Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Governor’s top staff directed Alaska’s rollback of PFAS regulations

The Dunleavy administration’s decision to defer to the EPA over safe levels of PFAS chemicals in drinking water came at the direction of the governor’s top aides. That’s according to dozens of redacted emails released following records requests.

Have Alaska’s US lawmakers read the Mueller report? We asked.

You can get an “I read the Mueller Report” button for bragging rights. But no one in Alaska’s congressional delegation can rightfully wear that button. Not yet, anyway.

Murkowski ‘not inclined to be supportive’ of Trump’s Mexico tariff

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says her Republican colleagues are not happy with President Trump’s plan to impose a 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico.

Bill to fund full, $3,000 PFD fails narrowly in state Senate

The bill would require an additional $1.3 billion in combined cuts to state spending and savings.

Alaskans weigh in over Carnival Corporation’s deal with federal prosecutors

As Carnival Corporation executives appeared Monday in a federal courtroom in Miami to answer for felony probation violations, Southeast Alaskans penned letters to the court urging the judge to take tough action.

Bill would provide $1,600 PFD, with aim of growing fund

Senate Bill 1002 would allow state spending on the dividend to stay within the mandates of a law passed last year that aims to allow the fund to grow by keeping draws from fund earnings at a sustainable level.

Dunleavy taps former aide for vacant Board of Fish seat

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has tapped his former legislative aide to serve on the Board of Fisheries. Matanuska-Susitna Borough resident John Wood is largely unknown by fishing groups.

Attorney General Barr says ‘very basics of public safety are lacking in the villages’

The visit to Western Alaska continues Barr's tour of the state, meeting with public officials and Alaska Native leaders to discuss public safety, the lack of law enforcement in rural communities and how the federal government can help.

Dunleavy calls for state budget, while senators discuss separate PFD bill

Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent a message to state workers Wednesday afternoon, saying layoff notices would go out if the Legislature hasn’t passed a budget by June 14.

‘Enough is enough’: Attorney General Barr hears from Native leaders about rural justice problems

Barr will spend four days traveling around Alaska, learning about the unique challenges rural areas, particularly villages, face.

Senate sends criminal justice bill to Dunleavy’s desk

Rep. Adam Wool, D-Fairbanks, speaks during a House floor session on March 11. Wool was one of two representatives who voted...

Alaska Legislature prepares to sue governor over school funding

Lawmakers say they hope a lawsuit won’t be needed. But lawyers for the Legislature and the Dunleavy administration differ on whether a law passed last year can provide funding for next school year.

Can ‘Indian country’ powers combat violence in rural Alaska? Sullivan says he’ll discuss it with AG Barr.

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is coming to Alaska this week. Sen. Dan Sullivan said he will focus on rural law enforcement, particularly for the more than 70 Alaska villages that have no police officers.

Marine Highway cuts could mean trouble for aspiring Susitna Valley ranchers

In the Northern Susitna Valley, things like the Alaska Marine Highway System don’t often come high on the priority list, but for one family, cuts to the state’s ferry system could have a significant impact on their new business.

Bill aims to make health care coverage for school districts cheaper

House Bill 156 would allow municipalities, University of Alaska employees and school districts to opt-in to the state’s health care program.

Kake tribe urges renaming Saginaw Bay over ‘Kake War’ connection

The body of water off Kuiu Island was named for the U.S. warship that laid waste to three Tlingit villages near present-day Kake in 1869.

Dunleavy says second special session could happen on the road system, listing Mat-Su as an option

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s office is considering sites in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and elsewhere on the road system for a possible second special session.

A judge blocked a Trump plan for a controversial road through an Alaska wildlife refuge. Now the administration is appealing.

Lawyers for the Trump administration are appealing a decision by federal judge Sharon Gleason that blocked a land exchange that was supposed to lead to construction of a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge on the Alaska Peninsula.

As budget debate draws out, a deadline for state layoff notices approaches

It’s not clear that lawmakers will be able to resolve differences over PFDs by the June 3 deadline to provide layoff notices — or in time to avoid a state government shutdown on July 1.

Negotiations sour on tribal child welfare agreement

The agreement, which was signed in 2017 by then-Gov. Bill Walker, is being renegotiated by tribal organizations and the Dunleavy administration. The compact gives tribes more control over children’s welfare.