James Brooks, Alaska Beacon

James Brooks, Alaska Beacon
Alaska Beacon is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Alaska Beacon maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Andrew Kitchenman for questions: info@alaskabeacon.com. Follow Alaska Beacon on Facebook and X.

Alaska House nears vote on big increase for public school maintenance statewide

The House Finance Committee approved the most school maintenance funding since 2011.
the state House

Aiming for rehab, House-passed bill would allow some tablet computers in Alaska prison cells

The bill also prohibits excessive surcharges on prison phone service, promising to drastically cut inmates’ costs.

Alaska Senate passes draft budget, confirming $175M in bonus public-school funding

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told reporters that he's "open to the increase" proposed by state lawmakers in the draft budget bill.
the Alaska Legislature

Alaska House votes down ethics board alternate member, citing signature on Dunleavy recall petition

The vote on Rachel Kelly, a Juneau resident nominated to fill a public seat on the ethics committee was four short of the needed tally.
a courthouse

Alaska tribal health consortiums are legally immune in many cases, state Supreme Court says

The decision on sovereign immunity affects several of the state’s largest-private sector employers and could have broad implications.
Cathy Giessel

Alaska Senate considers plan that would allow teens to independently seek mental health care

An amendment from Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, would lower the age for obtaining behavioral health care to 16.
a statue

Alaska’s carbon storage bill, once a revenue measure, is now seen as boon for oil and coal

The Alaska House of Representatives is set to vote for House Bill 50 on Wednesday, sending it to the Senate.
a courthouse

Alaska judge strikes down state’s cash payments to families using correspondence school programs

The decision on correspondence programs will become a "hot-button legislative item" in the final weeks of session, lawmakers said.

Alaska House digs into budget — and a developing gap between expenses and revenue

Financial estimates being compiled Tuesday indicate there may not be enough revenue to cover the Legislature’s draft spending plan.
election workers

Supporters of Alaska election system file suit seeking to block repeal initiative

Plaintiffs say the Alaska Division of Elections wrongly certified petitions in favor of the repeal of open primaries and ranked choice voting.
A man in a green jacket waves to fans on a street in downtown Anchorage Alaska.

In fundraising pitch, Iditarod planners say financial woes could jeopardize epic sled dog race

The message comes at a time when major Iditarod sponsors have dropped out, and inflation has increased the cost of participation.
a truck

After revisions Federal Highway Administration approves most of Alaska’s transportation plan

Federal officials still rejected six transportation projects, including $68.7 million toward the Port of Alaska repair project in Anchorage.
Justin Ruffridge

Alaska House votes to broaden membership of injury, death review panels

Alaska operates medical committees examining maternal and child mortality, overdose deaths, and cases where a child was born with syphilis.

Alaska House votes to give police warrantless emergency access to cellphone location data

Lawmakers have also passed other bills on storage rentals, fireworks rules, telemedicine and federal lands.
the Alaska State Capitol

Anchorage Democrat alleges governor threatened Republicans before veto vote, prompting denials

Fairbanks’ school board president amplified a version of the claims, but targets say the allegations are baseless.
a polar bear

Federal appeals court declines to ‘criminalize’ Beaufort Sea oil and gas work

A divided three-judge panel concluded that a federal agency failed to justify a regulation that allows some oil and gas work.
the Alaska Senate

Alaska newspaper publishers worry about bill ending some public notice requirements

Notices of water reservations, commonly used by mining projects, would not be published in local newspapers anymore.

Disagreements between Alaska House Republicans stalled education work for 3 weeks

The House Education Committee didn't meet for three weeks starting Feb. 14, denying Gov. Mike Dunleavy a channel of support for his ideas.

Ranked choice supporters ask judge for pre-election ruling on repeal group’s misdeeds

Ranked choice backers asked Judge Laura Hartz to issue a verdict in Alaskans for Honest Elections' appeal of its APOC fine this campaign season.
the Alaska State Capitol

Legislative budgeters say Dunleavy’s proposed 2024 Permanent Fund dividend is a no-go

Gov. Mike Dunleavy included a $3,500 payout in his initial budget proposal, but paying it would require spending from savings.