Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Cost to move Legislature could be up to $45M if state builds office, analysts find

The first-year cost is closer to $3 million if the state rents office space instead of building new facilities, analysts find.

House Resources Committee considers making Tier 3 water protection a legislative process

The House and Senate are considering bills that would make the state Legislature responsible for approving Tier 3 nominations for federal waters.

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.

Those 20 ‘new’ interceptors Trump wants in Alaska? They’re not NEW new

President Trump highlighted the role of Fort Greely in the missile defense plan he unveiled Thursday. But what sounded like a call for a major expansion at the Interior base isn't breaking new ground.

Alaska GOP Gov. Dunleavy seeks to oust Democratic chair of oil and gas watchdog agency

A two-page letter from Dunleavy last month charges French with “neglect of duty and misconduct,” and levies five charges to justify the governor’s bid to remove French from chairmainship of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Dunleavy seeks to scuttle Ocean Rangers cruise ship monitors

Voters in Alaska approved a 2006 ballot measure that put independent environmental watchdogs on cruise ships. But Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration is looking to scrap the program.

Anchorage School District says Dunleavy budget could cut programs to the bare minimum

In the Anchorage School District, the largest in the state, officials say they're used to going through budget negotiations with lawmakers. But they say this year's proposed cuts are on a different scale.

Juneau businesses find themselves in alcohol license limbo as legislators work to change laws

Businesses in Juneau and across Alaska have been surprised to find their alcohol license renewals denied by the state recently. A new bill could solve the issue, but legislators say more reforms are necessary to overhaul Alaska’s alcohol laws.

China, Russia find common cause in Arctic

China and Russia are teaming up to pursue their interests in the Arctic, and regional security expert Rebecca Pincus says the United States needs to pay more attention. “We need to play a shaping role in this region. It’s our backyard," she said.

In Ketchikan, Dunleavy presents arguments for big budget cuts

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Monday visit to Ketchikan included a 90-minute question-and-answer session with residents. Outside about 30 demonstrators picketed the venue.

Legislature considers plastic bag ban

The state legislature is considering a ban on plastic shopping bags.

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.

Alaskans greet Mueller report with shrugs, nods and dismay

We went to a Fred Meyer parking lot in Midtown Anchorage to ask Alaskans what they think of the Mueller report.

Sitka salmon fleet to Governor Walker: “Don’t sign a bad treaty”

Sitka’s salmon fishermen are worried about the state’s strategy for renegotiating the Pacific Salmon Treaty. That’s the document between the United States and Canada that allocates the king salmon harvest across borders and expires at the end of the year. Listen now

How would a $20M cut affect public schools statewide?

The proposal would need to go-ahead from the legislature before becoming a reality. But school administrators are concerned about the possibility.

Proposed Medicaid cut raises concern for health centers, hospitals

Gov. Michael Dunleavy has proposed a $249 million cut to Alaska's Medicaid program, one of the most expensive parts of the state budget. Health care providers say cuts could mean services for Alaskans will look “dramatically different than they do today.”

Dunleavy announces Alaska National Guard deployment along Mexico border

The deployment is a response to President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern U.S. border last month.

Why nobody likes Anchorage’s potential alcohol tax but its powerful sponsor

The measure is an ambition of the long-serving chairman of the Anchorage Assembly. But it faces an uphill battle, with criticism coming from multiple sides. Listen now

Which Native voices? On Arctic Refuge, lawmakers practice selective listening

It's all about who you ignore. Rep. Don Young told his colleagues to disregard the anti-drilling Gwich'in witnesses while pro-development Inupiat witnesses accuse Democrats of erasing them from the land that's been their home for thousands of years.

House sends budget with spending cuts to Senate, without setting PFDs

The Alaska House passed a budget on Thursday that includes $257 million in cuts to the portion of the state budget the Legislature directly controls.