Government & Politics

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, right, and former Rep. Christopher Kurka, R-Wasilla, saw ethics complaints against them dismissed on Nov. 29. (Photos by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Committee dismisses complaints that two Alaska lawmakers committed ethics violations

BY: - December 5, 2023

The body charged with policing the ethics of members of the Alaska House of Representatives has dismissed complaints alleging two members improperly allowed an Alaska Right to Life representative to misuse state resources.  The complaints said current Rep. David Eastman and former Rep. Christopher Kurka, both Wasilla Republicans, violated the ethics law during a visit […]

Funding gap looms for Alaska’s domestic violence programs, but need for services is as high as ever

BY: - December 4, 2023

A major source of funding for Alaska’s domestic violence response has decreased significantly in the past five years, leaving a multimillion-dollar hole in the budget for services. That reduction, paired with the end of pandemic relief money and high rates of inflation, has domestic violence advocates scrambling to adequately fund the groups that keep one […]

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is surrounded by journalists as he leaves the U.S. Capitol after his fellow members of Congress voted to expel him from the House of Representatives on Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington, D.C.(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

New York Republican George Santos expelled by U.S. House in bipartisan vote

BY: - December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — New York Republican George Santos on Friday became the sixth lawmaker in history and the first member of the GOP to be expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives. The 311-114 bipartisan vote, which required two-thirds support, followed months of scandal that culminated in a federal criminal indictment and a damning report from […]

Houses, seen on Aug. 2, 2022, teeter on the edge of an Utqiagvik bluff that is being rapidly eroded by permafrost thaw. The house on the right has been abandoned. At the base of the bluff are SuperSacks filled with sand, placed there as part of the effort to hold back ocean waves and slow down erosion. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Inuit group, citing dramatic effects in the Arctic, calls for bigger role in international climate action

BY: - November 30, 2023

The Inuit people of the Arctic, facing some of the most dramatic effects of climate change, are seeking a bigger voice in any international action taken to address it. In a position paper issued just before the start of a major international climate change conference, the Inuit Circumpolar Council listed five major recommendations for ways […]

A vessel approaches Hilcorp’s Tyonek offshore platform in Cook Inlet, where the company was using the Spartan 151 drilling rig last summer. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Northern Journal)

There’s lots of gas in Cook Inlet — here’s why some companies aren’t drilling

BY: - November 29, 2023

One way out of Alaska’s impending natural gas shortage could sit under the ocean floor, a few miles north and offshore of the Kenai Peninsula community of Anchor Point. There, a company says it’s sitting on an enormous pool of natural gas, equivalent to years of supply for Alaska’s power plants and home heating systems. […]

The deadly landslide that struck Wrangell on the night of Nov. 20 is seen the next day. (Photo provided by Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)

Deadly Wrangell landslide is part of a pattern in vulnerable Alaska mountainous terrain

BY: - November 28, 2023

As the Southeast Alaska community of Wrangell mourns and continues to respond to a landslide disaster that killed at least four people, Alaskans face a longer-term challenge: how to prevent similar tragedies in the future as mountainous regions become more unstable. “These landslides affecting Alaskans are going to keep happening, and we need to get […]

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, nominee for Social Security commissioner, is seen on July 19, 2023. (Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor of Maryland.)

U.S. Senate panel advances former Maryland governor’s nomination to lead Social Security

BY: - November 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley moved one step closer Tuesday to becoming the next Social Security commissioner, a role that would become increasingly difficult as the program inches closer to insolvency during the next decade. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted 17-10 to send O’Malley’s nomination to the floor, though it’s not clear […]

A mural painted on the side of a boarded up apartment complex in Eagle Butte depicts an infant holding the hand of an elder. (Photo by Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

South Dakota inspired ICWA but still has high rate of Native children in foster care

BY: and - November 27, 2023

Cheryl Spider DeCoteau was nervous. It was the Sisseton Wahpeton tribal citizen’s first time in Washington, D.C., and she sat in front of two senators, multiple congressional aides, lawyers and clerks in a large, wood-paneled committee room, bright lights shining down. Two of the 23-year-old’s sons, ages 5 and 3, sat in the audience while […]

(Photo by Valeriya/Getty Images Plus)

Alaska health care providers sue to keep state rule mandating minimum payments for care

BY: - November 25, 2023

A group of Alaska health care providers has sued the state government, seeking to keep in place a state regulation that sets a floor for how much private health insurance plans pay for out-of-network services.  The Alaska Division of Insurance plans to repeal the rule effective Jan. 1. The regulation, which has been in place […]

Tundra Women's Coalition, the domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Bethel, is seen in the afternoon light on Oct. 11, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Housing vouchers free up space in Bethel’s domestic violence shelter

BY: - November 24, 2023

In Bethel, as with communities throughout the state, affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence is hard to find, especially for people who travel from smaller villages to access services at the shelter. This last year, for the first time, the state’s housing program had housing vouchers for the Bethel domestic violence shelter. The shelter […]

U.S. and Australian aircraft sit on the tarmac at Eielson Air Force Base outside Fairbanks during an exercise earlier this year. (Jose Miguel Tamondong/354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

U.S. military quietly revokes planned contract for small nuclear plant at Alaska Air Force base

BY: - November 18, 2023

The U.S. military has rescinded the preliminary award of what could be a nine-figure contract with the company it had tentatively selected to build a small-scale nuclear power plant at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks. The Department of the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency in August announced an “intent to award” the […]

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star transits near the beginning of the ice edge in the Chukchi Sea north of Wainwright, Alaska, Tuesday, July 16, 2013. The heavy icebreaker's crew were undergoing ice trails following the conclusion of a major overhaul in 2012 to return the ship to service. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Mooers/U.S. Coast Guard)

Alaska’s Sen. Murkowski and colleagues make another attempt to win ratification of oceans treaty

BY: - November 17, 2023

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has joined with several colleagues to make a third push for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Murkowski is sponsoring a resolution calling for Senate ratification of the treaty, which establishes a legal framework for management of the world’s oceans and ocean resources. She and […]