Alaska Politics

Political news coverage from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Federal Spending Bill Appropriates $100 Million for Missile Defense in Alaska

The federal omnibus spending bill that awaits President Obama’s signature contains $100 million for missile defense in Alaska. It's the only major funding for military construction work in Alaska this fiscal year. Download Audio

Mine Drilling OK’d in Two Roadless Areas

Tuesday, the Forest Service OK’d exploratory drilling at two Southeast Alaska mine sites. The work will be done in roadless areas of the Tongass National Forest. That means they needed approval from agency Chief Tom Tidwell.

Economists Say It’s Too Early To Determine Effects Of Current Low Oil Prices

Crude oil prices are hovering in the $80 range, and in Alaska that brings with it worries over the budget. But economists from either side of the political spectrum have roughly the same take on what’s playing out: it’s too early to tell. Download Audio

Governor May Find Less Opposition in House, But Senate Remains Much the Same

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau Governor Parnell will still have to get his own, new agenda through the legislature next year.  As Dave Donaldson...

Task Force Says Assembly Broke Charter Rules

A citizens' task force charged with reviewing the Anchorage Assembly's public hearing process has released a draft of their recommendations. One of their conclusions is that the Assembly erred in cutting off public testimony about a controversial labor law. Download Audio

State Funding for Schools Remains Unresolved

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau Among the few remaining issues that haven’t been resolved during the legislative special session is whether the state’s...
The Alaska State Legislature sign at the Legislative Information Office in Downtown Anchorage.

Proposed legislation to criminalize police sexual contact with sex workers during investigations

Law enforcement officers in Alaska can legally have sexual contact with people they are investigating for crimes. Proposed legislation seeks to change that. A new survey shows that most Alaskans didn't know the practice was legal and do not support it. Listen now

Chuitna Citizens Coalition Gets Win In Superior Court

After a four year wait, the Department of Natural Resources will finally make a decision on applications having to do with the proposed Chuitna mine. A superior court decision handed down this week compels the Department to make its decision within 30 days. Download Audio

French To Run For Lieutenant Governor

The Anchorage Democrat had been considering jumping into the gubernatorial race, but set aside those plans after former Juneau mayor and Permanent Fund Division Director Byron Mallott announced he would seek the Democratic nomination. French says he wanted to avoid expending resources on a competitive primary race.

Gov. Parnell Outlines Priorities In State Of The State Address

Gov. Sean Parnell's State of the State address last night underscored the priorities he's been pushing throughout his administration. He called for a comprehensive crime bill that would levy harsher penalties on sexual predators, and he set a goal of improving Alaska’s high school graduation rate from 70 percent to 90 percent.

Banking Error Delays State Payroll

About 15,000 state of Alaska employees will wait another day for their paychecks, due to a banking glitch. Direct deposits were not processed as expected by U.S. Bank on Monday, according to the Administration Department. Download Audio

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.

Congressman Young addresses Native issues, gun violence at forum

“To me, the Second Amendment is still the most important amendment of all the amendments,” Young said. Listen now

In race for North Slope House seat, difference in votes is a handful

A hotly contested race in the North Slope and Northwest Arctic Borough has two bush Democrats within five votes of each other. Listen now

The Big Stories of 2013

The year that’s about to end had more than its share of drama. As we turn the page on another year of news, APRN’s Steve Heimel has a look back at some of the highlights, with his list of the top 10 news stories of 2013. What was big news in Alaska in some ways depended on where you were.

Health Care Reform Remains a Hot Topic

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage At Monday’s Anchorage Chamber Senate debate, the Senate candidates also tackled the issue of health care reform. Asked if...

Mayor Vetoes Labor Compromise

After months of compromise between the Anchorage Assembly and public employee unions, the city's voters may still end up deciding on a controversial labor law due to a mayoral veto.

Dunleavy swearing-in obstacles don’t stop Noorvik inauguration feast

Fog prevented Mike Dunleavy from being sworn in as governor in Noorvik. But that didn’t stop the community from celebrating.

Washington DC Turns Attention to Alaska’s Other Minerals

Alaska is often mentioned as rich in oil and gas and deposits of gold, but today in Washington, the state’s potential for mining of rare earth elements took center stage. The valuable minerals are used in all sorts of industries, and Congress wants the U.S. to start producing more.
A square building with red bottom

State privatizes API management with no-bid contract

The State of Alaska is privatizing the management of Alaska's only psychiatric hospital via a no-bid contract with Wellpath Recovery Solutions, an international corporation that manages state mental facilities and prison health care programs.