Legislature Addresses Medical Licensing, Regulation, and Family Therapy

Juneau – In a bipartisan effort to improve health care, the Alaska Legislature acted to streamline medical licensing and addressed regulatory issues in the medical field on the final day of session. House Bill 280, an extension for the Board of Marital and Family Therapy sponsored by Representative Andy Josephson (D—Anchorage), was amended to include portions Senate Bill 108 sponsored by Senator Giessel (R—Anchorage), which dealt with reforms requested by the state Medical Board.

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Alaska Legislature Passes Legislation to Safeguard Access to Civil Justice for Low-Income Alaskans

Juneau – On the final day of the 30th Alaska Legislature, the Alaska State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) to safeguard Alaskans’ access to the civil justice system by creating a stable and sustainable mechanism for funding the Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC).

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 30th Alaska Legislature

Juneau – After a flurry of legislative action, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in adjourning the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature sine die early Sunday morning. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition reflected on the legislative achievements of the session.

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Alaska Legislature Empowers Consumers with Health Care Price Transparency

Juneau – The Alaska Legislature reached a compromise on the last day of the legislative session to pass a health care price transparency measure originally put forward by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage). Senate Bill 105 was amended to include language previously passed by the Alaska House of Representatives in House Bill 123 to require health care providers and facilities to post health care price information in their public reception areas and online. Providers will also be required to provide that information to the State of Alaska, which will make it available on the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ website. The measure also allows patients to have the option of receiving a good faith estimate of nonemergency procedures and services upon request from health care insurers, providers, or facilities. The good faith estimate provision was modeled on an ordinance adopted in Anchorage last year.

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Legislature Expands Hiring Preference for Veterans and National Guard Members

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to expand job opportunities for veterans and members of the National Guard. House Bill 2, sponsored by Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), is supported by the United States Department of Defense and the National Federation of Independent Businesses-Alaska. The bill gives private businesses in Alaska the ability to offer a hiring preference to veterans of the armed services and members of the National Guard.

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Budget Deal Reached; State Operating Budget Passes the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – A compromise budget agreement between the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate was reached today, resulting in the passage of the fiscal year 2019 operating budget for the State of Alaska. Today’s budget deal prevents any disruption in essential public services as the State of Alaska enters the busy summer tourism and fishing seasons. House Bill 286 features total General Fund spending of $6.27 billion. The budget includes Alaska House Majority Coalition priorities such as $942 million to inflation-proof the value of the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, $1.02 billion to pay for $1,600 Permanent Fund Dividends for each eligible Alaskan, a $10 million investment in the University of Alaska above the Governor’s proposal, and multiple measures to improve public safety and law enforcement in Alaska.

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Workers’ Compensation Reform Passes the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation put forward by Alaska Governor Bill Walker to improve Alaska’s workers’ compensation system. House Bill 79 allows for electronic filing, reduces administrative costs, more clearly defines ‘independent contractor’, and provide adequate funding to administer the workers’ compensation system.

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