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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Legislature Names Alaska’s Dating Violence Education Effort After Bree Moore

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to name Alaska’s teen dating violence awareness and prevention program after a young Alaskan killed in a senseless act of dating violence. The prevention program was initially authorized by the successful passage of the “Alaska Safe Children’s Act” in 2015. The passage of House Bill 214 today changes the name of the program to the “Bree Moore Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Program” to honor the memory of Bree Moore who was killed by her boyfriend in 2014.

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Comprehensive Bill to Improve Lives of Alaska Foster Youth and Families Passes with Strong Bipartisan Support

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.

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