Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Working group seeks a path forward on PFDs amid heated debate

Working group members say they want the committee’s work to help end the annual legislative fights over permanent fund dividends.

Mat-Su Borough to leave Alaska Municipal League

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is planning to leave the Alaska Municipal League at the end of June. That's after Assembly members voted to zero-out funding for membership in the organization earlier this month.

EPA officials visit Dillingham to gather opinions on Pebble Mine

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency came from Washington, D.C., and Seattle to meet with fishers and community organizations.

Alaskans push for acceptance of walrus ivory, but there’s an elephant in the room

Federal law prohibits sales of African elephant ivory, but six states have now banned the sale of ivory more broadly. That has repercussions for Alaska Native ivory carvers, who use tusks from legally hunted walrus.

Dunleavy: Wasilla special session will be focused on PFD, capital budget can come later

Dunleavy held a press conference Friday in front of Wasilla Middle School, his recommended venue for the session. He says while there is still work to be done on the capital budget, the dividend is his priority for this session.

Border senators urge more oversight from B.C. in transboundary mining

U.S. senators from Alaska and three other border states have written to British Columbia’s premier expressing concern over transboundary mining.

Murkowski differs with Trump on campaign help from foreign powers

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was not happy to hear President Trump say he would accept foreign intel on a political opponent.

Dunleavy calls for round two in Wasilla after Alaska Legislature adjourns first special session

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has called for a second special session to be hosted in Wasilla next month. The session’s agenda is limited to PFD funding.

Why fishermen are mailing corks to Murkowski

Bristol Bay fishermen who oppose the Pebble Mine are adding an unusual task to their pre-season chores: They’re writing messages on cork floats and mailing them to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Vote to draw from state savings account to pay for capital projects falls short

With large differences remaining over permanent fund dividends, that means the special session will likely end Thursday or Friday with more work left to do.

State employees anxious as government shutdown threat looms

A state operating budget is now on its way to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s desk. The question is whether it will be enough to prevent a government shutdown on July 1.

$20M state grant released to Alaska schools, but future funding remains unclear

School districts across Alaska are looking forward to a bump in their bank accounts from a $20M grant appropriated last year. But the overall outlook for state education spending is far from clear.

As the Alaska Legislature fights over the budget, a decades-old accounting quirk takes on new importance

At Alaska’s state Capitol this week, there’s a lot of talk about something called “the sweep.” What is it, and why is it such a big deal this year?

Capital budget, Power Cost Equalization, college scholarships are caught in PFD debate

If an amendment to the capital budget to pay full permanent fund dividends isn’t successful, the Republican House minority leader expects there won’t be enough votes to draw from the Constitutional Budget Reserve.

Alaska Senate sends budget to governor without PFDs

It’s not clear how deeply Gov. Mike Dunleavy will cut using the line-item veto. Medicaid, the university and school bond debt reimbursement are the areas with the biggest increases over what he proposed.

Alaska House passes compromise budget, leaving action on PFD to Senate

If the Senate passes the budget bill on Monday as expected, it would go to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s desk later this week. If he signs it, it would avoid a state government shutdown on July 1.

Budget deadlock could delay Medicaid payments to health care providers

Health care advocates said nursing homes and behavioral health providers are among those who may not have large cash reserves to cover costs during a delay.

Pioneer Home residents fight ‘preposterous’ rate increase

A proposal to more than double the monthly costs for most residents in Alaska’s Pioneer Homes met with stiff opposition during recent public testimony on the issue.

US House calls for more research on ocean acidification

The change in ocean chemistry is alarming to subsistence communities and the fishing industry.

PFD rally brings out governor’s ardent Mat-Su supporters

Governor Mike Dunleavy held a rally Thursday night in Wasilla in support of a Permanent Fund Dividend amount that adheres to the law established in 1982. There was no vocal opposition to Dunleavy from the crowd.