Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

To Fund Lobbying Effort, Sex Worker Advocates Turns To Internet

Smart watches, movies, even potato salad -- all these things have found success with crowdfunding. Now Terra Burns wants to see if Internet users will pay for her to travel to Juneau and advocate on behalf of sex workers.

Division of Elections director resigns at Lt. Governor’s request

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has asked the state's Division of Elections director Gail Fenumiai to resign. Claire Richardson is special assistant to Mallott. She says they accepted Fenumiai's resignation on Friday. Download Audio

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.

Lack of Rural Veterinary Care Addressed In Legislature

The lack of veterinary care in rural Alaska is a public health issue, but the solution isn’t to lower standards for veterinarians. That was the message the House Labor and Commerce committee heard earlier this week on House Bill 251.

Alaska Legislature sues governor over validity of school funding law

The dispute is over a law enacted last year and signed by former Gov. Bill Walker. The law sought to provide school funding for both last school year and the coming year.

Walker Adds More Commissioners To Cabinet

Gov. Bill Walker has decided to keep on two acting commissioners, and appoint one new one. Download Audio

Governor signs $1,600 PFD, says third special session would focus on full dividend

For the second time, Dunleavy vetoed funding to reimburse municipalities for school construction debt and to pay for Medicaid.

Dunleavy sends letter encouraging potential Pebble investor

Officially, Gov. Dunleavy is neutral on the Pebble mine. But a letter he wrote to a potential investor in the controversial project calls his neutrality into question.

Dunleavy says PFDs should be automatic, contrary to court ruling

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said state spending will match its revenue. That will require a $1.6 billion spending cut, equal to 27 percent of the portion of the state budget the Alaska Legislature directly controls.

No budget by July means no ferry service

All state ferries will stop sailing by early July if the Legislature fails to reach a budget deal. The Alaska Marine Highway System’s plans are among dozens of state service cuts announced Monday by the Walker administration. Download Audio:

Sober day at Capitol; Alaska delegation not directly affected by shooting

As you've probably heard by now, five people were shot Tuesday morning in Virginia, where the Republican team was practicing for the annual congressional baseball game. Alaska Public Media News Director Lori Townsend spoke to Washington correspondent Liz Ruskin about the mood at the Capitol.

Trump to pick former Alaska oil industry attorney for federal judgeship

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he intends to pick Josh Kindred, a federal attorney in Anchorage and former oil industry attorney, as a new federal district court judge for Alaska.
pipeline

Opponents of citizens initiative to boost oil taxes have formed a bipartisan coalition

The group, OneAlaska, does not appear to include any oil industry leaders, though several of its members work for companies or organizations with ties to the industry.

Alaska senators address AFN on convention’s final day

The 52nd annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention concluded Oct. 20 in Anchorage with high-level addresses from Alaska’s senators, and AFN delegates still reeling from the news that Gov. Bill Walker is suspending his re-election campaign. Listen now

High court sides with state in challenge to education funding formula

The Alaska Supreme Court announced Friday morning that it has ruled in favor of the state of Alaska in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s lawsuit challenging the state’s required local contribution for education. Download Audio

Family suspects Guard scandal at play in pregnant soldier’s death

For many Alaskans, the scandal at the Alaska National Guard is long over. But nothing is resolved for the family mourning Michelle LaRose Clark, a guardsman who died in 2011, of unknown causes. Clark's family, and a retired officer, can't let go of the idea that her death is related to what she knew about crime within the Guard. Download Audio

Dunleavy proposes constitutional amendments to enshrine PFDs, require public support for taxes, cap spending

The proposed amendments may face a difficult reception in the Alaska Legislature. One Republican senator described Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposals as “a horrible idea.”

Shutdown puts strain on some Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations

Some Alaska Native tribes and tribal organizations are dipping into reserves in order to pay for services that the federal government usually covers.
Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai. (Department of Corrections photo)

Among Dunleavy’s proposed DOC cuts, sending 500 prisoners out of state

Governor Mike Dunleavy's proposed budget for the Department of Corrections cuts $19 million from this year's budget. About $12.8 million of the estimated savings will come from a plan to send 500 inmates to private prisons outside of Alaska.

MDA Boss Favors Radar Over Missile Site in East

Testimony from the director of the Missile Defense Agency suggests Alaska will likely remain the cornerstone of the nation’s ground-based missile defense, at least in the near term. The Pentagon is studying the idea of a new missile site in the East, but MDA Director James Syring says new radar comes first.