes’

The Fairbanks City Council voted Monday to allow consumption of marijuana at authorized cannabis shops in town.

Here are the five biggest issues to be resolved on Alaska’s state budget

The budget conference committee is aiming to finish its work in time for the House and Senate to pass the budget by the scheduled end of the session on May 15.
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Anchorage adopts Climate Action Plan

With more than 100 pages, the document sets ambitious goals, like reducing the city's carbon emissions by 80 percent within about 30 years.

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:

Walker Will Not Run As A Write-In Candidate

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau Bill Walker says he will not continue his gubernatorial bid. He says finishing second in the...

Alaska’s Medicaid and public assistance backlog is 20,000 people deep

The House Finance Committee voted in favor of hiring 41 people to reduce the backlog. “The morale in that department is not good,” said Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage. 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

Tlingit, Haida Get Federal Funds to Expand Tribal Court

The U.S. Justice Department has awarded the Tlingit and Haida Central Council nearly $900,000 to expand tribal court services.

As the Alaska Legislature fights over the budget, a decades-old accounting quirk takes on new importance

At Alaska’s state Capitol this week, there’s a lot of talk about something called “the sweep.” What is it, and why is it such a big deal this year?

In the Alaska village where ANWR is the backyard, many see drilling as an opportunity

Many of the Alaska Native residents of Kaktovik, the one small village inside the refuge, see oil development as an opportunity -- though some remain deeply skeptical.

Alaska Legislature sues governor over validity of school funding law

The dispute is over a law enacted last year and signed by former Gov. Bill Walker. The law sought to provide school funding for both last school year and the coming year.

Updated budget requests would fund earthquake relief, cut school funds

One request includes cutting $20 million for public schools that lawmakers agreed to as part of the budget deal last spring.

Kreiss-Tomkins backs funding for NOAA research, Sitka harbors

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is based in Washington state. But Sitka Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins wants to see NOAA’s Alaska-focused staff, programs and assets relocated closer to home. Listen now

Dunleavy floats deep cuts, privatization of ferry system

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget director Donna Arduin says the administration is looking at privatization options for the state-run ferry system. That’s on top of a proposed budget that would cut 75 percent of the struggling ferry system’s budget.

An unusually high number of black Alaskans are running for the Legislature — and most are Republicans

As long as Alaska has been a state, its legislature has always been overwhelmingly white. Even in the most diverse areas of the state, white Alaskans have almost always been elected to serve in Juneau. However, this year's general election has an unusually high number of black Alaskans on the ballot, and most of them are running as Republicans. Listen now

Dunleavy’s proposed budget would cut $6.4 million from Southwest Alaska schools

At a public hearing on the Dillingham school's operating budget, Superintendent Jason Johnson said that Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed cuts would be "catastrophic." For now, educators in the region are sticking to the status quo.

Enviro group says Interior hid gaps in ANWR science

An environmental group has published 18 leaked memos by government scientists that outline gaps in knowledge about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The public comment period for oil and gas lease sales in the refuge ends Thursday.

Pebble CEO emphasizes mining project’s changes at legislative meeting

Pebble CEO Tom Collier says the organization has addressed concerns raised about the initial project in the most recent permit application.

State DHSS suspends thousands of senior benefits payments

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has suspended payments for some recipients of the state’s Senior Benefits Program due to a lack of funding.

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.