Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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

Three main candidates vie for open West Anchorage seat

While the election is certainly a local political affair, the Anchorage Assembly has a disproportionate influence on state politics. Listen now

Walker opts not to veto bill putting local school boards in charge of sex ed

A bill that puts local school boards in charge sex education will become a law, after Governor Bill Walker decided against vetoing it Thursday. House Bill 156 requires that school boards approve any sex education curriculum, as well as any teachers who aren't employed under a contract with schools. Listen now

Big spending among candidates looking to replace outgoing state legislators

State legislators who aren’t running for re-election have created openings drawing big spending ahead of the primary election next Tuesday. A quarter of all spending by legislative candidates has been in just three races for open seats. But it’s not clear whether those who’ve spent the most will be able to convert that into votes. Listen now

Fish & Game Cancelling Staffed Program At Bristol Bay Walrus Islands Sanctuary

Back in 1960, seven uninhabited Bristol Bay islands south of Togiak were incorporated into the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary. As the name suggests, the sanctuary protects one of the largest terrestrial haulout sites of Pacific walruses in North America. The Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Division decided last week that it will terminate its Round Island Program, which staffs the sanctuary to monitor the marine mammals and host visitors. Download Audio

Obama transfers Port Clarence land to Bering Straits Native Corporation

President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act last night, transferring 2,500 acres of federal land at Port Clarence to local, state, and federal stakeholders. Located 120 nautical miles northwest of Nome, Port Clarence has long been left out of discussion as the location for the nation’s Arctic deep draft port. Download Audio

Agreement Allows All Alaska Veterans Care At Tribal Clinics

A new agreement signed today between 14 Alaska Native tribal health programs and the department of Veterans Affairs will allow both Alaska Native and non-Native vets to receive health care services in tribal clinics in various parts of Alaska, so they won’t have to travel to Anchorage or Seattle to receive services.

Ex-Corrections head asked to aid leadership transition

The state has asked a former Corrections head to help with the transition in the department's leadership after Gov. Bill Walker asked that he resign as commissioner.

Alaska Legislature Takes Second Look at Erin’s Law

Erin’s Law is back in the legislature. If passed, the bill would require school districts, statewide, to provide age-appropriate K-12 sexual abuse education. Last session Representative Geran Tarr, a Democrat from Anchorage, introduced Erin’s Law which died in the House Finance Committee. Download Audio 

US House Passes Bill Speeding Up Alaska Oil Lease Sales

The U.S. House passed a bill this morning that would replace President Barack Obama’s outer continental shelf drilling plan. The bill would speed up existing lease sales in Alaska.

Roadless Rule Exemptions Still Unclear

An Assistant State Attorney General says it’s unclear if exemptions to the federal government’s Roadless Rule actually allow road building in protected areas.

Saudi Oil Minister Welcomes U.S. Energy Boom

Saudi energy official said he has no concerns over growing U.S. energy supply. Download Audio

Senate Passes Small Business Bill

Libby Casey, APRN - Washington DC The U.S. Senate has passed a bill Democrats say will benefit small businesses.  It cleared the Senate Thursday on...

Sheffield Stumps For Instate Gasline

Former Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield says it’s time for Alaska to build its own gas pipeline. Sheffield has been stumping the state on his own dime to promote the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline – or ASAP. The acronym is appropriate, he says, because Alaska is on the threshold of an energy crisis and needs the gas As Soon As Possible. Sheffield says some communities are already over the edge.

State To Fight Challenge To Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty plans to fight a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Download Audio

State Law Department May Seek Sex Charges Against Bill Allen

Steve Heimel, APRN - Anchorage Even though federal prosecutors waved them off the case, the state Law department now says it may seek to make...

Primary Election: Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller

It will soon be decision time for Alaska voters on which of three Republican should face incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Begich in November. The statewide public radio forum, Talk of Alaska has offered each of the three an hour-long live opportunity to answer phone calls from public radio listeners statewide. Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan have had their turn, and next up is Joe Miller. APRN: Tuesday, 7/29 at 10:00am Download Audio

House Exempts Large Non-Profits From ‘Pick, Click, Give’ Audits

The House Monday exempted large non-profits from being financially audited as a part of their collecting donations through the Permanent Fund Dividend distribution. The audit was required as part of the Pick, Click, Give program that allows people to make donations from their annual dividend.

Congressional Delegation Split On Taking Meetings With Fuglvog

Arne Fuglvog pleaded guilty to illegal fishing and had to spend five months in jail. It was a mighty fall for a man who was then serving as an advisor to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and who had once been considered for the top fisheries management post in the country. Now Fuglvog is back as a lobbyist, but Alaska's senators don't plan on giving him access. Download Audio

Bypass Mail Targeted in US House Legislation

Alaska’s bypass mail subsidy is being targeted by a California lawmaker looking to trim costs and generate more revenue for the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service.