Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Do Arctic villages need oil? Point Lay leaders say no

In Washington, both sides of any Arctic drilling dispute want to show they have locals on their side. Sen. Lisa Murkowski bolstered her case for more offshore leasing with the help of an Arctic Slope mayor. He testified that communities like his need the industry. But other Arctic residents sat in the back of the hearing room, passionately opposed to offshore drilling. Download Audio

School Leaders Explain Plans To Deal With Budget Deficits

Local school leaders today got their chance to tell legislators how they are dealing with expected budget deficits for the next school year. The hearings followed the Parnell administration’s presentation yesterday at the opening of the House Finance Committee’s week-long series of meetings focusing on Education.

State Considering New Abortion Regulations

This spring, state legislators considered a controversial bill that would define what counts as a "medically necessary" abortion for the purpose of Medicaid reimbursement. Now, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is considering regulations tackling the same issue. The proposed rule would require doctors to get specific on why they think the state state should cover the procedure. Listen Now

Conference Attendees Defend Small Business Administration Program

Conference attendees in Anchorage last week defended a controversial Small Business Administration program. About 280 people attended a National 8(a) Association conference in Anchorage to learn more about the program that helps small businesses compete for federal contracts, but has come under increasing Congressional scrutiny in recent years.

Hoffman, Halford Prepare for Walker Transition Weekend

Bethel’s Ana Hoffman and former Senate President Rick Halford are chairing incoming Governor Bill Walker’s transition team. Walker is racing towards inauguration next month. Download Audio

Alaska Gov.-elect Walker names 4 to positions

Alaska Gov.-elect Bill Walker on Tuesday announced four new staff members, including an attorney general. Download Audio

Sullivan discusses broad spectrum of topics with statewide listeners on Talk of Alaska

Republican Senator Dan Sullivan spoke on Talk of Alaska Tuesday morning about a broad range of topics, from national news stories in the headlines to regional issues facing the state. Listen now

House Speaker Adds Agrium to Refinery Assistance Bill

Gov. Sean Parnell’s $150 million-dollar bill to subsidize Alaska’s oil refineries grew to $200 million today, when House Speaker Mike Chenault expanded it to include the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski. Download Audio

Court Backs Park Service In Water Rights Case

A court decision has re-affirmed National Park Service authority to regulate state owned rivers flowing through federal lands. The ruling is in a case that spurred public outcry about park service law enforcement. Download Audio

Community Leaders, Air Force Meet About Eielson F-16 Movement Impact Report

A group of community leaders held a teleconference with the Air Force’s Director of Logistics to find out more about the proposed relocation of the F-16 Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base. The meeting followed the release of an Air Force Report revealing more details about the move.

Alaska Democrats vote to allow independents in party primary

Alaska Democratic party leaders have approved allowing candidates not affiliated with a political party to run in the Democratic primary.

Petersburg land selection committee narrows down choices

A committee of Petersburg residents is narrowing down its list of land the new borough might select from the state. That committee met this month and focused on economic development lands like rock pits, boat ramps and parcels that could be used for environmental mitigation.

Palmer Passes Measure Prohibiting Smoking In The Workplace, Public Places

The cities of Palmer and Wasilla had elections on Tuesday. Palmer voters approved an ordinance prohibiting smoking in the workplace and in public places, and elected Richard Best and Kenneth Erbey to three year terms on the Palmer city council.

Walker ‘doubtful’ he will ask legislature for more funding for gas line

The governor said he's not likely to ask the legislature for more money for the project once current funding dries up. Listen now

Murkowski Votes Against Defense Bill Ending ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC Senate Democrats failed Thursday to move forward on a defense bill that included ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” ...

Anchorage Labor Law Headed for Alaska Supreme Court

There's been another twist in the saga of Anchorage's controversial labor law. Download Audio

Particulate Pollution Plan Will Likely Include Burn Bans

A state fine particulate pollution implementation plan for the Fairbanks area due out this summer, will likely include burn bans. The yet to be released plan for getting Fairbanks into compliance with federal air quality regulations was previewed this week. Download Audio

Teacher turnover costs state’s school districts around $20M per year

Alaska schools hire about 1,000 new teachers each year to offset the annual turnover of staff. And it's a process that doesn't come cheap. Listen now

Impacts of ‘Land into Trust’ on Alaska tribes

For the first time, Alaska tribes have the right to ask the federal government to put tribal lands into trust status, just like tribes in the Lower 48. What would this legal designation, known as Indian Country, mean for tribes and for the state? What are the potential benefits and what are the restrictions? APRN: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. Download Audio

New GOP chairman calls for unity, but party fault lines still show

While Republicans nationally are divided for and against Donald Trump, the discord at the state convention in Fairbanks this weekend had a more local flavor. New party chairman Tuckerman Babcock asked fellow Republicans to let go of their grudges, which weren't far below the surface.