Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Cash assistance to Alaska low income seniors faces cut

More than 11,000 elderly Alaskans would lose a cash assistance program that’s been around for nearly half a century.

Chief justice: Dunleavy has to choose a judge from the list

"The governor must appoint one of the candidates nominated by the council," the chief justice wrote, referring to the Alaska Judicial Council. The council screens applicants for judicial vacancies and sends a list to the governor. Gov. Dunleavy's decision not to select anyone for one judicial vacancy puts the state in uncharted waters.

State-sponsored raffle for public schools generates almost $1M in first year

Last year, the state established the program, allowing Alaskans to donate a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividends to the raffle. The raffle generated $976,400, and 75 percent of that -- $732,300 -- will go to schools.

Lawmakers, open meeting advocates criticize conditions for attending Dunleavy meetings

Dunleavy’s office described the events as discussions of the governor’s budget plan and amendment proposals. The next day, Americans for Prosperity Alaska posted online that it was hosting the events, along with terms and conditions for attendees.

Kreiss-Tomkins backs funding for NOAA research, Sitka harbors

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is based in Washington state. But Sitka Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins wants to see NOAA’s Alaska-focused staff, programs and assets relocated closer to home. Listen now

Dunleavy floats deep cuts, privatization of ferry system

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget director Donna Arduin says the administration is looking at privatization options for the state-run ferry system. That’s on top of a proposed budget that would cut 75 percent of the struggling ferry system’s budget.

An unusually high number of black Alaskans are running for the Legislature — and most are Republicans

As long as Alaska has been a state, its legislature has always been overwhelmingly white. Even in the most diverse areas of the state, white Alaskans have almost always been elected to serve in Juneau. However, this year's general election has an unusually high number of black Alaskans on the ballot, and most of them are running as Republicans. Listen now

Dunleavy’s proposed budget would cut $6.4 million from Southwest Alaska schools

At a public hearing on the Dillingham school's operating budget, Superintendent Jason Johnson said that Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed cuts would be "catastrophic." For now, educators in the region are sticking to the status quo.

Rep. Young named ‘chairman emeritus,’ loses power of the gavel

For most of the past 20 years, Alaska Congressman Don Young has been either a committee or subcommittee chairman. But now he wields no gavel. Listen now

Dunleavy gives budget pitch as hundreds rally outside in Anchorage

As the governor made his case for drastic changes to the state's budget, a crowd outside railed against cuts to services like education, healthcare, and the ferry system.

To stay or to go? Anchor Point parents and teachers grapple with potential school closure

Students, parents and faculty on the Kenai Peninsula are coming to grips with the reality that state cuts to education may force school closures.

After scathing audit, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority says fixes are underway

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority CEO Mike Abbott fielded questions from lawmakers during a Senate Finance Committee in Juneau Thursday.

Governor’s mid-year budget bill cuts VPSO recruitment funds

Governor Mike Dunleavy has proposed pulling back $3 million in unspent money for the VPSO program to help pay for larger Permanent Fund Dividends, among other items.

Trump’s wall could drain money from Alaska military projects

President Trump's plan to divert $3.6 billion from military construction accounts could drain money from Alaska projects.

Native Vietnam vets get another chance to claim 160 acres

Congress passed a sweeping public lands bill that includes a provision allowing Alaska Native veterans of the Vietnam War era apply for land allotments. Critics worry about a land grab.

Ferry reform effort gets a legislative boost

The effort to reform the Alaska Marine Highway System took a step forward Thursday. The House Transportation Committee voted to instruct staff to draft legislation that would establish a public corporation to take over the system. But it’s a long way from a done deal. Listen now

New House Tribal Affairs Committee aims to advance state relationships

The Alaska House has a new special committee to focus on tribal affairs. The committee will aim to advance relationships with tribes. Lawmakers spent...

Aboard Alaska’s endangered ferries, passengers fear a “giant step back in time”

Step onboard the MV LeConte, where a single trip last week showed how Southeast Alaska residents have knit the state's ferries into their lives – and how they would adapt if the ships stopped running, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy is proposing.

Alaska Legislature confirms all of Dunleavy’s commissioners

The closest votes were for Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price and Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.

Dunleavy seeks PFD back payments over three years

Alaskans who received permanent fund dividends in 2016 — and who still live in the state — would receive the back payment for 2016 this year.