Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Chamber comes out anti-Begich. That’s the U.S. Chamber

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest Outside group to launch campaign ads in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. The national business lobby has a 30-second video spot running this week that hits Begich and supports one of his Republican challengers, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

US Senate candidates debate Arctic issues in Barrow

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and three challengers - Margaret Stock, Ray Metcalfe and Breck Craig - debated today in Barrow in what is said to be the first U.S. Senate debate to take place above the Arctic Circle.

UAF Title IX violations due to systemic failures

An independent report on the University of Alaska Fairbanks failed handling of sexual assault cases was released Friday. The review done by Anchorage attorney Jeff Feldman confirms that UAF failed to pursue policy dictated disciplinary action against perpetrators in five cases from 2011 into 2014.

Former DNR Commish Dan Sullivan Announces Senate Run

Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan announced he's running for U.S. Senate this morning in Anchorage. Download Audio

Gov. Walker’s budget vetoes total $1.29B; dividend cut in half

Governor Bill Walker cut Permanent Fund dividends Wednesday to $1,000 per person, about half of the projected amount. The cut was one of a series of reductions that Walker made to lower the state's budget by $1.5 billion. Download Audio

Muñoz Believes Johansen’s Decision to Leave House Majority Will Hurt Region

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau Juneau Representative Cathy Muñoz says fellow Southeast Republican Kyle Johansen’s decision to leave the House majority will hurt the...

Potential legislation could close small schools in Diomede, Nome, and other western communities

To receive state funding, Alaska schools must have a minimum of 10 students. At least, that’s the rule right now. But some lawmakers are looking at raising the number to 20 students — or even 25 — in an effort to slash state spending. If passed, the legislation could close around 60 schools statewide, including several in western Alaska.

Gov. Dunleavy postpones budget signing, signals support for two more vetoed programs

Gov. Dunleavy has reversed himself and declared support for subsidized broadband internet for rural libraries and a free service allowing online tutors for students. The governor had previously vetoed the $809,200 in funding.

Alaska Couples Await Supreme Court Decision On DOMA, Prop 8

With only two decision days left for the Supreme Court, rulings that could impact same sex marriage could come as early as tomorrow. But for same sex couples in Alaska right now, the only option is to head out of state if they want to get married and some say that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Download Audio

Alaska PTA, community speaks out against education funding cuts

Community members and education groups, like Alaska PTA, organized in Anchorage to speak out against public education funding cuts.

Budget Cuts Leave Oil and Gas in Dark

The Office of Management and Budget failed to issue a plan Friday guiding virtually every department of the government on how they should cut their budgets. The report won’t come until “late next week.” The cuts, known as the sequester, will trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over a decade. If Congress does not, on January 2nd, the government will begin trimming more than $100 billion immediately. With the clock ticking, the oil and gas industry does not know what to expect.

Army to Cut 2,600 Soldiers from JBER

The Army said today it plans to cut 2,600 troops from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage and another 75 soldiers from Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. That would slice two-thirds of the personnel from the 4-25th, the only airborne brigade in the Pacific. Download Audio:

Looking Back on Lame Duck Swing Votes

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC As Congress travels home for the holidays, the pundits in Washington are analyzing the last few weeks of...

Medicaid Expansion Bill Clears First Hurdle

Governor Walker's Medicaid Expansion bill has passed it's first committee in the House. HB 148 was approved by the House Health and Social Services Committee Tuesday night with a 6 to 1 vote. Download Audio

Coastal Management Program Talks Fall Apart

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau Talks to keep the coastal management program going after July first have fallen apart.   Word came in messages...

Oil Tax Revenue Expected To Decline By $2 Billion

The State of Alaska is expecting to take in $2 billion less in oil taxes over the next fiscal year, according to the Department of Revenue's fall forecast. That means a 30 percent drop in the state's unrestricted general fund, the pool of money that the state's elected leaders control. Download Audio

Lisa Announces Decision

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage Lisa Murkowski has kept Alaskans in suspense about her possible write in candidacy plans today. She will be making...

Senate Passes Anti-Discrimination Bill

Gay rights advocates are celebrating a win today in the nation’s capital. The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to ban workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people. Both Alaska senators voted for it. But, the bill is unlikely to become law. Download Audio

Polar Bear Status Up For Debate

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC Whether the polar bear is endangered, threatened, or doing just fine was debated in federal court Wednesday...

FDA approves genetically engineered salmon

In a blow to Alaska’s salmon industry, the Food and Drug Administration announced this morning it has approved genetically modified salmon, finding it is as safe to eat as natural salmon. It's the first GM animal approved for human consumption in this country.