Articles written by Alaska Beacon

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 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 22, 2024 

Legislature passes budget with one-year school funding increase

The 33rd Alaska Legislature came to a shuddering but active end early Thursday morning, May 16, as lawmakers passed the state’s annual budget and several high-profile bills. While legislators met their short-term goals, they didn’t hit some law... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 22, 2024 

New law tells state board to follow court ruling on correspondence student spending

Families who use Alaska’s homeschool program will soon have clarity on how they may spend their annual allotments of state money. Lawmakers directed the Alaska Board of Education to write temporary regulations for the state’s correspondence sch... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    April 3, 2024

House passes bill to make church vandalism a felony

Vandalism directed at a church or other property used by a religious organization would become a felony in Alaska if legislation passed by the state House of Representatives becomes law. The House voted 35-5 on March 20 to approve House Bill 238,... Full story


Boss of proposed gas pipeline project is highest-paid state executive

The head of the state corporation in charge of a long-dreamed Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline is once again Alaska’s top-paid public executive. Frank Richards, president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., received $479,588 in c... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    November 8, 2023

State will hire contractor to compare public and private employee wages

The state has begun a sweeping analysis of its employees’ salaries to determine whether poor pay is contributing to ongoing hiring woes. The Alaska Department of Administration published a request for proposals, seeking a contractor to perform a c... Full story


Over half of Alaska-born residents leave the state

More than half of Alaskans born within the state have moved away, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. A state’s ability to retain Alaska-born residents is an indicator of its e... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    July 26, 2023

State loses lawsuit over contaminated lands given to Native corporations

A federal judge on July 18 dismissed a year-old lawsuit by the state against the federal government over liability for contaminated land given to Alaska Native corporations under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. No Alaska Native corpo... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 24, 2023

Legislation designates October as Filipino American History Month

October will be Filipino American History Month in Alaska if Gov. Mike Dunleavy approves a bill that passed the state House and Senate unanimously. House Bill 23, from Anchorage Rep. Genevieve Mina, is largely ceremonial — it does not declare an o... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 24, 2023

Legislation will make it a crime to harass 911 dispatchers

The Alaska Legislature has voted to criminalize the harassment of 911 dispatchers and threats against them. The Alaska House voted 37-1 on May 11 to approve Senate Bill 38, a measure passed 19-0 by the state Senate on March 17. The bill was written... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 17, 2023

Legislation eliminates 1-year wait for commercial driver's license

Newly arrived residents and newly licensed drivers would have an easier way to get a commercial license under a bill passed by the Alaska Legislature. In a 40-0 vote last Friday, the Alaska House approved Senate Bill 123, which would repeal the... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 17, 2023

New law will exempt low-power e-bikes from regulation

Low-power electric bicycles would be exempt from state regulation under a bill passed by the Alaska Legislature and on its way to the governor for signature into law. The state Senate and House each approved the measure by wide margins, with only... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    May 10, 2023

Legislature approves quality testing program for in-state lumber

The Legislature has passed and is sending to the governor a bill intended to reduce the cost of Alaska-made lumber for housing projects. After it is signed into law by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the legislation would set up an in-state quality testing... Full story


E-cigarette use by young Alaskans tripled between 2016 and 2021

Alaska posted the nation’s highest rate of increase in electronic cigarette use by young adults from 2016 to 2021, according to a report tracking patterns in all 50 states. The rate of e-cigarette use by Alaskans in that age group more than t... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    April 5, 2023

State Senate not interested in blocking legislative pay raise

The Alaska House of Representatives could vote this week or next on a bill that would block a 67% pay raise for state legislators and a 20% raise for the governor and top members of the executive branch. Passage of the bill is anticipated — m... Full story


Governor introduces bills for state to get into carbon credit business

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has officially unveiled a pair of bills designed for the state to make money from companies and investors looking to reduce the effect of greenhouse gas emissions by paying the state not to log timber or paying for credits that com... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    November 2, 2022

Pierce will stay in race for governor, despite sexual harassment lawsuit

Republican governor candidate Charlie Pierce confirmed on Oct. 26 that he will continue his campaign despite a lawsuit accusing him of sexually harassing a Kenai Peninsula Borough employee while he served as borough mayor. “We’re in this race to the... Full story


State proposes making it easier to grade Alaska lumber for local use

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is preparing a new program that would allow Alaska sawmills to sell lumber for local construction without having that wood graded for quality by an Outside inspector. The program was announced by Alaska Stat... Full story

 By Alaska Beacon    News    July 27, 2022

Governor will sign tribal recognition bill into law

Gov. Mike Dunleavy will sign a bill giving state recognition to Alaska’s 229 federally recognized Native tribes, the Alaska Federation of Natives said last week. In a ceremony scheduled for this Thursday, the governor will also sign bills creating c...


Governor signs state budget; Wrangell funding intact

Though he vetoed funding for several projects and public services around Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy did not cross out $4.1 million in state grant funding toward a new $15 million water treatment plant in Wrangell. The borough hopes to finish design...


Trump scheduled at campaign rally in Alaska on Saturday

Former President Donald Trump plans to attend a campaign rally in Anchorage this week for candidates he has endorsed in the state, including former governor Sarah Palin who is running for U.S. House. The five-hour event is scheduled for Saturday at...

 By Alaska Beacon    News    June 22, 2022

Former Anchorage legislator will stand trial for voter misconduct

A state Superior Court judge signed a scheduling order on June 7 that will put former Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux on trial later this summer for voter misconduct. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 12. The trial is expected to last 10 da...


Legislation directs schools to help students with low reading scores

By the narrowest of margins, 21-19, the House on the last night of the legislative session passed a bill implementing a statewide approach to how school districts intervene when students have difficulty reading. The session’s original reading l...


Democrat files to run for Murkowski's Senate seat

A retired Matanuska-Susitna Borough teacher has filed to run as a Democrat for U.S. Senate in Alaska. Pat Chesbro filed candidacy paperwork with the state Division of Elections on May 11. She would join a crowded field of 16 candidates in the Aug. 16...


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