Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Key House member says Dunleavy’s office didn’t act in good faith on crime bill

North Pole Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson said Dunleavy’s office agreed to provisions of House Bill 49 in private discussions that the administration has since criticized.

Alaska lawmakers are trying to fight crime by toughening prison sentences. Not everyone agrees that will work.

People who work with released prisoners say the best way to combat crime is enhancing access to programs that target mental health problems and drug addiction -- not increasing prison terms.

Dunleavy administration weighs in on Pebble-backed lawsuit against BBRSDA

Last month, six commercial fishermen filed a lawsuit against the regional seafood association in Bristol Bay to which they belong. The lawsuit, funded by the Pebble Limited Partnership, challenges more than $250,000 in funds the association had spent on groups that oppose the Pebble Mine. Now, the Dunleavy administration has added its voice to the dispute.

Senate committee goes further than House in repealing controversial crime law

The Senate Finance Committee passed House Bill 49 on Sunday after adding elements of a criminal justice package proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Permanent fund dividend amount to be a focus in session’s closing days

The size of permanent fund dividends will be at the center of talks between the House, the Senate and Governor Mike Dunleavy as the Legislature aims to end its session on Wednesday. The House Speaker said the politically diverse House majority caucus remains united behind being responsible with the budget.

Dunleavy responds to Alaska legislators’ push for protection from British Columbia mines

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has pledged to engage with British Columbia to protect Alaska’s natural resources and environment.

Bob Penney spent more than $300,000 to get Gov. Dunleavy elected. Then his grandson got an $8,000-a-month no-bid contract.

Clark Penney's company, Penney Capital, was hired to help a Dunleavy administration initiative to bring new businesses to Alaska and expand existing ones. Officials justified the no-bid contract by citing its urgency and Penney's experience working with wealthy investors.

Attorney general says school funding plan is unconstitutional

A disagreement between the Legislature and Gov. Mike Dunleavy over school funding may be heading toward a constitutional showdown — one that could affect whether the state sends money to school districts.

As the ice goes, Arctic nations find their bonds are tested

In the end, the eight nations of the Arctic Council signed a short statement, affirming their commitment to peace and cooperation. But two major issues loomed over the Arctic Council meeting in Finland this week, and they pull at the seams of Arctic unity.

Dissent at DEC emerges over roll-back of PFAS regulations

The Dunleavy administration’s decision to redefine PFAS levels considered safe in drinking water has caused dissension among a senior staffer working on contaminated sites. Lawmakers are scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue later this week.

Why is the US so far behind in the Arctic? Clues emerge at congressional hearing

Retired admiral Thad Allen, a former Coast Guard commandant, said the country needs to wake up to the strategic importance of the Arctic Ocean and commit more resources to it.

House passes sweeping crime bill

House Bill 49 would mark the third time the Legislature changed major provisions of the controversial criminal justice law known as Senate Bill 91.

Here are the five biggest issues to be resolved on Alaska’s state budget

The budget conference committee is aiming to finish its work in time for the House and Senate to pass the budget by the scheduled end of the session on May 15.

Constitutional delegate Vic Fischer opposes Dunleavy’s amendment proposals

Vic Fischer spoke to the House State Affairs Committee Tuesday, two days after his 95th birthday. He contrasted the state constitution’s language with the proposed amendments.

As memories of the Exxon Valdez fade, a plea to Congress to retain the lessons learned

A group of Alaskans traveled to Washington, D.C. to ask lawmakers to renew a fund that allows the government to launch a spill response and pay compensation, even before the company at fault is held to account.

Alaska lawmakers approve vaccine program continuation

Lawmakers have voted to extend the Alaska Vaccine Assessment Program, which provides universal

Court system inches forward with years-long upgrade to digital filing system

The Alaska Court System takes in and maintains hard copies of millions of pages of documents annually. It’s been trying to upgrade to an electronic, paper-on-demand system for years.

Big parts of Gov. Dunleavy’s agenda remain unfinished. But he still has time, tools at his disposal.

With the legislative session winding down, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has gotten traction with some of his ideas, but many others have stalled. The governor's office is still holding out for more, but his allies say Dunleavy can still declare victory without passage of specific bills or initiatives.

Pompeo to Arctic Council: Easy days are over

The countries of the Arctic Council have for years rejoiced that their region is a zone of peace and cooperation. But in a speech in Finland Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a harder edge.

New Anchorage climate plan calls for 80 percent cut to emissions by 2050

On Tuesday, the city’s Assembly is receiving the 106-page document, which outlines everything from transportation recommendations to emission reduction targets.