Legislature Votes Unanimously to Support Alaska’s EMS Providers

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed a bill to allow emergency medical services (EMS) providers to recover additional costs for transporting Medicaid patients in Alaska. House Bill 176 makes a change in state law that will help EMS providers recover supplemental reimbursements from the Medicaid program, which currently serves over 200,000 Alaskans.

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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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Alaska Legislature Unanimously Passes HB43: Right to Try

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed legislation to increase patient rights in Alaska. House Bill 43, also known as the “Right to Try” bill, was sponsored by Representative Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage). It allows terminally ill patients who have exhausted all FDA-approved treatment options and do not qualify for clinical trials to gain faster access to safe but experimental drugs in an effort to save or extend their own lives.

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Alaska Legislature Seeks to Protect Alaska Native Languages from Extinction

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a resolution calling for action to ensure the survival of Alaska Native Languages. House Concurrent Resolution 19, sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) passed the Alaska House of Representatives last month, and today the Alaska State Senate passed the resolution by a vote of 20-0.

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Speaker Edgmon Addresses Media Reports About Rep. Parish

Juneau – Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) has issued the following statement to respond to recent media reports documenting an allegation of sexual harassment against Representative Justin Parish (D-Juneau).
“Our caucus takes allegations of this nature very seriously. However, I wanted to provide some clarifying comments following yesterday’s report.

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Legislature Wants Wild and Domestic Animals in Alaska Protected from Infectious Diseases

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a resolution urging cooperation among state departments to protect the health of wild and domestic animals. House Concurrent Resolution 23 calls for increased data collection on diseases and foreign pathogens to better facilitate science-based management decisions. The resolution is a call to action for the Departments of Fish and Game, Natural Resources, and Environmental Conservation to cooperate on measures to prevent the spread of diseases and pathogens among Alaska’s wildlife and domestic animals.

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