NEWS: Coalition Responds to Resignation of Rep. Dean Westlake

Anchorage – Earlier today, District 40 State Representative Dean Westlake (D-Kiana) submitted his resignation. This comes in the wake of multiple reports of sexual harassment by Rep. Westlake against current and former legislative staffers.

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NEWS: Rep. Spohnholz Praises Approval for New Resources Essential to the Response to Alaska’s Opioid Epidemic

Anchorage – Last week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services approved certificate of need requests from both the Alaska Regional Hospital and the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for new treatment facilities for those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee, supported both certificate of need applications as a way to address Alaska’s worsening opioid epidemic and fill a need for behavioral healthcare in both Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s November 6th Newsletter: SB54 continues on the House Floor today

SB54 is an important piece of legislation that will revise some sections of SB91–criminal justice reform. However, I voted against an amendment to SB 54 that would result in a nearly full repeal of SB91 because there are many critically important parts of that legislation that are designed to prevent people from becoming repeat offenders.

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NEWS: House Health and Social Services Committee to Examine Omnibus Crime Bill Justice Reinvestment Provisions

Juneau – The House Health and Social Services Committee will hold a hearing Thursday afternoon related to the Alaska Legislature’s ongoing efforts at criminal justice reform. Specifically, the committee will examine the implementation of provisions in last year’s omnibus crime bill to reinvest savings into resources to help those struggling with substance abuse.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s October 2nd Newsletter: Criminal Justice Hearings and Senior Benefits

There has been a lot of discussion about rising crime rates and criminal justice reform as enacted in SB91. There is no arguing that crime rates are rising in Alaska- according to the Alaska Justice Center they have been rising since 2014. My heart goes out to those who have been hurt as a result—it’s terrible to have your home or property violated.

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NEWS: Input Needed on Importance of the Alaska Senior Benefits Program

Anchorage – A statewide listening session on the future of the vital Alaska Senior Benefits Program will be held next week to gather input from Alaskan. The program is currently scheduled to sunset in June 2018. The listening session on Thursday, September 28 is sponsored by the House Health and Social Services Subcommittee on the Senior Benefits Program. The Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), will be taking public input on House Bill 236 to extend the program until 2022.

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