In a photo provided by the office of the governor, Gov. Bill Walker signs Senate Bill 63, a statewide public smoking ban, on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at the Lucky Wishbone restaurant in Anchorage. The law goes into effect on Oct. 1. Standing at right is Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, the legislative sponsor of the bill. On Walker’s lap is Stella Micciche, one of Micciche’s daughters. Also visible, from right to left behind Walker are Dr. Jay Butler, Alaska’s chief medical officer; Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage; Rep. Jason Grenn, I-Anchorage; Micciche; Rep. Chris Birch, R-Anchorage; and the smile of Emily Nenon of the American Cancer Society. (Courtesy photo)

Smokefree workplace law takes effect Oct. 1

As of today, workers and customers of Alaska businesses who smoke or vape will have to take it outside — at least 10 feet away.… Continue reading


Alaska pauses plan to borrow $1 billion for oil-company payouts

State officials confirmed Tuesday that a billion-dollar bond issue is on hold amid a pending lawsuit by two Juneau men. The bonds, authorized by the… Continue reading


Analysis: Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signs deficit-slashing budget, but ‘shadow deficit’ remains

On Wednesday in Anchorage, Gov. Bill Walker signed a $10.4 billion state operating budget, a $1.5 billion capital construction and renovation budget, a mental health… Continue reading


Butler running for House of Representatives

With incumbent Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) absent from this year’s state Alaska House District 29 race for the first time since 2001, Shawn Butler of Hope… Continue reading

Two candidates so far for House seat

Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the Kenai Peninsula Borough planning group that Shawn Butler has served on. Two candidates — Ben… Continue reading

Lawmakers approve legislation, funding to test backlog of rape kits

An effort to solve a backlog of untested evidence from rape cases across Alaska received a major boost from the Alaska Legislature this week, but… Continue reading

House struggles could risk Permanent Fund Corp. in long term

As the Alaska Legislature careens toward the end of its 2018 regular session, the head of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is urging lawmakers to… Continue reading

Alaska Senate approves $1,600 PFD

The Alaska Senate has voted to keep this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend at $1,600. With a pair of votes Thursday afternoon, senators rejected proposals from… Continue reading

Alaska finances better, not good, new report suggests

The State of Alaska will earn more money from oil than previously expected, but it still faces a multibillion-dollar deficit, according to new predictions released… Continue reading

State officials warn Medicaid money will run out by month’s end

Alaska’s Medicaid health insurance program will run out of money as soon as the end of March, state officials are warning. Unless the Alaska Legislature… Continue reading

Alaska House approves stopgap ferry, Medicaid funding bill

The Alaska House of Representatives has passed a stopgap funding bill to keep the Alaska Marine Highway and state Medicaid program operating. In a 32-7… Continue reading

State asks Legislature for $10 million to survey ANWR for oil

The administration of Gov. Bill Walker is asking the Alaska Legislature for permission to spend $10 million on seismic surveying in the coastal plain of… Continue reading

Lawmakers could affect value of the Permanent Fund

As lawmakers consider using proceeds from the Alaska Permanent Fund to patch Alaska’s $2.5 billion budget deficit, they are pushing back against a stress test… Continue reading

Analysis: ‘0 percent’ chance Legislature addresses deficit this year

On taxes, the gap between the coalition majority that runs the Alaska House of Representatives and the predominantly Republican Senate Majority can literally be measured… Continue reading

Oiling the financial gears

Alaska’s economic dependence on oil and gas extraction is quantified in a report that the McDowell Group, an Anchorage-based economic consulting firm, does every three… Continue reading

Legislature averts shutdown, but more work remains

The morning after the Alaska Legislature averted a statewide shutdown, you could find more tourists than legislators in the Capitol. Though the Legislature’s second special… Continue reading

Alaska Legislature averts shutdown with nine days to spare

With nine days to spare, the Alaska Legislature has averted a statewide government shutdown. At 1:04 p.m. Thursday afternoon, a joint House-Senate conference committee approved… Continue reading

Alaska lawmakers reach deal to avert deficit, but final vote awaits

Alaska lawmakers have agreed upon a plan to avert a statewide government shutdown, but at press time Thursday, the Alaska Legislature’s various factions were struggling… Continue reading

House ends special session with failed ‘Hail Mary’ on budget

It was a mic-drop moment on a trampoline. In a surprise Thursday night move, the Alaska House of Representatives attempted to avert a statewide government… Continue reading

State shutdown would affect every man, woman and child in Alaska — including the dead

Forget about the ferries. Reschedule your wedding. Don’t think about pull tabs. Alaska’s impending government shutdown will have a tsunami of effects across the state,… Continue reading