Rep. Gara: Alaska Senators Should Not Confirm Supreme Court Justice That Supports Unlimited Corporate Election Spending or Political Party Gerrymandering

Anchorage – On Wednesday, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) sent a letter to Alaska’s two U.S. Senators asking them to protect voters from being silenced by unlimited corporate and group election spending, as well as political party gerrymandering of legislative district boundaries.

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Legislation Signed to Help Prevent Dating Violence in Alaska

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 214 to name Alaska’s teen dating violence awareness and prevention program after Bree Moore who was killed in a senseless act of dating violence in 2014. Alaska’s in-school dating violence prevention program was first authorized in 2015 when the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to implement Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law in Alaska. Erin’s Law requires schools to offer students sexual assault and prevention curriculum, while Bree’s Law mandates dating violence education. HB 214 changes the name of the current program to the “Bree Moore Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Program.”

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Replacement Sought for Longtime Legal Services Director

Anchorage – The Legislative Affairs Agency announced an opening for the non-partisan role of Legal Services Director. Doug Gardner has worked as the Legal Services Director for the past eight legislative sessions, including multiple special sessions. At the most recent Legislative Council Meeting, he announced he would be stepping down from the position.

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Governor Walker Signs Legislation Updating Alaska’s Auto Dealer Franchise Laws

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation sponsored by Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) to improve laws controlling franchise agreements between auto dealers and manufacturers. House Bill 136 updates Alaska’s franchise statutes to improve protections for auto dealers, auto manufacturers, and Alaska consumers.

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Governor Walker Signs Bill Supporting Victims of Violent Crimes

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) to improve how law enforcement agencies address and solve sexual assault cases. House Bill 31 requires an annual audit of untested sexual assault kits and implements a victim-centered approach to reporting sexual assault. The bill also requires 12 hours of sexual assault training for new police officers.

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Policymakers, Experts, and Patients Weigh in on the Importance of Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions

Anchorage – On Friday, officials from the administration of Alaska Governor Bill Walker, health-policy advocate Dr. Alan Gross, and several patient-advocates joined Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center to highlight the importance of preserving protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.

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Southeast Lawmakers Welcome Fisheries Disaster Relief Funds

Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka) and Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) welcome news that Alaska, including Southeast, will receive $56 million in federal fisheries disaster relief funds. The 2016 pink salmon fishery’s devastatingly low revenues were felt throughout the state, but the initial request for disaster relief funds was…

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Alaska Health Care Policy Leaders to Discuss Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

Anchorage – Federal protections for patients with preexisting health conditions have been recently threatened on multiple levels. A rollback of these protections would have serious negative impacts on the Alaska economy and limit access to medical care for more than a quarter of all Alaskans.
On Friday June 22nd, lawmakers, state government officials, medical professionals, and patients will hold a joint press conference to discuss what potential changes would mean for Alaska.
Speakers will be available to answer questions following initial presentations.
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