Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

NASA Wraps Up ICESCAPE Mission

NASA may be shutting down its manned space flight program, but it’s increasing its presence in a place that’s almost as foreign to most humans – the Arctic. The agency is wrapping up its first oceanographic mission, ICESCAPE.

Update: Knopp votes against Republican Talerico for speaker as House stalemate continues

After holding out for a bipartisan majority for nearly a month, Kenai Republican Rep. Gary Knopp says he’s “not at all optimistic, but we’ve got to move forward at this point.”

Lawmakers Anticipating Fewer Capital Projects, Savings Withdrawals

On Thursday, the Alaska State Senate passed its operating budget, and it’s slightly smaller than the one proposed by Governor Sean Parnell. Parnell hopes to see more budgets like that in the future. He’s proposed a five-year commitment to keep state general fund spending at $6.8 billion. Combined with his oil tax plan, the proposal could mean a combination of belt-tightening measures and big withdrawals from Alaska’s savings accounts. Download Audio

Chief Justice Carpeneti Announces Retirement

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter "Bud" Carpeneti of Juneau has announced his retirement, effective January 31, 2013. Carpeneti was appointed to the state superior court in Juneau in 1981 by Governor Jay Hammond. Voters retained him in that position three times - in 1986, 1992, and 1998. Governor Tony Knowles appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1998. He was retained by voters in 2002.

Lawmakers Make Tentative Deal On Education Bill

Negotiators from the State House and Senate have reached a deal on the governor’s education bill, and it includes a mix of permanent and one-time funding increases. Download Audio

NPS Finalizes Land Acquisition Plan For Lake Clark National Park

The National Park Service is finalizing its strategy for future land acquisitions in and around Lake Clark National Park. The park’s first final Land Protection Plan should be finished in July. Download Audio

Court Hears Arguments On Contested Chitina Dipnet Fishery

The Alaska Supreme Court heard arguments in Fairbanks on Monday in a case involving the contested status of the Chitina dipnet fishery.

Walker ‘doubtful’ he will ask legislature for more funding for gas line

The governor said he's not likely to ask the legislature for more money for the project once current funding dries up. Listen now

Walker bill aims to curb opioid epidemic

A new bill is aimed at curbing opioid addiction and overdose deaths. The bill lets patients tell health care providers and hospitals to not give them opioids. It also requires health care providers receive training in opioid addiction. Listen now

Most Elections Find Challengers as Election Lists Close

Most of the uncontested races from last week had disappeared by Friday’s filing deadline – as 149 candidates decided to put their names on the ballot for the party primary elections in August and the general election in November.

Elders and Youth Conference Kicks Off In Anchorage

The 30th annual Elders and Youth conference began Monday in Anchorage. The conference is held each year at the beginning of the same week as the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. The gathering is an opportunity for youth to discuss an array of issues relevant to Alaska Natives with support from their elders. Download Audio

Shell Concludes Exploratory Drilling Operations In Arctic Ocean

Shell Oil must stop its drilling operation in the Arctic Ocean by midnight. The Department of Interior established Oct. 31 as the deadline for drilling to prevent any possible disaster from sea ice. Environmental groups call this year’s drilling season was a failure.

Alaska’s governor-elect makes key appointments

Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy’s cabinet is taking shape with several key positions announced Monday. Only one has worked for a state government.

Education Bill Boosts Juneau Community Charter School

The Juneau Community Charter School is getting a 56 percent increase to its budget through an upcoming change in state law. New mandates in House Bill 278 give charter schools more parity with other public schools. Download Audio

Coast Guard Trains for More Arctic Traffic

As the arctic sea ice pulls back and more shipping, research and other vessels ply the opened-up waters, the U.S. Coast Guard is trying to beef up its arctic presence.

Walker faces possible legal opposition for PFD cuts

Anchorage Democratic Senator Bill Wielechowski wants the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation to defy Gov. Bill Walker’s veto roughly halving this year’s dividends. Listen now

Air Traffic Controller Furloughs Begin

Alaska travelers haven't experienced delays Lower 48 travelers are enduring because of air traffic controller furloughs. Sunday marked the first day of the furloughs which are part of the Federal Aviation Administration's plan to cut 5 percent from their budget as a result of sequestration. Download Audio

The North Slope puzzle: more gas means less oil

A presentation from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission reminded lawmakers that taking natural gas from Prudhoe Bay will mean producing less oil.

Bethel City Council Investigation Sent to District Attorney’s Office

Officials are not speaking about the recent referral of the Bethel City Council’s investigation into contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues to the District Attorney’s office.

Governor Appoints Campbell to Head Fish and Game

Associated Press Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is appointing adviser Cora Campbell to head the state Fish and Game Department. Campbell has been acting commissioner since Dec....