NEWS: “Alaska Grown” Bill Signing Wednesday at a Community Farm in Mountain View

Anchorage – Tomorrow, Alaska Governor Bill Walker will sign legislation designed to increase economic opportunities for Alaska farmers and fishermen and to grow Alaska’s farm-to-table economy. House Bill 217, sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), will be signed at noon on September 5 at the nonprofit community garden near the Mountain View Elementary School in Anchorage.

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NEWS: Legislation Signed to Regulate the Middle-Men Between Pharmacies and Insurance Companies

Anchorage – A landmark piece of legislation to empower local pharmacies in Alaska was signed into law this morning by Alaska Governor Bill Walker during a ceremony at a small pharmacy in Juneau. Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) responded to the concerns of pharmacists and many of their customers by sponsoring House Bill 240, which passed the Alaska State Legislature this year with unanimous support.

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NEWS: Legislation Signed to Support Southeast Alaska’s Dive Fisheries

Ketchikan – Earlier this week, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law to help the valuable geoduck, sea cucumber, and sea urchin fisheries in Southeast Alaska. House Bill 354 updates the protocol used by the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association to charge an assessment to its members. The old assessment method that required a vote by a majority of all permit holders to authorize an assessment change was difficult to achieve because many permit holders no longer participate because their permits are nontransferable. HB 354 changes the threshold to change assessments to a three-quarters vote of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of permit holders participating in the election.

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NEWS: Race to Alaska Becomes Eligible for “Race Classic” Permit

Ketchikan – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law on Monday adding the Race to Alaska to the list of events eligible for a “race classic” game of chance permit. House Bill 18 will allow the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to offer a “race classic” contest based on people guessing the winning time of the 750-mile Race to Alaska, which is a human-powered boat race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. Similar “classics” are offered by the Chamber’s of Commerce in Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai, Seward, Petersburg, Delta, and Big Lake.

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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: Representative Matt Claman to Host Alaska State Forum on Public Safety

Anchorage – Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) and the UAA Justice Center will host an Alaska State Forum on Public Safety next month to update stakeholders on the status of justice reinvestment in Alaska and to examine Alaska’s crime trends and responses for those in the criminal justice system with substance abuse issues and behavioral health needs.

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