Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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The coronavirus pandemic is devastating Alaska’s budget, and it could cost you your PFD

The Legislature approved a budget last weekend that’s predicted to drain 70 percent of the cash left in the state's primary savings account. And things will be even worse without a substantial increase in the price of oil.

Why Alaska’s Rep. Don Young opposed ‘socialist’ coronavirus aid bill but would likely vote for it now

Alaska Congressman Don Young has only praise for the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. But less than three weeks ago, he derided a much smaller relief package, saying it was stuffed with "socialist" ideas.

Lawmakers approve $66.7M appropriation to run Alaska ferries

The Legislature has approved a budget that lawmakers say should keep the Alaska Marine Highway System running year-round. In the past year, cost cutting, a summer labor strike and mechanical failures resulted in months-long service gaps, both planned and unplanned, for Alaska’s ferry system.

Alaska Legislature passes budget with $1,000 PFD, no stimulus

The Alaska Legislature passed a budget over the weekend with roughly $5.4 billion in state spending. It includes funding for $1,000 Permanent Fund dividends, but no stimulus payments.

That $2.2 trillion coronavirus bill — What’s in it for Alaska?

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night passed stimulus and coronavirus relief bill. The House is likely to pass it Friday and President Trump says he’ll sign it into law. Here are some of the provisions that could help the 49th state.

Alaska Supreme Court challenges lawyers on both sides in Dunleavy recall arguments

The justices expressed some skepticism toward the arguments made by both sides.

Alaska Legislature eases unemployment insurance benefit rules, weighs other emergency measures

Both chambers passed a bill, House Bill 308, that would ease access to unemployment insurance benefits for those affected by the pandemic. The measure would eliminate the one-week waiting period for benefits. And it would raise the benefit per dependent, from $25 to $75 per week.

As Legislature looks to pass budget and coronavirus response, the dividend is major question

As the Alaska Legislature weighs passing the budget and coronavirus relief in the coming days, lawmakers are considering how to pay for them.

Alaska’s U.S. senators vote for multi-billion dollar coronavirus bill; Rep. Don Young is absent

Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan support a major stimulus bill but were critical of President Obama's stimulus bill during the Great Recession.

Dunleavy forms bipartisan team to tackle economic losses related to coronavirus

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Tuesday that his office has created an economic stabilization team that will develop a plan to help the state's economy weather the impacts of the coronavirus.

Alaska Capitol will close to the public

Lawmakers voted today to close the State Capitol to the public to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Alaska Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux charged with voter misconduct

Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, wraps up debate on House Bill 126 relating to a code of military justice, Feb. 3, 2016....

Former Alaska Senate President Pete Kelly registers as a lobbyist

Kelly represents the Fairbanks Economic Development Corp. And he’ll also be doing work for clients of the Mulder Co., run by lobbyist Eldon Mulder.

Alaska Legislature quickly passes state funding for coronavirus response

On the same day that Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed an emergency disaster declaration in order to free up resources to help the state prepare for coronavirus, the Alaska Legislature voted on Wednesday to approve $4.1 million in state funding to respond to coronavirus.

Group says Alaska isn’t meeting commitment to fund rural schools

In June, Dunleavy vetoed half of the money the Legislature budgeted for rural schools. The Coalition for Education Equity of Alaska asked the governor to reverse the veto last July.

Lawmakers crafting plan to end session if coronavirus comes to Juneau

The Legislative Council formed an emergency response preparedness subcommittee Tuesday that would develop a plan for an early adjournment of the session.

Alaska Legislature restricts travel and state imposes out-of-state travel ban and freezes hiring

The state has instituted a freeze on hiring new state workers, and has suspended all out-of-state travel for state workers.

Alaska state Rep. Eastman loses committee seats, may lose caucus position

Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman has been removed from his committee positions, and his status in the House minority caucus is uncertain

Alaska House passes budget bill with speed unseen since ’93

This is the earliest the House has passed a budget since at least 1993. The bill doesn’t include money for Permanent Fund dividends. House leaders say PFDs will be addressed in a later bill.

LISTEN: Legends of the last great race are here to celebrate Iditarod 2020

What can we expect from this year's field of racers? How have trail conditions and sled designs changed over the decades? And who's trail stories are the most…hellacious? It's all about the Iditarod when race icons Jeff King and DeeDee Jonrowe join us.