State government

The aging Tustumena ferry, long designated for replacement, arrives in Homer after spending the day in Seldovia in this 2010 photo. (Homer News file photo)

Feds OK most of state’s revised transportation plan, but ferry and other projects again rejected

Governor’s use of ferry revenue instead of state funds to match federal grants a sticking point.

 

The Anchorage headquarters of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, shares space with a sister agency, the Alaska Energy Authority. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz)

Alaska development authority signs contracts with ex-Dunleavy aides, paying up to $295/hour

Alaska’s state-owned economic development agency has retained four consultants aimed at boosting its standing in the rural regions where it’s proposed controversial projects — and… Continue reading

 

Kaskanak Creek in the Bristol Bay’s Kvichak watershed is seen from the air on Sept. 27, 2011. Threats to the watershed and other sites were cited by the Environmental Protection Agency when it issued a decision barring permitting of the Pebble mine. But the Dunleavy administration and Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. have taken legal action to try to reverse that decision. (Photo provided by Environmental Protection Agency

State lawsuit claims federal government owes Alaska $700 billion for quashing Pebble mine

The federal government owes Alaska more than $700 billion in compensation for the 2023 Environmental Protection Agency action that blocked development of the massive and… Continue reading

Kaskanak Creek in the Bristol Bay’s Kvichak watershed is seen from the air on Sept. 27, 2011. Threats to the watershed and other sites were cited by the Environmental Protection Agency when it issued a decision barring permitting of the Pebble mine. But the Dunleavy administration and Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. have taken legal action to try to reverse that decision. (Photo provided by Environmental Protection Agency
The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Wednesday, March 7. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Experts bump Alaska oil price estimates slightly, boosting Permanent Fund dividend and budget

Extra payment of more than $200 expected for this year’s PFD.

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Wednesday, March 7. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
A map shows possible routes for a second Juneau-Douglas crossing, with the “Sunny Point East” route circled as the highest-scoring option in a report presented to city leaders on Monday. (Map by DOWL)

Sunny Point route near airport runway gets highest score for second Juneau-Douglas crossing

However, all seven options get negative scores; concerns by airport officials and residents linger.

A map shows possible routes for a second Juneau-Douglas crossing, with the “Sunny Point East” route circled as the highest-scoring option in a report presented to city leaders on Monday. (Map by DOWL)
Freshly made beds are seen in an unoccupied room at the Fairbanks emergency shelter, Interior Alaska center for Non-Violent Living on Oct. 14, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska domestic violence and sexual assault victims services face $4M funding gap

As major source of federal funding dwindles, state programs seek state money to continue care.

Freshly made beds are seen in an unoccupied room at the Fairbanks emergency shelter, Interior Alaska center for Non-Violent Living on Oct. 14, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
A view of Gastineau Channel, where a second crossing between Juneau and Douglas north of the current bridge is in the evaluation stage. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)

Second Juneau-Douglas crossing to cost about $400M, be completed by 2030, in revised state transportation plan

Update also envisions Cascade ferry terminal by ‘25, safety fixes at Fred Meyer intersection by ‘26.

A view of Gastineau Channel, where a second crossing between Juneau and Douglas north of the current bridge is in the evaluation stage. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
The State Office Building in Juneau is seen on Tuesday, Jan. 16. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska plans to ease rules on state purchases without multiple price quotes

The state of Alaska is planning to raise the maximum size of bid-free purchases from $10,000 to $25,000. This would allow employees with state agencies… Continue reading

The State Office Building in Juneau is seen on Tuesday, Jan. 16. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Eric Bookless holds up a protest sign regarding the situation in Gaza while standing in a traffic median next to the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill during the day that would increase the penalties and definitions of illegal protests, although Bookless’ actions do not appear to fall under its provisions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Governor seeks tougher criminal, civil penalties for unauthorized protesters

Bill also targets people who encourage or assist participants in illegal demonstrations.

