May 10th: Outstanding items as we wrap up session

I’m expecting we will adjourn in the next few days and I’m pleased to report that many good bills have passed in recent days, including bills to increase access to mental health care, bills that will improve the lives of Alaskans with mental or physical disabilities, and a bill to reform our foster care system. My personal legislation to address rape kit reform and increase purchasing of Alaska Grown have also passed.

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Legislature Unanimously Passes Public Safety Bill to Address Sexual Assault

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed important public safety legislation introduced by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) that will ensure sexual assault victims have a victim-centered approach to reporting their assault, improve law enforcement handling of sexual assault crimes, and help the legislature address the backlog of untested kits by requiring an annual audit of progress on testing the kits.

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Important neighborhood events this weekend & quick Juneau update

Things are moving along quickly and we are getting close to adjournment of the 30th Alaska Legislature. I look forward to being home and visiting with many of you again soon. Below please find a quick update of what’s happening here, and a reminder of events happening in Anchorage this weekend. Next week we will include an update on personal legislation and other important bills.

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House Passes Legislation to Grow Agriculture Industry and Support “Alaska Grown” Product

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation to increase sales of “Alaska Grown” agricultural and fisheries products. House Bill 217 accomplishes three things; allows the Division of Agriculture to increase “Alaska Grown” marketing, supports farm touring in Alaska, and encourages the State of Alaska, school districts, and municipalities to buy more “Alaska Grown” agricultural and fisheries products.

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Fighting for economic fairness, Go Blue Friday for child abuse prevention

Our shared values include fairness and equality. It was with that in mind that I stood up and fought for economic fairness in this year’s budget. We live in the poorest district in Anchorage, with an average income just over $20,000 (Figure 1). We are neighborhoods full of the working poor and those working paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. Wages haven’t kept up with inflation and housing and health care have outpaced wages. Many of the families in our area live on the edge. This is why I have fought so hard for a fiscal plan that is fair to all Alaskans

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