NEWS: Democrats in the Alaska House of Representatives Will Quickly Consider Governor Walker’s Choice for House District 16 State Representative

Juneau – The Democrats in the Alaska House of Representatives will meet as soon as possible to deliberate on Governor Walker’s choice of Ivy Spohnholz to replace the late Representative Max Gruenberg as the Representative for House District 16.

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NEWS: Life-Saving Legislation Passed to Help Respond to Epidemic of Heroin Use in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 23 by a vote of 36-0. The bill, sponsored by Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage), passed the Alaska Senate last year by a vote of 19-1.

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NEWS: Lawmakers Applaud Today’s Superior Court Decision to Dismiss Ill-Advised Lawsuit Over Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – Today, Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner issued a ruling in the case brought by the Alaska Legislative Council against Alaska Governor Bill Walker over his decision last year to expand Medicaid without legislative approval. Judge Pfiffner found that the Social Security Act requires Medicaid expansion, and that existing state law required Governor Walker to provide Medicaid to the group of Alaskans eligible for expansion. In his 26-page ruling, Judge Pfiffner granted the Governor’s motion for summary judgement and dismissed the case brought by the Alaska Legislative Council, which is made up of ten members of the Alaska Legislature.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Part 1 of 2: Public Testimony Coming Soon

I’m a little frazzled from having way less fun than you might think legislators have (prompt: eye roll because you all work hard too!). But I wanted to get you some information between hearings and meetings, and well, work.

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NEWS: Memorial Services Scheduled for Rep. Max Gruenberg

Juneau – Two memorial services have been scheduled for Representative Max Gruenberg, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 72.  The first memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 21 at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Juneau.  The second memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 25 at Temple Beth Sholom in Anchorage.  The public is invited to attend the memorial services to show their respect for Rep. Gruenberg.

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NEWS: House and Senate Minorities Propose Creating a Caucus of the Whole in the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – Last Friday was the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Alaska Constitution.  The convention in Fairbanks featured 55 Alaskans, elected from all regions and walks of life.  These far-thinking delegates came together as one and crafted a document that has guided not only the state government, but also Alaska’s institutions and people.  The constitutional example is being followed today by the Alaska Senate Democrats and the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition as they propose a new structure for the 29th Alaska Legislature.

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PRESS ADVISORY: Joint Minority Press Conference Scheduled for Monday Morning

Juneau — Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) and Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) Leader Rep. Tuck (D-Anchorage) will hold a press conference Monday to address the media. The press conference will be held at 10 a.m. in the Butrovich Room of the State Capitol in Juneau.

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