NEWS: Race to Alaska Becomes Eligible for “Race Classic” Permit

Ketchikan – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law on Monday adding the Race to Alaska to the list of events eligible for a “race classic” game of chance permit. House Bill 18 will allow the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to offer a “race classic” contest based on people guessing the winning time of the 750-mile Race to Alaska, which is a human-powered boat race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. Similar “classics” are offered by the Chamber’s of Commerce in Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai, Seward, Petersburg, Delta, and Big Lake.

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NEWS: Significant Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill Becomes Law

Anchorage – Bipartisan legislation to reform Alaska’s workers’ compensation system was signed into law this morning during a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual AFL-CIO Summer Convention. Alaska Governor Bill Walker put forward House Bill 79 to modernize the system and to clearly define for the first time in Alaska’s history who can be categorized as an independent contractor. Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) carried the bill on the House floor and issued the following statement upon learning that HB 79 has become law.

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NEWS: Representative Matt Claman to Host Alaska State Forum on Public Safety

Anchorage – Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) and the UAA Justice Center will host an Alaska State Forum on Public Safety next month to update stakeholders on the status of justice reinvestment in Alaska and to examine Alaska’s crime trends and responses for those in the criminal justice system with substance abuse issues and behavioral health needs.

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NEWS: Rep. Guttenberg Thrilled with Progress to Build the Fairbanks Veterans Cemetery

Fairbanks – A ceremony formally announcing the site chosen for the Fairbanks Veterans Cemetery was held Wednesday at the site located at mile 344 of the Parks Highway. State Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) has championed the development of a Fairbanks veterans cemetery for many years and has been instrumental in its development. During Wednesday’s ceremony, Rep. Guttenberg spoke of the importance of allowing interior Alaska veterans to be buried in their home area.

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NEWS: House Transportation Committee Schedules Informational Meeting in Kodiak

Anchorage – The Transportation Committee in the Alaska House of Representatives will hold an informational meeting in Kodiak on August 16. The meeting will be focused on a proposal to transition the current Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) into a publicly operated corporation. The McDowell Group is scheduled to unveil the results of a research project examining the concept. Lawmakers will also receive a presentation from Robert Venables with the Southeast Conference.

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NEWS: Legislation Signed to Help the Military and National Guard in Alaska

Anchorage – Today, a series bills to further modernize Alaska’s military code were signed into law during a ceremony in Anchorage. Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) worked cooperatively with the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense on the much-needed statutory changes to support and protect Alaska’s service members.

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Gov. Walker Will Sign Rep. Grenn’s Legislative Ethics Bill

Anchorage – Alaska Governor Bill Walker will sign a bill Thursday evening in Anchorage to strengthen the conflict of interest standards for members of the Alaska Legislature. House Bill 44, sponsored by Representative Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage), also prohibits lawmakers from collecting per diem payments after the 121-day Constitutional deadline for the length of legislative sessions unless the state’s operating budget is passed.

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