Government & Politics

Legislative committee boosts budget for Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. investigation

BY: - August 10, 2022

A committee of the Alaska Legislature voted unanimously on Wednesday to spend another $50,000 on its investigation into the firing of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. director Angela Rodell, bringing the investigation’s total budget to $150,000. Sen. Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage, the chair of the House-Senate Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, said the money is needed […]

Sand-filled Super Sacks, seen on Aug. 4, are piled along the eroding coastal bluff in the core area of Utqiagvik, the nation's northernmost community. Near the horizon is a barge delivering some of the supplies that the community will need over the coming year. Climate change, through increased wave action from the ocean and permafrost thaw on the coast, is causing serious erosion and flooding threats. At the same time, reductions in sea ice have enabled an increase in Arctic ship traffic that is expected to continue. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Arctic Commitment Act introduced in Senate seeks to raise U.S. profile at top of world

BY: - August 10, 2022

A wide-ranging bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Angus King seeks to boost U.S. investment in Arctic commerce, science and defense. The Arctic Commitment Act, introduced last week, focuses on ways that the United States can become a bigger player in Arctic marine shipping and commerce, which is increasing as sea ice diminishes. […]

Alaska conservatives launch group to encourage ‘yes’ vote on constitutional convention

BY: - August 9, 2022

A group of conservative Alaskans, headed by a leading member of the Alaska Republican Party, has formed a new campaign organization intended to encourage Alaskans to call a constitutional convention and allow sweeping changes in the way Alaska runs its government, sets its budget and regulates the lives of its residents. Jim Minnery, president of […]

Sarah Palin speaks and Mary Peltola listens at a March 12 forum of candidates for the U.S. House seat left vacant by the death of Don Young. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Here’s where Alaska’s U.S. House candidates stand on access to abortion

BY: - August 8, 2022

With less than two weeks to go before Alaska’s Aug. 16 election, the three candidates seeking to temporarily replace Congressman Don Young in Alaska’s U.S. House seat have made clear their positions on abortion. In campaign events, conversations with reporters and at public forums, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich say they support the recent […]

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. posts negative returns for first time since 2012

BY: - August 5, 2022

For the first time in a decade, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., source of more than half of Alaska’s general-purpose state revenue, posted negative investment returns for an entire fiscal year. As of June 30, the last day of the just-ended FY22, the fund reported having earned minus-1.32% over the preceding 12 months. The decline […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Alaska legislator, member of Oath Keepers, faces lawsuit challenging his eligibility for office

BY: - August 2, 2022

A former member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly is challenging the eligibility of Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, for state office. Randall Kowalke, aided by the civil rights law firm Northern Justice Project, filed suit in Anchorage Superior Court on Friday, saying in a legal complaint that Eastman’s membership in the Oath Keepers militia violates the […]

After joint legislative effort, Alaska updates definition of consent for sexual assault cases

BY: - July 29, 2022

Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a package of public safety-related bills into law Thursday, including a measure that updates Alaska’s definition of sexual assault. The change had been sought for years by victims’ advocates and allows the state to prosecute someone for sexual assault, even if the victim freezes and doesn’t verbally say “no.” Pre-existing law […]

(Photo by Krisanapong Detraphiphat/Getty Images)

Cost estimates for constitutional convention in Alaska range widely

BY: - July 29, 2022

This November, voters will be asked whether or not to call a constitutional convention, which could pave the way for changing the Alaska state constitution. If Alaskans vote ‘yes,’ cost estimates to hold a convention range from a few million dollars to $20 million. One Republican senator said a gathering to propose amendments and changes […]

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, after signing the bill on state recognition of tribes, holds up the legislation at at July 28 ceremony at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Standing with him are Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, sponsor of the bill, Sen. Gary Stevens, sponsor of a tribal education bill that Dunleavy also signed at the ceremony, and Sen. Lyman Hoffman. In front of them are works of art from the Alaska Native Heritage Center's collection that represent different regions of the state. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy signs tribal-recognition bill, a ‘first step toward healing’

BY: - July 28, 2022

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Thursday signed legislation that requires the State of Alaska to formally recognize its 229 federally recognized Native tribes. Though the bill does not significantly change the relationship between the state and the sovereign tribal governments within its borders, Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky, D-Bethel, said the measure is an “important first step […]

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Seven apply for upcoming Alaska Supreme Court vacancy

BY: - July 26, 2022

Three sitting judges and two state attorneys are among seven people vying to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Alaska Supreme Court.  The Alaska Judicial Council announced the applicants Monday, and after a series of surveys, interviews and public hearings, will meet in mid-November to pick a list of finalists eligible for the position. Alaska’s […]

Alaska sues Interior Department over contaminated ANCSA lands

BY: - July 23, 2022

The state of Alaska has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in an attempt to hold the federal government responsible for the identification of thousands of polluted sites on land given to Alaska Native corporations. A complete inventory is a first step in the state’s ongoing efforts to hold the federal government responsible for […]

A whalebone arch and an umiak frame, seen on Oct. 4, 2018, are landmarks on the beach at Utqiagvik, the northernmost U.S. community that is also known as Barrow. The display highlights the region's Inuit culture. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Amid turmoil, international Inuit group gathers online to promote protecting Arctic

BY: - July 22, 2022

For the organization that represents Inuit people in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia’s Chukotka region, work has been hampered by the same turmoil that has upended the rest of the world – political polarization, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the format of its quadrennial general assembly held […]