Note from Rep. Gara: Alaska Doing Anything On Climate Change? Our Energy Efficiency Legislation: Saving $, Slowing Climate Change

This week’s focus on climate change made me remember that, well, we have actually done some good work in this area. There is a lot more to do, and we can both save money while taking positive action. If we care about fish, a fishing economy, wildlife and game, and eroding shorelines, we need to care about climate change.

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NEWS: Welcome to Alaska Mr. President

ANCHORAGE – The thirteen members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition are excited to welcome President Barak Obama to Alaska this week. The President is scheduled to speak tonight at the GLACIER conference at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage followed by trips to rural Alaska later this week. The GLACIER conference, which is focused on the Arctic, will include foreign dignitaries and experts on Arctic issues.

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NEWS: Lawmakers Applaud Superior Court Decision to Allow Medicaid Expansion to Proceed in Alaska

ANCHORAGE – Today, Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner denied the Legislative Council’s request to stop the implementation of Medicaid expansion in early September. The ruling is being praised by the members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC).

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Note from Rep. Gara: Medicaid Lawsuit Wastes State Money

Getting the Feds to pay for what the state used to pay for was once on Page One of the Alaska playbook. But yesterday some legislative leaders voted to spend $450,000 of your money on corporate law firms to sue Governor Walker on, well, a policy decision he made that saved the state money by leveraging those federal funds. To be exact, $145,000,000 in federal funds that would create 4,000 Alaska jobs, and ripple through our ailing economy.

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NEWS: The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Endorses Governor Walker’s Plan to Expand Medicaid

ANCHORAGE – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced plans to take advantage of federal funding to expand eligibility for Medicaid in Alaska. This action is supported by the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition, which made Medicaid expansion a priority during the First Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature.

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Note from Rep. Gara: 4,000 New Jobs: Medicaid Expansion Can Help Prevent A Recession

I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend! Now for some sobering news – a big wallop to hit you with after a long weekend. And a solution so you hopefully don’t ever feel that wallop! A recent study says Alaska is either in a recession, or is on the possible brink of one. That’s a big concern. Standing still isn’t the way to address this news. Here’s something we should do to help avoid any protracted recession.

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NEWS: Alaska Democratic Lawmakers Celebrate Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage in All Fifty States

REP. GERAN TARR 269-0144 | REP. LES GARA 269-0106 | REP. ANDREW JOSEPHSON 269-0265
ANCHORAGE – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all fifty states must license and recognize same-sex marriages. In the 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court found that bans against same-sex marriages violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. 

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NEWS: Medicaid Expansion Can Help Avoid the Risk of a Recession in Alaska

ANCHORAGE – A recent report commissioned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority suggests Alaska is at risk of a recession for the fourth time in the state’s history. The report indicates a recession could be prolonged due, in part, to the downturn in oil prices and subsequent decreases in state spending. However, the report outlines options to mitigate a recession including accepting Medicaid expansion, which will be paid for almost entirely by the federal government. House Finance Committee member Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) tried repeatedly this past session to garner legislative approval for Medicaid expansion but the Republican-controlled Majorities refused to allow the issue to be put to a vote.

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