Government & Politics

An image of a barbed wire fence. (Canva image)

As people die in Alaska prisons, reform advocates are calling for independent investigation

BY: - October 6, 2022

Prison reform advocates are calling on Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration to order an independent review of the state Department of Corrections. The department recently reported its 15th in-custody death this year. William Hensley III, 34, died on Sunday at Goose Creek Correctional Center in Wasilla after a month in custody. With this death, Corrections […]

Candidates for Alaska's sole U.S. House seat hold signs at Tuesday fishery forum in Kodiak indicating their position on an Alaska waiver in the century-old Jones Act. Only Rep. Mary Peltola, second from left, opposed the waiver. Peltola, a Democrat, defended her work on an update to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Those updates were opposed by Republican Nick Begich, far left, Libertarian Chris Bye, third from left, and Republican former Gov. Sarah Palin, far right. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Kodiak fishery debate highlights differences between Peltola and her House rivals

BY: - October 5, 2022

For U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, the Democrat who won August’s special election to serve the remainder of the late Don Young’s term, Tuesday’s fishery-focused candidate debate in Kodiak was an opportunity to draw sharp contrasts with her three rivals. Peltola defended the ongoing efforts to update the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act – an […]

Interim Revenue Commissioner Deven Mitchell is new CEO of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

BY: - October 4, 2022

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board of trustees has named Deven Mitchell, the interim head of the Alaska Department of Revenue, as the corporation’s new CEO.  The board voted unanimously on Monday evening to approve the pick and direct interim CEO Valerie Mertz to open salary negotiations with Mitchell.  The decision came at the end […]

Signs urging votes for Harriet Drummond and Zack Fields are posted next to each other in the neighborhood just south of downtown Anchorage's Park Strip. Redistricting pitted the two incumbent Democrats against each other.

Redistricting pits two Anchorage House Democrats with similar policy views against each other

BY: - October 3, 2022

Redistricting has pitted two Anchorage Democrats against each other for a House seat, creating a contest between incumbents who share political views, many endorsements and even East Coast upbringings. The race between Rep. Harriet Drummond, who has represented parts of Midtown and West Anchorage since 2013, and Rep. Zack Fields, who has represented a more […]

Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Legislature’s new social media policy nixes banning and blocking

BY: - October 1, 2022

If Alaska’s state legislators remove constituents’ comments or block them on social media, they may forfeit state-paid legal protection, according to a new social media policy adopted Friday. A House-Senate panel voted 8-3 in favor of adopting the new policy on behalf of the entire Legislature. Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, said the new policy means […]

Alaska Legislature votes against intervention in Eastman eligibility lawsuit

BY: - September 30, 2022

The Alaska Legislature will not intervene in a lawsuit challenging the eligibility of Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman to serve in public office. In a 1-9 vote Friday afternoon, a House-Senate panel voted against a request for intervention from Eastman, who said in an email that his ability to continue serving as a sitting legislator […]

A fish camp in the Nome area, seen on Sept. 24, shows damages wreaked by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. The day before, President Biden declared a major disaster for a vast stretch of western Alaska that had been slammed with high winds and floods caused by the remnants of that typhoon. FEMA Director Deanne Criswell, Rep. Mary Peltola and Sen. Lisa Murkwoski were among the officials who surveyed the damages in and around Nome. (Photo by Jeremy Edwards/FEMA}

Biden approves more federal disaster assistance after typhoon hits western Alaska

BY: - September 29, 2022

Alaska’s state, local and tribal governments can be reimbursed for 100% of many costs incurred before and after Typhoon Merbok struck this month, after President Joe Biden on Thursday amended the federal disaster declaration. The federal government typically reimburses local governments for 75% of their costs, but Alaska’s congressional delegation and Gov. Mike Dunleavy had […]

Permanent Fund Corp. board will interview three people for top job

BY: - September 29, 2022

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s board of trustees has scheduled three interviews Monday with potential candidates to be the corporation’s next CEO. Interim state Revenue Commissioner Deven Mitchell, Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Chief Investment Officer Morgan Neff, and Melanie Hardin, a Verizon executive who formerly worked for Charles Schwab in London, are scheduled […]

Salmon hang to dry on a rack at the edge of the Kuskokwim River on May 31, 2017. Salmon harvests are critical to the Indigenous villages along the river. (Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Race for Yukon-Kuskokwim House seat pits youth against experience

BY: - September 29, 2022

 The race to represent one of the nation’s most rural state legislative districts is newly competitive. Democrat C.J. McCormick, a Bethel City Council member serving as vice mayor of that city, had been the only candidate in the House District 38 race until mid-September. But now Myron Naneng Sr., a former head of the Association […]

Special investigation finds Gov. Dunleavy wasn’t involved in firing of former Permanent Fund CEO

BY: - September 28, 2022

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy did not orchestrate the firing of former Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. executive director and CEO Angela Rodell, a special investigation has concluded. “The governor’s office had no impact or influence upon the decision,” special investigator Howard Trickey told members of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee on Thursday. Trickey’s investigation, ordered […]

A fish camp in the Nome area, seen on Sept. 24, shows damages wreaked by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. The day before, President Biden declared a major disaster for a vast stretch of western Alaska that had been slammed with high winds and floods caused by the remnants of that typhoon. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell, Rep. Mary Peltola and Sen. Lisa Murkwoski were among the officials who surveyed the damages in and around Nome. (Photo by Jeremy Edwards/FEMA)

Typhoon Merbok spotlights Alaska’s need for science and climate-resilient infrastructure

BY: - September 28, 2022

When the remnants of Typhoon Merbok were barreling toward western Alaska to unleash what turned out to be the region’s strongest storm in more than half a century, meteorologists knew what was coming. What they could not predict was the exact level and location of flooding – devastation that prompted a federal disaster declaration on […]

Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya, as seen here in Soldotna on Sept. 27, 2022, is Alaska’s new missing and murdered indigenous persons investigator.

Alaska’s first MMIP investigator stayed 5 months; new one is committing to at least 1 year

BY: - September 27, 2022

Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya is Alaska’s new missing and murdered Indigenous persons investigator. He fills the vacancy left by Anne Sears, who went back into retirement in early September after five months on the job. Piscoya, who retired in 2018 after 25 years with the Troopers, is now responsible for leading the […]