Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Negotiations sour on tribal child welfare agreement

The agreement, which was signed in 2017 by then-Gov. Bill Walker, is being renegotiated by tribal organizations and the Dunleavy administration. The compact gives tribes more control over children’s welfare.

House bill seeks full PFD this year, with lower amounts in the future

The House bill could provide the basis for breaking the current impasse over the budget and permanent fund dividends. But it’s unclear how much support there is for the bill in the Legislature.

ANWR fight not over for Democrats in Congress

Democrats in Washington, D.C. are still hoping to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The latest attempt surfaced at a U.S. House committee meeting.

Alaska officially parting ways with fast ferries

Selling off the fast ferries was anticipated after the Alaska Marine Highway System removed the Fairweather from service earlier this year. Its sister ship Chenega has been tied up since 2015.
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Anchorage adopts Climate Action Plan

With more than 100 pages, the document sets ambitious goals, like reducing the city's carbon emissions by 80 percent within about 30 years.

New icebreaker won’t have much time for the Arctic, says Coast Guard boss

The Coast Guard expects to launch the first of three new icebreakers in 2024, but don't expect to see much of it in Alaska.

Yakutat officials in the dark over PFAS contamination

Yakutat is a coastal community of 600 people halfway between Anchorage and Juneau. (CoastAlaska file photo) State officials...

Legal views conflict on Alaska school funding law

Lawyers for the Alaska Legislature and Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration offer contrasting views on whether a law enacted last year will fund schools next year — or whether a new bill is needed.

From Texas to Colorado to Scotland, ANWR drilling opponents take their case to CEOs

A small crowd marched on BP's American headquarters in Denver today, demanding the oil conglomerate not drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It's part of a larger effort by environmental groups to target oil companies and also banks.

Legislators approve $46M for Alaska ferries to avert fall shutdown

The state ferries will likely run through the winter months, avoiding a potential shutdown proposed by the Dunleavy administration.

Legislature passes bill allowing Alaska State Fair, ski areas to serve alcohol

Several business and venues across the state were caught off guard when the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board began denying recreational site license renewals last year, saying they did not meet the criteria in state law.

Alaska lawmakers say compromise crime bill repeals Senate Bill 91

The compromise bill, which repeals a controversial criminal justice reform law passed in 2016, would lead to longer criminal sentences. The Alaska Legislature plans to take it up next week.

Murkowski sticks with GOP to confirm anti-abortion nominee to bench

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski helped the Senate confirm President Trump’s 65th federal trial court judge. The nominee, Wendy Vitter, overcame substantial criticism from abortion rights groups.

Legislature’s failure to finish work leads Dunleavy to call immediate special session

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget or a crime bill Wednesday, the last day of the 121-day session. But it will pick up Thursday where it left off, after Gov. Mike Dunleavy called the Legislature into a special session.

US House bill clears path for Alaska tribes to put land in trust

The U.S. House on Wednesday passed a bill that would clear a legal cloud over whether Alaska tribes can put land in trust, giving them the authority to govern over that land.

What the healthcare overhaul at VA means for Alaska vets

The MISSION Act goes into effect on June 6th, and is intended to modernize veteran healthcare as a wave of younger vets are beginning to access services.

Unangax cemetery at former WWII internment camp may be added to Funter Bay park

Alaska lawmakers are considering expanding a state park to include historic graves of Alaska Natives who were among those who died in World War II internment camps.

Kathryn Dodge running for mayor of City of Fairbanks

Former Fairbanks North Star Borough assembly member Kathryn Dodge is running for mayor of the City of Fairbanks.

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.