Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Legislators, Dunleavy administration expect school funds to be paid during potential lawsuit

The Legislative Council voted unanimously on June 13 to authorize a lawsuit against the Dunleavy administration over education funding.

Parnell: Design Smaller Ferries, Build Them Here

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced Tuesday in Ketchikan that the state will immediately begin negotiations with the Ketchikan shipyard to design the first of at least two smaller ferries for the Alaska Marine Highway System, rather than the 350-foot ferry that had been planned.

Anchorage Market’s Lease Renewed for One Year

The Anchorage Community Development Authority voted unanimously Monday to extend a lease agreement for the city's weekend market. 13 people testified.

Public testimony backs stable or increased state budget

Ninety people focused on funding services. Most of the other 11 asked for spending cuts. Listen now

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.

Pacific Walruses Removed From Unusual Mortality Event In North Pacific

Pacific walruses have been removed from the unusual mortality event declared in the North Pacific for several marine mammal species. Download Audio

Young Not Endorsing Any U.S. Senate Candidates

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC Congressman Don Young is not endorsing a candidate in the U.S. Senate race.  He says he has called...

Tribal Judge: Bill to Improve Village Public Safety Doesn’t Go Far Enough

The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee today looked at a raft of bills aimed at improving the safety of Native American communities, including Alaska Native villages. A bill that would strengthen Alaska tribal courts and tribal law enforcement drew no opposition at the hearing, but the bill is likely to become more controversial. Download Audio

Anchorage officials certify vote-by-mail results

About 79,295 ballots were cast, pushing turnout to just over 36 percent, a high figure relative to Anchorage’s normal local election returns. The vote certification upholds preliminary results. Listen now

Anchorage Assembly Bans Marijuana From Public Use

The new rules treat marijuana almost identically to alcohol, replacing arrest and criminal charges for public consumption with a civil citation. Download Audio

Walker Names Transportation Commissioner

There’s a new boss at the state agency overseeing, roads, airports and ferries. Gov. Bill Walker on Friday named Marc Luiken as his commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Download Audio

Republicans Deny Allegations of Rule-Breaking in Preference Poll

Alaska’s Super Tuesday events infused the state’s Republican Party with new blood. Young voters registered in large numbers to vote in the 2012 Presidential Preference Poll and to participate in district conventions. But, many are not feeling a warm welcome from party veterans and some are even alleging rule-breaking in Super Tuesday’s process.

Three incumbents to lose seats in Alaska election aftermath

With the vast majority of precincts statewide now counted, a clear picture emerged in Tuesday’s election returns — and the short version is, a lot of incumbents will be unseated.

Some Federal Unemployment Insurance Payments To End

Some unemployed workers in Alaska are about to lose their unemployment insurance benefits thanks to federal legislation that ties the payments to a state’s unemployment rate.

Gov’s plan aims to reshape state’s relationship with oil

Governor Bill Walker says the state must change how it does business: he argues it's time for Alaska to tap its enormous savings accounts. Download Audio

Redistricting Board Awaiting U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Alaska’s Redistricting Board is awaiting the outcome of a United State Supreme Court case that could remove some federal restrictions from state redistricting plans. Wednesday, the nation’s highest court heard arguments over whether states with a history of discrimination need to get Department of Justice approval for state voting maps. Although the federal Supreme Court case was brought by an Alabama county, it has implications for Alaska. The state of Alaska filed a brief in support of the plaintiffs, while the Alaska Federation of Natives filed a brief in support of the federal government.

No emergency listing for Price of Wales Island wolves

A petition asking for emergency Endangered Species Act listing for Prince of Wales Island wolves was essentially denied by the U.S. Department of the Interior office in Anchorage.

Board of Fisheries Chairman Resigns

Alaska Board of Fisheries Chairman Karl Johnstone resigned Tuesday after Gov. Bill Walker said he would not submit his name to the legislature for reappointment. Download Audio

Democrats say Murkowski sinks bill with riders

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, through her assignment on the Appropriations Committee, is charged with writing a bill that funds a wide swath of the federal government. It is a major opportunity to direct money to agencies important to Alaska. The committee passed her bill today, but a Democratic leader says it's unlikely to see the full Senate. Download Audio

Crunch Time for Hotly Contested Ballot Measure 2

Ballot Measure 2 on Tuesday’s primary election ballot is the most hotly contested initiative Alaska voters have faced in recent memory. Only the 2008 “Clean Water Initiative” — aimed at stopping development of the proposed Pebble Mine — had more spending for and against. As with that initiative, industry groups are lining up against Measure 2 — outspending proponents by more than seven to one.