Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Gov. Dunleavy faces political, legal obstacles to enacting far-reaching budget cuts

Governor Dunleavy's power to reduce Alaska's budget only goes so far – there are legal and political obstacles that stand between the governor and his goal of a balanced budget.

For $1B Radar, It’s Clear

The Missile Defense Agency today confirmed Clear Air Station as its preferred location for a new type of radar system, called Long Range Discrimination Radar. The selection of Clear helps solidify Alaska’s role as host to the ground-based mid-course missile defense system, designed primarily to shoot down warheads from North Korea. Download Audio:

State labor economist says state policies have affected recession length

Dan Robinson, research chief for the state’s labor department, told the Senate Finance Committee that uncertainty over the size and spending of state government are contributing to Alaska’s recession.

Rep. Young Riles Indian Country With Hearings on ‘Land in Trust’ Powers

The Interior Secretary’s power to take land into trust for tribes could create pockets of Indian Country across Alaska. Tribes see it as an opportunity to police their own territory and improve village safety. Others see it as the reservation model that Alaskans rejected in the land claims settlement act 44 years ago. Outside the state, land-into-trust is controversial, too. Download Audio:

Opposition strong in Dunleavy budget testimony in Bethel

Twenty-five people came out to testify about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget to a full room in Bethel on Saturday.

Murkowski mostly neutral on Dunleavy budget, but urges full education funding

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is keeping mostly neutral on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts. She spoke about his budget on a visit to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta this past weekend. 

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.

Unangax cemetery at former WWII internment camp may be added to Funter Bay park

Alaska lawmakers are considering expanding a state park to include historic graves of Alaska Natives who were among those who died in World War II internment camps.

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 unions defiant in wake of punishing Supreme Court decision

The Janus v. AFSCME decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denies public sector unions from forcing workers to pay dues. The 5-4 ruling could affect about 10 percent of Alaska’s workforce. Listen now

Juneau’s Dennis Egan reflects on why his successor must learn to ‘get along’

Alaska Sen. Dennis Egan has spent nearly 10 years in the state Legislature representing Juneau, Haines and Skagway. But his career and legacy has been far more varied than just politics.

Senate passes bill drawing from Permanent Fund

The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would draw money from the Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for the state government’s budget. The bill also would limit Permanent Fund dividends, as well as overall amount the state can spend. Listen now

House passes fast-track bill to keep ferries and Medicaid funded through spring

The bill now goes to the Senate. It includes $45 million for Medicaid, $24 million for the ferry system and $18 million for the Department of Corrections. Listen now

Begich discusses campaign viability, ‘path forward’

Democratic candidate for Alaska Governor Mark Begich said, like many Alaskans, he was surprised by Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott’s abrupt resignation and withdrawal from the campaign. Listen now

Time for Murkowski to take a stand on Pebble? She says not yet.

Opponents of the Pebble Mine are doing all they can to get Sen. Lisa Murkowski on their side. But Murkowski is not ready to make a declaration about the mine, for or against.

Alaska lawmakers’ veto override vote fails in Juneau as protesters occupy GOP session in Wasilla

Alaska lawmakers failed Wednesday to override some $400 million in budget vetoes by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, as fewer legislators were present in Juneau than the 45 votes needed to reverse the governor.

Anchorage declares a civil emergency over looming cuts

The city is anticipating hundreds more homeless in the days and weeks ahead, taxing local emergency response resources and organizations.

Dunleavy decision on PFD could affect timing of dividend payment

If Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoes the $1,600 PFD the Legislature passed, Alaskans could receive dividends later than normal this year.

Trump’s pick for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention deemed problematic by Anchorage nonprofit

A nominee for a top position at the EPA is drawing both praise and criticism, including concerns from a non profit in Anchorage that works to raise awareness about the health affects of hazardous chemicals. Listen now

Cannabis advocates wary of Dunleavy’s Marijuana Control Board appointments

Alaska’s marijuana industry and its advocates are concerned about Governor Mike Dunleavy’s appointment of two people to the Marijuana Control Board that the advocates say could slow or halt the industry’s growth and hamper the state’s ability to regulate it.