Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for caseworkers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better health and outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts major, comprehensive national best practice standards. The bill passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday by a unanimous 18-0 vote. The bill was co-sponsored by 18 members of the Senate.Read more
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed a bill to update Alaska’s Code of Military Justice (ACMJ) to mirror recent updates to the Federal Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. House Bill 307 builds on the 2016 ACMJ update, which was the first major update to the code since it was created in 1955. HB 307 was sponsored by House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).Read more
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Senate passed legislation sponsored by Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) to address community concerns and improve public safety.
House Bill 312 was introduced in response to reports from Alaska hospitals of an increase in workplace violence over the past year. As the legislation moved toward final passage, the bill was amended to provide additional tools to law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges.
Juneau – Wednesday, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) that will help Alaskans involved in the states vital commercial fishing industry. House Bill 56 passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday after passing the Alaska House of Representatives last year.Read more
Juneau – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker put his signature on a significant piece of legislation to extend Alaska’s Senior Benefits Program through June of 2024. House Bill 236, sponsored by Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks), was officially signed into law in Fairbanks during the Annual Senior Citizen Recognition Day event organized by the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The bill passed the Alaska Legislature this year nearly unanimously.Read more
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature made significant progress to address the ongoing fiscal crisis that has left the State of Alaska with a $2.3 billion budget gap. The House and Senate both passed the new compromise version of Senate Bill 26 that was referred from the conference committee this morning. The new version of the bill includes a spending cap on the use of earnings from the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund. SB 26 sets rules for a structured and predictable draw from the Earnings Reserve Account (ERA) to pay for Permanent Fund Dividends and to help pay for essential public services.Read more
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed legislation to empower local pharmacies and help lower prescription drug prices in Alaska. House Bill 240 will protect Alaska consumers by eliminating the use of “gag orders” by health care companies and prescription drug manufacturers. These orders are used to prevent local pharmacists from informing customers that they can save money by paying for some prescription drugs with cash rather than using health insurance. HB 240 also clarifies how pharmacies in Alaska can be audited by pharmacy benefit managers.Read more
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to change a state loan program to help Alaska’s fledgling mariculture industry. Participants in the industry often have trouble getting financing through private banks. House Bill 76 amends the current program to allow up to 40 percent of the fund to be used for loans to help pay for planning, construction, and operations of shellfish and seaweed hatcheries or enhancement projects.Read more