Eric Bookless holds up a protest sign regarding the situation in Gaza while standing in a traffic median next to the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill during the day that would increase the penalties and definitions of illegal protests, although Bookless’ actions do not appear to fall under its provisions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lacey Sanders, director of the state Office of Management and Budget, presents Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s updated budget requests for this fiscal year and next to the Senate Finance Committee on Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Small changes in governor’s proposed budget could mean big moves for Juneau

New plan moves staff from Permanent Fund building, opening space for city to put all employees there

Lacey Sanders, director of the state Office of Management and Budget, presents Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s updated budget requests for this fiscal year and next to the Senate Finance Committee on Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy announces his proposed FY2025 budget at a news conference in Juneau on Dec. 14, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Gov. Dunleavy proposes tax breaks for the private sector to address Alaska’s high cost of living

The Dunleavy administration’s proposal to address a crisis of affordability in Alaska is to offer a tax credit to businesses that pitch in to reduce… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announces his proposed FY2025 budget at a news conference in Juneau on Dec. 14, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Smokestack emissions into Fairbanks’ atmosphere are seen on March 1, 2023, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska legislators give closer look at bill aimed at storing carbon emissions underground

Bill could enable enhanced oil recovery, sequestration of emissions from new coal-fired power.

Smokestack emissions into Fairbanks’ atmosphere are seen on March 1, 2023, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
People rally outside the Alaska State Capitol, Monday, Jan. 29, in support of increased funding for public schools in the state. The rally was set to take place the night of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State speech but the speech was delayed until Jan. 30 after high winds disrupted flights carrying speech guests and Cabinet members. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

A high cost of living and lack of a pension strain teachers in Alaska. Would bonuses help keep them?

Cory Hughes moved to a remote Alaska village to teach and would happily stay and retire there if he could afford to — despite the… Continue reading

People rally outside the Alaska State Capitol, Monday, Jan. 29, in support of increased funding for public schools in the state. The rally was set to take place the night of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State speech but the speech was delayed until Jan. 30 after high winds disrupted flights carrying speech guests and Cabinet members. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, stands outside a restaurant on May 6, 2022, in Palmer, her home city. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Dr. Anne Zink to leave position as Alaska chief medical officer

Alaska’s ‘top doc’ reflects on nearly five years of work, time in public eye during pandemic.

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, stands outside a restaurant on May 6, 2022, in Palmer, her home city. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Traffic at the Fred Meyer intersection, formally known as Egan and Yandukin drives, in November 2019. Proposed safety upgrades at the intersection may be impacted by the federal government’s rejection of the State Transportation Improvement Program for 2024-27. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Traffic at the Fred Meyer intersection, formally known as Egan and Yandukin drives, in November 2019. Proposed safety upgrades at the intersection may be impacted by the federal government’s rejection of the State Transportation Improvement Program for 2024-27. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Jan. 18. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

For third year, Alaska’s top-paid public executive is the gas pipeline boss

The head of the state corporation in charge of a long-planned trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline is once again Alaska’s top-paid public executive. Frank Richards, president… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Jan. 18. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Chris Schapp, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Food Bank, discusses record demand during the past year and steps the organization is trying to do to help those in need during a presentation Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Food assistance advocates seeking substantial fixes as record demand, food stamp problems persist

State, facing lawsuit and funding pressures on SNAP backlog, being asked for other forms of help.

Chris Schapp, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Food Bank, discusses record demand during the past year and steps the organization is trying to do to help those in need during a presentation Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivers the State of the State address on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Alaska State Capitol. Behind him are Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska legislators are moving to reject some of Dunleavy’s executive orders

The Alaska Senate moved quickly on Monday to take the first formal steps needed to reject some or all of the 12 executive orders Gov.… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivers the State of the State address on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Alaska State Capitol. Behind him are Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the Premier of the Yukon Ranj Pillai, pose for a photo in the Cabinet office during a visit to Whitehorse on Thursday. (Photo by Justin Kennedy/Government of Yukon)

Dunleavy makes first official Yukon visit, signs Alaska Highway maintenance agreement

In his first official visit to the Yukon during five years as Alaska’s governor, Mike Dunleavy signed an agreement that commits more than $31 million… Continue reading

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and the Premier of the Yukon Ranj Pillai, pose for a photo in the Cabinet office during a visit to Whitehorse on Thursday. (Photo by Justin Kennedy/Government of Yukon)