Government & Politics

Dunleavy picks Sitka judge for Supreme Court, first justice in decades from small-town Alaska

BY: - January 21, 2023

Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday appointed Jude Pate of Sitka to the Alaska Supreme Court, making him the first justice to come directly from someplace other than Juneau, Anchorage or Fairbanks since 1960. Before Pate, the last justice who met those standards was Walter Hodge, who came from Nome and served on the court in […]

A sign for a store that accepts food stamps and exchange benefits transfer cards is seen in this 2019 photo. Ten Alaskans are suing the state over its failure to provide food stamps within the time frames required by federal law. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Lawsuit says Alaska Department of Health exposed thousands to hunger risk by not giving food aid

BY: - January 20, 2023

Ten Alaskans are suing the state, saying it failed to provide food stamps within the time frames required by federal law. The complaint was filed Friday in Superior Court in Anchorage against Alaska Health Commissioner Heidi Hedberg. The lawsuit said that in her role as commissioner of a department that failed to provide needed services, Hedberg “has […]

Fresh in power, Alaska House’s new Republican-led coalition outlines its priorities

BY: - January 20, 2023

A day after taking control of the Alaska House of Representatives, members of the new Republican-led coalition majority say they intend to prioritize fiscal issues and were cautious about proposals to increase the state’s per-student public school funding formula. “I think it’s probably safe to say that what brings us together is some fiscal stability […]

The U.S. Capitol is lit on Sept. 13, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/Alaskan Beacon)

U.S. hits debt limit and Treasury Department begins ‘extraordinary measures’

BY: - January 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — The nation reached its debt limit Thursday, beginning the uncertain process known as extraordinary measures, in which the U.S. Treasury Department uses accounting maneuvers to avoid defaulting on the debt.  The often-used practice is intended to give the Republican House, Democratic Senate and Biden administration time to negotiate a bipartisan agreement to raise […]

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, is seen in the chambers of the Alaska Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. Hughes is one of three Republican senators outside the Senate's 17-person supermajority. At right is Sen. Loki Tobin, D-Anchorage. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Seventeen of 20 Alaska senators are in the majority. What about the other three?

BY: - January 19, 2023

Sen. Shelley Hughes thought she’d be on the Senate Education Committee. She said Senate President Gary Stevens had asked her to be on it and she agreed. “He has a real heart for the kids and education as I do also, so he was really happy when I agreed, and he called me probably a […]

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is seen on Sept. 19 in Fairbanks. This portion of the pipeline, 450 miles south of Prudhoe Bay, has been transformed into a visitor pullout and is a tourist attraction. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

University of Alaska report issued to help state leaders craft energy policies as Arctic transforms

BY: - January 18, 2023

The University of Alaska has released a new report on Alaska energy issues, ranging from its history of fiscal challenges to the potential for a wide variety of renewable energy sources in the future. The report, titled “Alaska’s Changing Arctic: Energy Issues and Trends,” is the first of what is planned to be a series […]

Tilton elected Alaska speaker of the House as rural legislators join Republicans in new coalition

BY: - January 18, 2023

The Alaska House of Representatives elected Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, as speaker of the House, putting a predominantly Republican coalition in charge of the body. The new majority flips control of the House from the predominantly Democratic coalition that has controlled it since 2017 and means that conservative priorities stalled for the past six years […]

Alaska Legislature convenes with deadlock reigning in the House and the Senate jumping ahead

BY: and - January 17, 2023

A closely divided Alaska House of Representatives stalled on Tuesday, the first day of the 33rd state Legislature and adjourned for the day without choosing a speaker of the House.  The 20-member Senate is controlled by a 17-person bipartisan supermajority, and legislators were sworn in Tuesday without incident except the unexplained absence of Sen. Mike […]

News cameramen stand outside an office building housing the Penn Biden Center on Jan. 10, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it was reviewing potentially classified documents found inside the Biden center, which President Joe Biden used after his time as vice president. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

White House defends delay in revealing classified documents at Biden private office, home

BY: - January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday defended sitting on information about Obama administration classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s private residence and a think tank, saying officials are attempting to balance working with the Justice Department and sharing information publicly.  “We understand that there’s a tension between the need to be cooperative with […]

U.S. House GOP would make it easier for feds to give public lands away to states

BY: - January 16, 2023

U.S. House Republicans included in the new rules for the chamber they passed this month a provision meant to make it easier for Congress to give away public lands. The provision is a fairly technical piece of the 55-page rules package. It affects internal House accounting and requires that anytime Congress were to give any […]

See scenes of new Alaska legislators in training

BY: - January 14, 2023

Twenty of the Alaska Legislature’s 60 members will be new to the building this year, and if you count legislators who are returning to the building after doing their best impersonation of Grover Cleveland – the president who served non-consecutive terms – the number rises to 23.  Add the three members of the House who […]

Alaska Supreme Court rules in favor of Jennie Armstrong, clearing her to serve in Legislature

BY: - January 13, 2023

The Alaska Supreme Court has upheld the eligibility of Rep.-elect Jennie Armstrong, D-Anchorage, to serve in the state Legislature. In a summary decision issued Friday, three of the court’s justices voted 2-1 to uphold a lower-court decision in Armstrong’s favor. The justices did not provide an immediate explanation for their decision; one will be published […]