Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

House holds meeting on Alaska’s struggling ferry system

Lawmakers in the Alaska House of Representatives called an informal hearing on the state of the state’s ferry system.

Tourism, courts, pensions, oil tax credits: Where Alaska Gov. Dunleavy wants to spend more cash

Dunleavy is proposing to increase spending on a handful of projects and programs. They represent some of the governor's core priorities, like public safety and criminal justice, along with non-negotiable obligations, like the system that pays pensions to retired teachers and other public employees.

Senior aide to Rep. Young lands BLM job

A long-time aide of Congressman Don Young has been selected to head the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska.

Lawmakers want to know more about economic impact of state budget proposal

Alaska lawmakers still face a lot of uncertainty as they decide how deeply to cut funding for government services and permanent fund dividends — or whether to reopen a debate on taxes.

Medicaid cuts, while aimed at access, still raise concerns

As Gov. Mike Dunleavy seeks to close a $1.6 billion budget gap, the administration looked to Medicaid, where it could cut a lot of costs: $249 million.

Lawmakers seek competitive contract to run psychiatric institute

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz said the department didn’t provide enough information to Chief Procurement Officer Jason Soza for him to be able to adequately review the contract, which would pay Wellpath $225 million over five years.

Sitka and Juneau elect new mayors in municipal elections

Communities across the state elected new mayors and enacted new measures in local municipal elections yesterday. Listen now

Big win for Murkowski: Public lands bill passes Senate

The U.S. Senate today passed a massive public lands bill, and to the delight of its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the vote was overwhelming.

Two veterans of Alaska politics land contract jobs with Gov. Dunleavy

Two veterans of Alaska politics have signed contracts to work with GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and one of them is maintaining ownership of her...

Effort to ban liquor sales in Bethel fails

A ballot measure to impose a complete ban on alcohol sales in Bethel under the state's local option law has failed in a close vote, according to unofficial election results. Listen now

Murkowski’s public lands bill becomes law

President Trump has signed into law a massive public lands bill that Sen. Lisa Murkowski has spent years compiling and negotiating.

US Supreme Court rules in favor of Sturgeon, limiting NPS jurisdiction of state-owned rivers

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the state controls rivers running through Alaska’s federal conservation lands.

Ocean Rangers log potential cruise pollution, face axe by lawmakers

Over the past two years Alaska’s on-board cruise ship inspectors called Ocean Rangers have documented a pattern of potentially serious water pollution. But there’s been no apparent action by regulators, and Gov. Dunleavy’s administration wants to get rid of the program.

Schools push back on proposed midyear budget cut

While school districts may have already spent money they counted on the state sending them later, the state’s new budget director says they shouldn’t have.

Alaska’s US senators veer apart on shutdown votes

Two competing bills to end the partial government shutdown both fizzled. Alaska's senators took different tacks.

Rep. Young sponsors bill to bring back deported vets

The "Repatriate Our Patriots" bill would allow honorably discharged veterans to return to the U.S. as permanent residents and apply for citizenship.

Gov. Dunleavy opens door to megaprojects with order

Gov. Mike Dunleavy rescinded seven administrative orders last week enacted by his predecessor, Bill Walker. They include an order that halted state spending on six infrastructure projects.

Here’s what you need to know before voting in the August primary

Voting may seem simple enough. You head to your precinct, fill out your ballot and feed it through a machine, but the scenarios election workers face at the polls can get a lot more complicated. Alaska Public Media headed to a poll worker training in Anchorage to learn the ins and outs of voting in Alaska ahead of the August primary. Listen now

Murkowski votes to block Trump’s emergency; Sullivan votes opposite

Alaska's U.S. senators split on the vote Thursday to block President Trump's declaration of an emergency. If Trump prevails with a veto, Alaska could lose military construction projects as money is diverted to build a wall on the southern border.

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.