Legislation Signed to Improve Alaska’s Education and Workforce Training Efforts

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation sponsored by Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) to improve the workforce training programs in Alaska. House Bill 221, which passed the Alaska Legislature with broad bipartisan support, tasks the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education with using a statistics program to gauge the effectiveness of Alaska’s workforce training efforts and to identify coverage gaps.

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 30th Alaska Legislature

Juneau – After a flurry of legislative action, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in adjourning the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature sine die early Sunday morning. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition reflected on the legislative achievements of the session.

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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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Using Data to Help Train Alaskans for the Modern Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to improve the state’s workforce training efforts by using data collected by state entities. House Bill 221 unanimously passed the Alaska State Senate today after passing the Alaska House of Representatives last month with broad bipartisan support. HB 221 allows the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education to create a new education statistics program called the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) through partnerships with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the University of Alaska.

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Public Records Restriction for Past Marijuana Convictions Passes House

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) to protect Alaskans’ ability to go to work despite past convictions for marijuana possession. House Bill 316 restricts public access to records related to simple marijuana possession in the wake of voter approval of legalization in Alaska in November of 2014. The bill also calls for the Alaska CourtView system to be wiped clean of all marijuana convictions classified as a VIA misdemeanor. The citizens’ initiative allowed the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana but failed to address how to deal with those previously convicted of marijuana possession.

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Early Education Update, PFD Application Deadline, and Vote by Mail Reminder

I am excited to report a major step forward in efforts to better coordinate and utilize state resources dedicated to early childhood in Alaska. When it comes to young children, there is no line between early education and early development. You really can’t have one without the other, and there is no more important time for children to learn and grow than during their earliest years.

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