Legislation to Protect Alaska’s Forested Lands Becomes Law

Fairbanks – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law updating the penalties for burning offenses on publicly and privately forested land in Alaska. House Bill 355 was sponsored by Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) and passed the Alaska Legislature this year with significant bipartisan support.

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Gov. Walker Will Sign Rep. Grenn’s Legislative Ethics Bill

Anchorage – Alaska Governor Bill Walker will sign a bill Thursday evening in Anchorage to strengthen the conflict of interest standards for members of the Alaska Legislature. House Bill 44, sponsored by Representative Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage), also prohibits lawmakers from collecting per diem payments after the 121-day Constitutional deadline for the length of legislative sessions unless the state’s operating budget is passed.

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Legislation Signed to Preserve Alaska’s Historic Roadhouses

Anchorage – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation today that includes measures to protect the growing hospitality industry in Alaska. Senate Bill 45 includes a provision to allow Alaska’s historic roadhouses to continue operating as they have for decades. The provision was originally included in a bill sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) that passed the Alaska House of Representatives but didn’t pass the Alaska State Senate. In the closing hours of the legislative session, the language to protect Alaska’s historic roadhouses was amended into SB 45, a bill that deals with contractors and home builders

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Legislation Signed to Create a Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia Task Force in Alaska

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill to address the educational challenges faced by young Alaskans who have difficulty reading due to dyslexia and other factors. House Bill 64 authorizes the creation of a 12-member task force to make recommendations on how to improve reading skills for those who need it.

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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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