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.

As his crime bills languish, Gov. Dunleavy renews the idea of a special session

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, at a news conference Monday, again suggested he could order Alaska lawmakers into a special session unless they start advancing his batch of criminal justice bills.

As memories of the Exxon Valdez fade, a plea to Congress to retain the lessons learned

A group of Alaskans traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask lawmakers to renew a fund that allows the government to launch a spill response and pay compensation, even before the company at fault is held to account.

New icebreaker won’t have much time for the Arctic, says Coast Guard boss

The Coast Guard expects to launch the first of three new icebreakers in 2024, but don't expect to see much of it in Alaska.

Last year, local governments shelled out $2.6 million for ‘ears on the ground’ in Alaska’s capital

At least $2.6 million in public money went to state lobbyists in 2018. That’s Alaska cities, boroughs and school districts hiring private contractors to represent them in the state capital.

Walker Wins Primary … For Libertarian Senate Nomination

Walker had been a registered Republican until this spring. He hasn't campaigned or raised any money. He hasn't even joined the Alaska Libertarian Party Facebook page. So, when Walker got 2,600 votes – more than Fish and Kohlhaas combined – it was not expected. Download Audio:

Lawmakers add funding for public defenders

Anchorage Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt opposed the added money. He proposed firing higher paid lawyers and replacing them with lower cost, less experienced lawyers. Listen now
Insurance will give SEARHC members more flexibility in health care and generate revenue for the Native medical organization. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

SEARHC to Receive $53 Million Settlement from Federal Government

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will receive a $53 million settlement from Indian Health Service for about fifteen years of unpaid contract costs. Now SEARHC president and CEO Charles Clement hopes the federal agency will continue to pay its bills. Download Audio

Coin toss could determine control of Alaska House

Election workers are scheduled to audit the remaining absentee ballots Nov. 23. If the vote count is still tied after that, then there will be a recount.

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.

Kenai and Sitka newspapers misreported voter eligibility before primary

Fewer than 100 votes could have made the difference in two races in the Kenai area. Listen now 

House deadlock persists after Knopp votes for himself for speaker

Rep. Gary Knopp said on the House floor that he committed to being the 21st vote for a Republican nominee, but he didn’t say which one. He then voted for himself to become speaker.

Alaska GOP Gov. Dunleavy disbands state climate response team

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has formally disbanded the task force formed by his predecessor to guide the state's response to global warming.

Murkowski explains why she’ll vote to cancel Trump’s emergency

"One can be for border security ... and at the same time question whether the administration has overreached in using the National Emergencies Act in the way that it has,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski said on the Senate floor.

Bill seeks to require jail time in cases similar to 2018 Justin Schneider assault

Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche, the bill sponsor, says the measure would prevent a case like that of Justin Schneider from happening again.

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.

What’s up with the Mat-Su, and why is it steering Alaska’s politics?

Over the last several decades, the population of the Matanuska and Susitna valleys has grown dramatically. With that boom has come political power — and the rise of a particular brand of conservatism.

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.

Permanent fund dividend amount to be a focus in session’s closing days

The size of permanent fund dividends will be at the center of talks between the House, the Senate and Governor Mike Dunleavy as the Legislature aims to end its session on Wednesday. The House Speaker said the politically diverse House majority caucus remains united behind being responsible with the budget.