News / State Of Alaska
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Murkowski tells legislators to focus on much more than just the dividend
In her annual address to the Alaska Legislature, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski urged state lawmakers to avoid spending too much time on the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend and to focus on problems causing people to move out of the state.... Full story
Search continues for invasive green crab around Annette Island
No invasive green crabs have been found outside the area on Annette Island where they were discovered last summer, though experts are working against a potential population explosion in Southeast Alaska. Barb Lake, with the National Oceanic and...
State House censures member for child abuse comments
JUNEAU (AP) - An Alaska lawmaker with a history of incendiary remarks was censured by the state House on Feb. 22 after he said it has been argued that cases of fatal child abuse can be a "cost...
State court system will take down online posting of some marijuana convictions
On May 1, the Alaska Court System will remove the marijuana possession convictions of about 750 Alaskans from Courtview, the state’s online database of court cases. The Alaska Supreme Court announced the move in an order signed Jan. 31 by the court... Full story
Permanent Fund reveals its in-state investments, including a grocery store chain
A multimillion-dollar share of the Alaska grocery store chain Three Bears is one of the latest additions to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s $200 million in-state investment program — a small slice of the $76 billion state savings account. The... Full story
Wrangell IGA owners buy Trading Union grocery store in Petersburg
It was a week of change for a 100-year-old Petersburg institution: The Trading Union was officially renamed Petersburg IGA on Feb. 20, as new owners Mike Ward, his daughter Caroline Bangs and her husband Travis Bangs took over the grocery store....
State could be short money this year as oil prices lower than expected
Alaska oil production and prices are below last year’s estimates, and the state could run out of money before the end of the fiscal year in June, members of the Senate Finance Committee were told Feb. 21. “It’s a bit of a nail-biter,” said... Full story
California governor starts another battle over water and salmon
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Weeks after powerful storms dumped 32 trillion gallons of rain and snow on California, state officials and environmental groups in the drought-ravaged state are grappling with what to do with all of that water. State...
Village of Kake wants to turn unused Forest Service facility into healing center
The Organized Village of Kake is looking into using a U.S. Forest Service facility at Portage Bay, on the north end of Kupreanof Island, as a cultural healing and rehabilitation center. The goal of the program would be to reconnect people with their...
Governor wants to eliminate college degree requirement for many state jobs
Alaskans will no longer need college degrees for most state jobs, under an administrative order issued Feb. 14 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The action is needed because of the labor shortage that affects Alaska and the nation, Dunleavy said in a... Full story
Wrangell High School 1980 graduate named state elections director
Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom on Feb. 15 appointed a longtime state employee and Republican Party supporter to lead the Alaska Division of Elections. Carol Beecher, who led the state's child support...
Budget deficit grows as governor proposes spending to fix problems
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s amended budget unveiled Feb. 15 attempts to address crisis areas in state public services, with the additional spending driving the anticipated budget deficit past $400 million. The proposed budget for the next fiscal year is...
Legislators start reviewing governor's proposal to profit from storing carbon dioxide underground
Alaska state lawmakers have begun examining a plan to set regulations and fees for companies that collect carbon dioxide and inject it deep underground. The governor has touted the potential for the state to make hundreds of millions of dollars over... Full story
Opponents of ranked-choice voting start gathering petition signatures
A group seeking to reverse Alaska’s 2020 election reform has begun gathering signatures to put the question before voters on the 2024 ballot. The ballot initiative is seeking to do away with open primaries and ranked-choice voting in general...
Peltola promotes bipartisanship in address to Alaska Legislature
For the first time in 31 years, Alaska’s sitting U.S. representative addressed a joint session of the Alaska Legislature. Speaking in the state Capitol last Friday, Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola praised the bipartisan coalitions that control the state... Full story
Opposing sides continue debating proposed North Slope oil project
Alaska’s U.S. senators and several Alaska Native leaders on Feb. 14 urged the federal government to approve a major oil project on the petroleum-rich North Slope, casting the project as economically critical for Indigenous communities in the...
Governor's promotes carbon-storage plan as big moneymaker
Oil-dependent Alaska has long sought ways to fatten its coffers and move away from the fiscal whiplash of oil’s boom-and-bust cycles. The newest idea, promoted by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, would have the state capitalize on its oil and gas...
Alaska donates 90,000 pounds of canned pinks to Ukraine relief effort
More than 90,000 pounds of canned Alaska pink salmon purchased and donated by the state of Alaska is being distributed as wartime relief in Ukraine. The cans were donated to the nonprofit World Central Kitchen and arrived in Ukraine this month after... Full story
Anchorage schools agree to strict standards for restraining students
Alaska’s largest school district repeatedly and inappropriately secluded and restrained students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Justice said last Thursday following an investigation into alleged violations of the Americans with...
Alaska's chief medical officer supports president's call for stronger fentanyl penalties
President Joe Biden’s calls in his State of the Union speech for strong criminal penalties in response to soaring deaths linked to the potent opioid fentanyl are being rebuked by harm-reduction advocates who say that approach could make the...
Energy-relief share of last year's PFD not subject to income tax
The IRS announced last Friday that most temporary relief checks issued by states in 2022 are not subject to federal income taxes, including the $662 energy-relief portion of last year’s $3,284 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. Alaska legislators last...
Ortiz introduces bill to increase state funding for public schools
A second bill has been introduced in the Legislature to significantly boost state funding for public schools. Rep. Dan Ortiz, whose district covers Ketchikan, Wrangell and Metlakatla, introduced a bill on Feb. 8 to increase the state’s per-pupil fu...
Alaskans who went to college out of state more likely not to return home
Nearly 18 years ago, about 6,000 young Alaskans left high school and launched into adulthood. Where did they end up? Slightly half were still in Alaska as of 2021, but the percentage was much smaller for those who got college degrees outside of the... Full story
Fewer Alaska students seek scholarships to attend college in-state
The vast majority of Alaska high school students eligible for college scholarships that require them to study in-state are choosing to go Outside, according to a new report from the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. The Alaska...
Alaska backs federal lawsuit to block distribution of abortion pill
WASHINGTON — Attorneys general representing nearly two dozen Republican states, including Alaska, are backing a lawsuit that would remove the abortion pill from throughout the United States after more than two decades, eliminating the option even... Full story