Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Insurance will give SEARHC members more flexibility in health care and generate revenue for the Native medical organization. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Trial Program Aims To Increase Number Of Insured Alaska Natives

A tribal health organization in Southeast Alaska is encouraging members to enroll for health insurance. Through a new program, some Alaska Natives will have an opportunity to get it at no cost. Download Audio

Gubernatorial Challengers Criticize Parnell For Missing Debates

Since April, gubernatorial challengers Byron Mallott and Bill Walker have gone after incumbent Sean Parnell for skipping debates. They hit that point again on Monday, at a candidate forum hosted by the National Congress of American Indians. Download Audio

USGS nominee inclined to show data to Interior bosses

If confirmed as USGS director, James Reilly says he'd likely share sensitive data with his higher-ups at the Interior Department if they ask to see it. A demand to release data about the NPR-A led two USGS staffers to quit this winter. Listen now

Anchorage School Board – Seat C

Candidates for Anchorage School Board Seat C - Pat Higgins, Liz Ross, and Dean Williams - discuss local issues with host Daysha Eaton.

Tara Sweeney confirmed as assistant Interior secretary for Indian Affairs

The U.S. Senate this evening confirmed Alaskan Tara MacLean Sweeney to be the assistant Interior Secretary for Indian Affairs. Listen now
Jim Johnsen at a meet and greet in Juneau, July 7, 2015. Johnsen is a candidate for University of Alaska president. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

UA president touts plan to save state money

University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen is touting a restructuring plan called “Strategic Pathways” as a way to save the state money. The plan, presented to the Board of Regents last week, would reorganize the system into three “lead” universities, but it lacks specifics about how much money it would save, or which programs might be on the chopping block.

Sen. French Asks State To Withdraw Proposed Abortion Payment Condition Regulations

Anchorage Democratic Senator Hollis French says he wants the state to withdraw proposed regulations for abortion payment conditions. French says the regulations may be unconstitutional, and are narrower than the current standard. French has requested a legal opinion on the regulations.

Choice Improvement Act helps close VA funding gap

A move by the Obama Administration has freed up money in Alaska to close a funding gap in healthcare for veterans. Download Audio

Bill May End State’s Involvement in AGIA

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau Friday, legislators got their first look at a bill that could lead to closing the state’s involvement in...

Federal Government Targets 50 Legacy Wells For Clean-Up

Across the North Slope, there are over a hundred oil wells drilled by the federal government that are no longer operational. At some sites, there are abandoned drums sunk in oil seeps; other wells have gas leaking from them. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management released a draft plan identifying 50 of these so-called "legacy wells" for clean up. Download Audio

New Program Launched to Help Alaska Natives Protect Lands

The Alaska Conservation Foundation is launching a new program aimed at helping Alaska Natives protect their lands.

Corrections nominee aims to improve safety for intoxicated people who are detained

Last year, Dean Williams found many problems with the state Department of Corrections that contributed to the deaths of dozens in Alaska’s prisons and jails. Now he will be in position to do something about it. Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday nominated Williams to be corrections commissioner. Download Audio

Communities reliant on Coast Guard services feel the pain of the federal gov. shutdown

Most U.S. Coast Guard operations are suspended and that’s holding up commercial boat and permit sales as well as some construction of passenger vessels.

Traini Targets Executive Pay and Benefits

The Anchorage Assembly will hear public testimony  Tuesday on an ordinance that would cap pay for the city's executive workers. Download Audio

Petersburg Voters To Decide On Creation Of New Southeast Borough

While the rest of the Alaska is done with elections for a while, one is heating up in Petersburg. Voters there are deciding this month whether to create a new borough in Southeast. The proposal would dramatically expand municipal boundaries and the tax base for Petersburg and increase the population by about 10 percent.

Alaska state ferry supporters come out in force

A long procession of Alaskans signed up to testify Tuesday over the future of the state’s ferry system.

Group Voices Concern About Recount Procedure

Wednesday, the Anchorage Municipal Clerk's office began a recount of their recount of ballots cast in the Municipal Election. A group of voters requested a recount earlier this month after multiple reports of problems with the election. But some are now concerned that the counting isn't being done right.

Rep. Young apologizes for his ‘offending words’ on House floor

Judged against his past statements, what Young said about a freshman Democrat was nothing spectacular. But then Young did something unusual: He made nice. Listen now

Behavioral health focus of Mat-Su Health Foundation grants

A Mat-Su nonprofit is looking to fill the funding gap for behavioral health services with more budget cuts on the horizon at the state level. One program benefiting from that grant money is aiming to curb the earliest sources of drug and alcohol abuse with a focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences awareness. Download Audio

The Koch Effect: Two Rich Guys Democrats Love to Hate

In Alaska’s U.S. Senate race, there’s been so much talk about the billionaire Koch Brothers you might think they were running for office. They’re not, though a Koch-affiliated group has already spent close to $1 million on ads against Mark Begich. The Cook Political Report today declared the race a toss-up and Begich one of the Senate’s most endangered Democrats. But the well funded anti-Begich ad campaign may not be having the desired effect. Download Audio