News and Press
Juneau – In a bipartisan effort to improve health care, the Alaska Legislature acted to streamline medical licensing and addressed regulatory issues in the medical field on the final day of session. House Bill 280, an extension for the Board of Marital and Family Therapy sponsored by Representative Andy Josephson (D—Anchorage), was amended to include portions Senate Bill 108 sponsored by Senator Giessel (R—Anchorage), which dealt with reforms requested by the state Medical Board.
Juneau – On the final day of the 30th Alaska Legislature, the Alaska State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) to safeguard Alaskans' access to the civil justice system by creating a stable and sustainable mechanism for funding the Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC).
Juneau – After a flurry of legislative action, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in adjourning the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature sine die early Sunday morning. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition reflected on the legislative achievements of the session.
Juneau – The Alaska Legislature reached a compromise on the last day of the legislative session to pass a health care price transparency measure originally put forward by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage). Senate Bill 105 was amended to include language previously passed by the Alaska House of Representatives in House Bill 123 to require health care providers and facilities to post health care price information in their public reception areas and online. Providers will also be required to provide that information to the State of Alaska, which will make it available on the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ website. The measure also allows patients to have the option of receiving a good faith estimate of nonemergency procedures and services upon request from health care insurers, providers, or facilities. The good faith estimate provision was modeled on an ordinance adopted in Anchorage last year.
As many of you know, this session led to some controversial conversations regarding distilleries and breweries, as well as many other topics in the alcohol industry. Many of these conversations centered around the Title IV bill, Senate Bill 76, which was not passed this session. However, legislation was passed with allows for distilleries to make mixed drinks (this was the same language that was in House Bill 269,) and my bill to grandfather in Alaska's historic roadhouses (House Bill 301) was also passed. To see a brief explanation of why Senate Bill 76 did not pass, and how these changes happened, please read more at the bottom of this newsletter.
Legislature Adjourned on Sunday, May 12 at 1:55AM Big thanks to my staff this year for all their great work. Left to right: Jake Gerrish, William Jodwalis and Mercedes Colbert. You’ll see them in Fairbanks! The Legislative Session wrapped up and I am finally home for the summer! I am proud of the work the Alaska House Majority Coalition accomplished for the people of Alaska. We worked with the House Minority and the Senate to pass a budget that increases resources for public safety and education. I took a strong stand for the people of Alaska and voted against a billion-dollar bonding...
Shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday, May 13th, the 30th Alaska Legislature adjourned. While I was not thrilled about everything that happened these past two years, I was glad to see us finish before the 120-day deadline with a fully-funded operating budget.
This past Sunday morning, after ten hours of being on the floor, the House adjourned after passing the FY19 operating budget, which prioritizes public safety, education, and includes a $1600 PFD. Aside from the budget there were several important bills that passed in the final days. More on those below.
I’m looking forward to visiting with neighbors at upcoming community council meetings, picnics, and summer events.