Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

BBNA Preparing Transit System Plan

The Bristol Bay Native Association is getting ready to plan a transit system for Bristol Bay. BBNA officials say the service could link people who live in Southwest Alaska’s outlying villages to regional hubs like Dillingham for work, medical care and other services.

Kenai school district seeks input on potential cuts

With the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District facing an expected $3 million — or more — hole in its budget next year, it’s turning to the public for ideas.

Alaskans Testify On Governor’s Medicaid Expansion Bill

Lawmakers took public testimony for the first time Thursday on Governor Bill Walker's bill to expand Medicaid. The public spoke during the last 30 minutes of the House Health and Social Services committee's hearing on HB 148. Download Audio

Groups Hail Court Ruling On Lease Sale Reviews

The Alaska Supreme Court is standing behind a decision it issued last spring, affirming that the state must consider cumulative impacts of exploration and development as it reviews oil and gas leases. Opposing sides in the case have differing views on the significance of the decision. Download Audio

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.

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

At crucial moment, Denali Commission faces leadership gap

The top job at the federal agency tasked with coordinating help for Alaska villages threatened by climate change will soon be vacant. Listen now

Arctic Priorities Questioned on Eve of U.S. Chairmanship

The United States assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council next week, kicking off a two-year window to assert American priorities in the region. The U.S. and other member nations have committed to making the Arctic a “zone of peace.” But now, some Arctic watchers wonder if the U.S. needs to add an item to its Arctic priority list: get tough with Russia. Download Audio

VA Secretary outlines new facilities and funds planned for Alaska

The federal veterans affairs agency plans major expansion in Alaska.

Bob Penney spent more than $300,000 to get Gov. Dunleavy elected. Then his grandson got an $8,000-a-month no-bid contract.

Clark Penney's company, Penney Capital, was hired to help a Dunleavy administration initiative to bring new businesses to Alaska and expand existing ones. Officials justified the no-bid contract by citing its urgency and Penney's experience working with wealthy investors.

Skagway mayoral election too close to call

The results of Tuesday’s special mayoral election in Skagway are too close to call.

Legislators defy Dunleavy, announce Juneau as special session location

Legislative leaders say the floor sessions would be held at the Capitol in Juneau, while most of the meetings would be in Anchorage at the Legislative Information Office.

What’s next for the legislature after narrowly avoiding a shutdown?

The Legislature avoided a state government shutdown by passing an operating budget on Thursday, eight days before the deadline. But they haven’t addressed the capital budget, or other important issues facing the state’s future. Listen now

Save Our Schools Rallying Cry Heard On Capitol Steps

Holding signs saying “Kids! Not Cuts” and “Vouchers Hurt Public Schools,” about 200 people packed the Alaska Capitol steps for a “Save our Schools” rally yesterday afternoon. Download Audio

Late bill amendment allows distillery cocktails to continue

The Alaska Legislature gave distilleries the green light to continue serving cocktails last week. Listen now

Anchorage Man Charged With Stealing Drugs While Serving As A Pennsylvania Judge

Last year, Paul Pozonsky resigned from his position as a hearings officer for the state Department of Labor following an inquiry his residency status. The situation was odd for a number of reasons. For one, there were questions about whether Pozonsky landed the job because of his family's political connections in Alaska. Then, there was the fact that he was being investigated by a grand jury in Pennsylvania for actions he took while he was a judge there. Now, that investigation is complete, and Pozonsky is facing trial for allegedly stealing cocaine that was being used as evidence in cases that the presided over. Download Audio

Bethel businesses submit new round of liquor license applications

The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is considering two liquor license applications for Bethel next week: one for a package liquor store for Bethel Native Corporation’s subsidiary Bethel Spirits LLC and another for Fili’s Pizza restaurant.

Governor May Find Less Opposition in House, But Senate Remains Much the Same

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau Governor Parnell will still have to get his own, new agenda through the legislature next year.  As Dave Donaldson...

Are big energy projects the solution for Alaska’s budget crisis?

What's the prognosis for big energy projects in Alaska? Shell's abandoned the Arctic and state lawmakers are about to duke it out over an expensive new natural gas line. We'll dig into fossil fuel projects. Is the proposed gas line a real solution for the state's budget crisis or CPR on a flailing economy? APRN: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 at 10:00am Download Audio

Alaska Exports Top $5 Billion In 2011

Last year, Alaskan exports topped $5 billion for the first time. Governor Sean Parnell made the announcement Monday based on a final tally of exported goods from last January through November.