Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

State House Approves Alaska Native Language Bill

The Alaska House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would symbolically recognize 20 Alaska Native languages as official state languages. House Bill 216 passed on a 38-0 vote. With less than a week to go in this year’s legislative session, the Senate State Affairs Committee will hear the bill tomorrow. Download Audio

Alaska House Finance Committee Hearing Public Input On Budget

With the state facing a deficit of more than $4 billion, the budget is arguably the most important issue facing the Alaska Legislature this session. The House Finance Committee is now hearing from the public on its cuts, in preparation for any changes it might make to the spending proposal. Download Audio

Murkowski bucks party with health care vote

It was a dramatic day in the U.S. Senate with the return of Sen. McCain. Alaska's two senators split their votes on whether to begin debate on a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Both said the final outcome for the bill is uncertain. Listen now

Tough budget decisions remain in Alaska

It took two special sessions for Alaska legislators to agree to a budget after a crash in oil prices contributed to a severe reduction in the state's available revenue.

Yup’ik fishermen won’t appeal to Alaska Supreme Court

The Yup’ik fishermen who were cited for fishing during a closure on the lower Kuskokwim River will not appeal their case to the Alaska Supreme Court.

Some Legislators Attempting To Start School Voucher Program In Alaska

A dozen states across the country have school voucher programs. Now, some legislators are trying to bring vouchers to Alaska. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that push for directing state funding to private schools has more momentum than it’s had in the past.

RUNNING: State House, District 25 Anchorage

Mike Doogan (D), Harley Brown (L) and Thomas Higgins (R) are running for State House in District 25, Anchorage in Alaska’s General...

Hultberg Leaving Admin Commissioner Post

Gov. Sean Parnell's cabinet continues to experience turnover. Becky Hultberg is resigning from her post as commissioner of the Department of Administration.

Trump signs Sullivan bill aimed at reducing plastic waste in ocean

The "Save Our Seas" law encourages the executive branch to take up the problem of plastic waste internationally. It was sponsored by Sullivan and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. Listen now

Judge Nixes ‘Save Our Salmon’ Initiative

Despite all the fuss over the Save Our Salmon Initiative that passed by a narrow vote of Lake and Peninsula Boro Voters in 2011, that law is now officially null and void. That’s on account of a ruling from Superior Court Judge John Suddock on Wednesday, following a three-year long lawsuit brought by Pebble and the State of Alaska. Download Audio

Begich Gains Leadership Role With Senate Democrats

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC Alaska’s Mark Begich says his new post on the Senate’s Democratic leadership team will give voice to more...

Assembly Repeals Labor Law, Mayor Uses Veto

The Anchorage Assembly voted to repeal a controversial labor law at their regular meeting Tuesday night, but Mayor Dan Sullivan used his veto power to over ride their decision.

VPSO Program Working to Fill 15 More Slots

The Village Public Safety Officer Program may be the only line in the state budget where there has been no talk of reducing over the past few years. It’s a program that provides first responder service to rural Alaska communities – and is a critical element in the fights against domestic violence, alcoholism, and suicide.

Court Says Alaska Must Translate Election Materials Into Alaska Native Languages

A federal judge says the constitutional right to vote requires the state of Alaska to translate all election materials into Native languages for voters lacking English proficiency. Download Audio

In A Social Media Fracas, Walker Withdraws Appointee

A Walker spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that Jeff Landfield’s nomination to the judicial conduct commission was withdrawn because of “disrespectful” and “misogynistic” images posted to his social media account.”

No Decisions Made on Coastal Management Program

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau The legislature is heading into the last three weeks of this year’s session – and there’s concern...

Speaker Ryan honors Young, offers tip: ‘swear in,’ not ‘at’

The U.S. House of Representatives  honored - nearly roasted - Congressman Don Young Wednesday for becoming the new "dean of the House." And back home, Young gains a challenger: Alyce Galvin. Listen now

Alaska Native, Conservation Groups Challenge Shell Air Permit

Nine Alaska Native and conservation groups have challenged a federal air permit granted by the Environmental Protection Agency for a second Shell Oil drilling rig intended for Arctic waters.

Election Commission Makes Recommendations For Muni Election Problems

The Anchorage Election Commission just released their report on the April 3 Municipal election. They are asking the assembly to adopt their report and certify the election. But they did find some problems with the election and made several recommendations.

‘Erin’s Law’ Hangs On For a Bumpy Ride

It took until Day 22 of the 30-day special session for a sexual abuse prevention bill to get a hearing. And when it appeared before the Senate Education committee Tuesday, it was in a radically different form than the original. Download Audio: