NEWS: Help for Alaska’s Growing Mariculture Industry Signed Into Law

Ketchikan – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law today to help participants in Alaska’s growing mariculture industry get access to capital. Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) sponsored House Bill 76 after learning that many of the small businesses in Alaska’s mariculture industry were having trouble securing financing for improvement projects through private lending institutions. HB 76 changes the Alaska Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund to allow up to 40 percent of the fund to be used for loans to help pay for shellfish and sea…..

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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: Bill Signed to Modernize Alaska’s Public School Trust Fund Using POMV Model

Fairbanks – Today, legislation was signed into law changing the management structure of the $675 million Alaska Public School Trust Fund to a percent of market value (POMV) system. POMV has become the standard global management approach for large endowments and trusts. House Bill 213, sponsored by Representative Justin Parish (D-Juneau), will result in a significant increase in funding available for public education in Alaska.

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Governor Signs Legislation Increasing Flexibility for School Districts

Today – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation sponsored by Representative John Lincoln (D-Kotzebue) to give Alaska school districts more time and flexibility to provide the local match required under the School Construction Grant Program. House Bill 135 loosens the existing three-year deadline, which can now be extended by the Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development to a maximum of seven years; provided there is good cause, the extension doesn’t jeopardize successful completion of the project, and the extension won’t increase state funding of the project cost.

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NEWS: Governor Walker Signs Legislation to Support Rural Communities

Nondalton – Tuesday, in the community of Nondalton, near Lake Clark, Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 267, which gives municipalities that levy taxes on guided hunting and sport fishing access to records that businesses submit to state agencies. HB 267 will allow local governments to confirm that hunting and fishing activities subject to taxes within their jurisdictions are being accurately reported.

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Alaska Law Now Honors Hmong Veterans

Fairbanks – Yesterday, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation to honor Hmong and Laotian soldiers who fought as allies to the United States during the Vietnam War. Senate Bill 204, sponsored by Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau) was amended to include language introduced by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) to authorize use of the special veteran designation for Hmong and Laotian veterans on state-issued IDs and driver’s licenses.

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Legislation Signed to Facilitate Energy Improvements to Homes and Businesses

Fairbanks – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law this evening allowing utilities in Alaska to create low-interest financing programs to help customers make energy efficiency improvement to their homes and businesses. House Bill 374, sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks), allows utilities to offer low-interest loans to customers with payments added to existing utility bills.

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