Caroline Halter, KTOO - Juneau

Caroline Halter, KTOO - Juneau

Alaska pretrial services might see change

At any given time over a quarter of the beds in Alaska prisons are occupied by people who haven’t been convicted of a crime. That’s according to the Alaska Judicial Council. That may change in the coming months as a result of one piece of 2016’s Senate Bill 91 that establishes pretrial services.

State economists publish a “Where are they now?” for Alaska high school grads

According to federal data, about one in four high schoolers in Alaska doesn’t graduate, giving Alaska the sixth lowest graduation rate in the country. Listen now

Juneau superintendent questions funding plan

Sen. Shelley Hughes, a Wasilla Republican, held a series of committee hearings on virtual education and school funding beginning last year. It culminated in the release of broad education reform bill. Listen now

Labor and business at odds over Walker’s worker’s compensation reform

Governor Bill Walker is sponsoring legislation he said would make it easier to determine if someone is an employee or an independent contractor. Listen now

House Majority Leader Chris Tuck pushes reforms to improve voter turnout

In the last Legislature, a Democrat-sponsored bill aimed at increasing voter turnout in Alaska, especially in the Bush. It didn’t get a single hearing in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Now, Rep. Chris Tuck, an Anchorage Democrat, is in a powerful position leading the new House majority, and has reintroduced the legislation and the bill is making some progress. Listen now

Fairbanks Four may receive dividends for 18 years of wrongful imprisonment

It took the work of journalists, lawyers, tribal leaders and citizens to release the Fairbanks Four after they wrongfully convicted on a murder charge and other serious crimes in 1997. Now, an effort is underway to compensate the men for the 18 years they spent in prison in the form of two state House measures. Listen now

Alaska farmers push for hemp legalization

With growing pressure to diversify Alaska’s economy, lawmakers are talking about legalizing hemp for commercial purposes — something at least 30 other states have already done. Listen now
Rep. Sam Kito lll addresses the Alaska House of Representatives on April 7, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Lobbyist tax gets pushback in Alaska state House

State Rep. Sam Kito III wants to close a $200,000 funding gap at the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC), which oversees the activities of candidates, political groups and lobbyists. Listen now

University of Alaska president addresses lawmakers after no-confidence votes

The faculty senate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks voted no-confidence in University President Jim Johnsen’s leadership on Monday, Feb. 6. The vote followed the same move by the Anchorage faculty Jan. 13. Johnsen addressed the issue Jan. 8 at a meeting of the Senate Education Committee. Listen now

After Alaska lawmaker’s fundraising controversy, Senate considers tighter rules

Former Alaska Senate President Kevin Meyer is going after PACs in what he said is an effort to improve public trust. Meyer hopes to change Alaska’s campaign finance law to address PACs controlled by individual lawmakers and candidates. Listen now

Lawmakers consider protecting ‘ballot selfies’ as part of free speech

In Alaska it’s illegal to “exhibit” a picture of a marked ballot. Sharing a ballot selfie isn’t a criminal offense as in some states, but it is technically grounds for invalidating that vote. Now, Alaska may be joining 22 other states who have legalized ballot selfies as a form of political speech. Listen now