Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Statewide News Network.

U.S. Senate candidate, Republican Kelly Tshibaka, pumps her fist in the air while standing next to former President Donald Trump, standing in front of a crowd

Trump rallies his Alaska faithful against Murkowski, for Tshibaka and Palin

Donald Trump fulfilled a pledge to punish Sen. Murkowski for her vote to impeach him.

Tensions over PFD fuel talks of a new constitutional convention. Alaskans will vote on whether that time has come.

Next year, Alaska voters will decide whether to hold a new constitutional convention. They’ve rejected similar questions over the past 50 years. But anger over the permanent fund dividend is fueling talk of overhauling the Alaska Constitution. 
A courtroom with a lawyer testifying

Alaska Supreme Court explains ruling on governor’s appointees

If the Alaska Legislature wants to reject a governor’s appointees, it will have to take a vote on them, the state Supreme Court said in an opinion issued on Friday. 
Image emphasizes home cyber security

Months later, details of Alaska cyberattacks remain a closely held secret

After getting hacked in May, the Alaska health department, along with state technology officials, continue to wage an intense fight to preserve the secrecy of records that could help Alaskans better understand what happened.

Mass testing can keep COVID out of schools. But none of Alaska’s largest districts are doing it.

A few small districts have instituted mass screening testing programs, to pick up COVID-19 cases in people without symptoms. But Anchorage, Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su districts have not followed suit.
a person speaks to the media

Anchorage Mayor Bronson revokes paid parental leave for city workers

Mayor Dave Bronson’s predecessor had granted non-unionized city employees four weeks of paid parental leave on her last day on the job. Bronson also revoked a policy allowing new parents to bring infants into the office.
The Robert B. Atwood building and neighbors in downtown Anchorage.

Evolving COVID policies for state, Anchorage workforces leave public employees anxious

State workers are worried about catching the virus in offices with unmasked colleagues, while the Anchorage Police Department is allowing unvaccinated officers to return to work after a COVID-19 exposure — as long as they wear N95 masks and social distance when possible.
Woman with blonde hair in a purple dress stands at a podium

Prosecutors vet US Senate candidate’s fishing license case

Law enforcement officials have completed their investigation into whether a U.S. Senate candidate and former State of Alaska official illegally obtained a fishing license for a sportfishing event two years ago. They have turned it over to a special prosecutorial branch of the Department of Law, an official said Thursday.
An aerial view of one of the exploration pads and wells that ConocoPhillips drilled during the 2018 exploration season at its Willow prospect.

Federal judge reverses Trump environmental approval for major Alaska oil project

The Willow project, if it's built, could produce 160,000 barrels of oil a day — roughly a third of Alaska's current total production. But the judge faulted the Trump administration's analysis of the project's potential greenhouse gas pollution and effects on polar bears.
A white person in a suit speaks from a podium

Dunleavy’s per diem veto over PFD situation raises concerns for Legislature

Some lawmakers say Gov. Mike Dunleavy's veto of nearly $300 per day of living expenses for legislators over a PFD fight sets a dangerous precedent that could limit the number of Alaskans who could afford to be legislators.

Alaska lawmakers voted to avert a shutdown this week, but it almost didn’t happen

And legislators have said successful communication will be important this summer. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has charged the Legislature with coming up with a long-term solution for the state budget. But the vote on the shutdown didn’t go smoothly. It almost didn’t happen.

Alaska House passes budget, $525 dividends, but leaves important programs in doubt

The Alaska House late Tuesday passed a state budget that would result in a $525 dividend to residents this year and leave in doubt funding for a number of programs and infrastructure projects after it failed to garner sufficient support on a key vote.
A white man with white hair sits at a desk and speaks

Credit rating agencies see improved outlook for Alaska, but note risks from budget uncertainty

As Alaska lawmakers decide what to do about the budget, one group that’s keeping an eye on the outcome are the agencies that rate the state’s ability to pay off its debts. And they say Alaska's rating is actually showing positive signs.

Email records: Little contact between Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s former aide and oil company that hired him

Interest groups and some Alaska lawmakers have been scrutinizing Stevens’ move from state service to the private sector, saying the quick transition between them raises questions about whether Stevens is complying with state ethics laws.

This year’s Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends would be $1,100 under budget compromise

This year’s permanent fund dividend would be $1,100 under a compromise budget proposal that the Legislature will vote on this week.
A ochre and white concrete building in a greay cloudy day

It’s masks off at the Alaska Capitol — but the public is still barred

The ban is keeping out summer tourists, forcing lobbyists to do business by Zoom and stopping Alaskans from witnessing key committee meetings and floor sessions in-person.
A white woman with a turquoise scarf speaks into a microphone frmo a desk.

Mat-Su senator introduces bill to bar transgender girls from school sports

An advocate for transgender rights called the bill "horrific".
A man stands up from jis desk speaking into the microphone

House passes budget, leaving potential gap from federal relief rules

The budget includes most of what Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed for state agencies. But it doesn’t include funding for permanent fund dividends.
A woman in a blue surgical mask speaks on a microphone

Alaska House bill would fund schools ahead of time, prevent pink slips

House Bill 169 would fund education ahead of the rest of the state budget, to avoid teachers and other school staff receiving layoff notices next month. This happens when the Legislature goes deep into May without passing a budget, triggering notices required under teachers’ contracts.
woman in mask and red blazer seated at a table

With help from Alaska’s Murkowski, Vanita Gupta is confirmed as associate attorney general

"I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated throughout her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice," Murkowski said.