Susan Bell, of the McDowell Group, and Robert Venables, executive director of Southeast Conference, present information about the Alaska Marine Highway Systems during an information meeting for House members at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Ferry system braces for budget cuts

Dwindling budget could mean loss of services.

Susan Bell, of the McDowell Group, and Robert Venables, executive director of Southeast Conference, present information about the Alaska Marine Highway Systems during an information meeting for House members at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

US Senator questions Facebook over policies surrounding ivory sales

He worked with Alaska Native artists to resolve an issue with Etsy last year.

In this Jan. 8 file photo, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Jonathan Quick, second from right, speaks with Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman, right, before the start of a cabinet meeting at the state Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

Alaska governor’s candidate screening process under scrutiny

JUNEAU — Newly elected Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s process for screening candidates for government work is under scrutiny after three people picked for prominent… Continue reading

In this Jan. 8 file photo, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Jonathan Quick, second from right, speaks with Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman, right, before the start of a cabinet meeting at the state Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin presents the governor’s supplemental budget to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin presents the governor’s supplemental budget to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Kelly Tshibaka was appointed to serve as the next commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration. (Courtesy photo | Dunleavy administration)

Governor taps new Administration commissioner

She has extensive federal government experience.

Kelly Tshibaka was appointed to serve as the next commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration. (Courtesy photo | Dunleavy administration)
Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, introduces Senate Bill 22 to the Senate Resources Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. The bill would allow organizations to obtain permits and enhance the habitat of shellfish in hopes of improving the seafood industry. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, introduces Senate Bill 22 to the Senate Resources Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. The bill would allow organizations to obtain permits and enhance the habitat of shellfish in hopes of improving the seafood industry. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, left, listens as Attorney General Kevin Clarkson describes three constitutional amendments that would be a foundation of his administration’s fiscal plan during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, left, listens as Attorney General Kevin Clarkson describes three constitutional amendments that would be a foundation of his administration’s fiscal plan during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, speaks during a press conference with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, left, and Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla,at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Reps talking, but House still unsettled

The House is a week away from a dubious record.

Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, speaks during a press conference with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, left, and Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla,at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
School buses drop students off at Thunder Mountain High School on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
School buses drop students off at Thunder Mountain High School on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, center, speaks from a panel of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission during a listening session at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, center, speaks from a panel of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission during a listening session at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Leadership remains unsolved in the House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Leadership remains unsolved in the House of Representatives on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with his cabinet members at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with his cabinet members at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, gathers with other senators and families as they prepare for the opening of the Alaska’s 31st Legislative Session on Tuesday. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)

Suicide prevention bill gains bipartisan support in Senate

“Suicide and suicide prevention is not a partisan issue.”

Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, gathers with other senators and families as they prepare for the opening of the Alaska’s 31st Legislative Session on Tuesday. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
Sen. Bill Wielechowski, R-Anchorage, center, and Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, right, listen members from the Department of Revenue give a state revenue forecast during a Senate Finance Committee meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Volatile oil market prompts conservative forecasts

New Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration is taking a more conservative approach to oil revenue forecasting to help avoid the creation of an oversized budget.… Continue reading

Sen. Bill Wielechowski, R-Anchorage, center, and Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, right, listen members from the Department of Revenue give a state revenue forecast during a Senate Finance Committee meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton, left, speaks with Sharon Jackson on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Jackson is Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy’s pick to replace Nancy Dahlstrom’s House District 13 seat for Chugiak. That position was left vacant in December after Dunleavy appointed Dahlstrom to be Department of Corrections commissioner. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Breaking all the rules: Jackson sworn in, against state statutes

House Republicans pursue Sharon Jackson’s appointment, even though it likely won’t stand

Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton, left, speaks with Sharon Jackson on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. Jackson is Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy’s pick to replace Nancy Dahlstrom’s House District 13 seat for Chugiak. That position was left vacant in December after Dunleavy appointed Dahlstrom to be Department of Corrections commissioner. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, left, and Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, relay a message to Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy in his Capitol office that the Senate is open and ready for business on the first day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, left, and Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, relay a message to Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy in his Capitol office that the Senate is open and ready for business on the first day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Hello? Cellphones banned on Senate floor

Sen. John Coghill said Tuesday evening he is considering a revision of a ban of cellphone usage on the Senate floor. Coghill is the Senate… Continue reading

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, left, congratulates Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, and Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, after being sworn in on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tensions rise in discombobulated Alaska House

Until a majority is formed, the House will be at a standstill.

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, left, congratulates Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, and Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, after being sworn in on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska receives almost 10 times more unemployment filings since shutdown began

There have been almost 10 times more unemployment filings from federal workers in Alaska than normal since the federal shutdown began. The Alaska Department of… Continue reading