Day - April 27, 2018

House Passes Bill Strengthening Broadband Internet in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) to define broadband internet in Alaska as a responsibility of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). House Bill 384 does not enable the RCA to do anything that is currently preempted by the Federal Communications Commission. However, the bill would allow the RCA to collect information to more accurately map broadband internet coverage in Alaska.

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Alaska Legislature Extends Workers’ Compensation to the Organized Militia

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously approved a bill to extend workers’ compensation coverage to members of Alaska’s organized militia. Members of the Alaska State Defense Force are covered by workers’ compensation when ordered into active state service. However, that protection does not extend during training exercises. House Bill 126 fixes that discrepancy by extending workers compensation to cover injuries incurred during training.

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House Votes to Strengthen Penalties for Spills of Oil and Other Hazardous Substances

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation to give the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) additional tools to address spills of oil and hazardous substances in Alaska. House Bill 322 updates civil penalties that have been eroded over time due to inflation and provides administrative penalties that DEC can quickly levy to stop and prevent spills. Both penalties would be automatically adjusted for inflation every ten years. Additionally, HB 322 stipulates that trucking companies transporting oil share with DEC any spill plan they submit to the federal government.

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