Government & Politics

Alaska Legislature gets first look at carbon plan proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy

BY: - January 28, 2023

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday officially unveiled a pair of bills intended to market Alaska as a destination for companies interested in reducing the effect of their greenhouse gas emissions. The result could generate millions of dollars for the state while helping reduce the effect of global climate change. One bill would create laws and […]

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., speaks at a U.S. Capitol press conference on the Title 42 immigration policy, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas, Jan. 26, 2023. (Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

Democrats in Congress condemn Biden administration expansion of Title 42

BY: - January 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nearly 80 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the White House expressing their “great concern” that the Biden administration is walking back on its promise to restore migrants’ access to asylum. In the letter, they also condemned the administration’s expansion of a controversial policy that immediately turns away migrants at the […]

Ahead of education-funding bill, supporters of Alaska public schools pitch their case

BY: - January 27, 2023

In a series of hearings at the Capitol, teachers, administrators and concerned parents are making the case for a major increase in Alaska’s per-student funding and for other legislation that they say will help the state’s public schools. The hearings come as the Senate Education Committee prepares to introduce legislation on the topic. The bills […]

Alaska will receive $285 million in federal money to boost state ferry service

BY: - January 26, 2023

The Federal Transit Administration has awarded more than a quarter-billion dollars to the Alaska Marine Highway System, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, said Wednesday. In a written statement, Alaska’s two U.S. senators said the grants, authorized under the 2021 federal infrastructure bill, cover six projects and amount to more than $285 million for […]

Poll workers check in a voter at a polling station at David R. Cawley Middle School on Feb. 11, 2020, in Hookset, New Hampshire. New Hampshire held its first in the nation primary that day. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

National Dems give New Hampshire, Georgia more time to change 2024 primary dates

BY: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — New Hampshire and Georgia will have a bit longer to implement key changes to when and how they hold Democratic presidential primaries, under an extension a Democratic National Committee panel approved Wednesday.  Election officials will have until June 3 to move New Hampshire’s 2024 Democratic presidential primary to Feb. 13 and Georgia’s to […]

Sun shines through the canopy in the Tongass National Forest. (Photo by Brian Logan/U.S. Forest Service)

USDA says it will restore a ban on most development in the Tongass National Forest

BY: - January 25, 2023

The Biden administration will ban new logging roads and most development in much of Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. The decision, which repeals a 2020 USDA action under the Trump administration, continues a quarter-century of action and counter-action over development in the region, which contains the world’s largest […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

Lawsuit says Alaska statute allowing public funding to go to private schools is unconstitutional

BY: - January 25, 2023

The question is resurfacing, but this time in a lawsuit: Can families enrolled in a state-funded correspondence program use their allotment to pay for private school classes? Last June, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development didn’t know the answer so they asked the state’s attorney general’s office, which offered a response that drew […]

Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, 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)

Police and firefighter pension bill, long sought by unions, is revived in Alaska House

BY: - January 25, 2023

A bill that would recreate a state pension plan for firefighters and police officers has been revived in the Alaska House of Representatives. On Tuesday, Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, introduced House Bill 22 to the House Committee on Community and Regional Affairs, bringing back an idea sought by public employee unions but which has failed […]

The four members of the Alaska Bush Caucus, (from left to right) Reps. Neal Foster, D-Nome; C.J. McCormick, D-Bethel; Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham; and Josiah Patkotak, I-Utqiagvik, take their oaths of office on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. On Thursday, three of the four voted in favor of Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, for speaker of the House. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

For rural Alaska lawmakers, local issues trumped party interests and swung the state House

BY: - January 24, 2023

Last week, rural members of the Alaska House of Representatives ended the six-year reign of a predominantly Democratic coalition, flipping control of the House to a predominantly Republican coalition. By joining 19 of the House’s 21 Republicans, the four members of the House’s rural “Bush Caucus” averted the kind of leadership deadlock that plagued the […]

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy urges Legislature to fund more legal action against Biden administration

BY: - January 23, 2023

In his annual address to the Alaska Legislature, Gov. Mike Dunleavy identified successes from his first four-year term in office and called for action on a list of administration priorities, including more funding for a “statehood defense” program that has launched a series of lawsuits against the federal government.  Speaking Monday night at the state […]

COMMENTARY

House Speaker McCarthy’s powers are still strong – but he’ll be fighting against new rules

BY: - January 23, 2023

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is already facing the limits of his power. A single member of the House – from the far-right Freedom Caucus to a progressive on the far left, or any member in between – can threaten his speakership. And at least one Democrat already is promising to do just that. […]

Dan Stickel, chief economist with the Alaska Department of Revenue, testifies in front of the Alaska Senate Finance Committee on Friday. At the hearing, held in the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Stickel discussed how volatility in financial and global oil markets affected Alaska's state treasury. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska revenue picture looking more normal, with lower oil prices, after pandemic and war shocks

BY: - January 21, 2023

After a roller-coaster couple of years, Alaska’s state government revenues are returning to a more normal pattern of dependence on investment earnings, federal contributions and petroleum earnings, Dan Stickel, chief economist of the state Department of Revenue, said on Friday. The state revenue picture is expected to return to its normal “three-legged stool” pattern in […]