NEWS: Legislation Signed to Regulate the Middle-Men Between Pharmacies and Insurance Companies

Anchorage – A landmark piece of legislation to empower local pharmacies in Alaska was signed into law this morning by Alaska Governor Bill Walker during a ceremony at a small pharmacy in Juneau. Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) responded to the concerns of pharmacists and many of their customers by sponsoring House Bill 240, which passed the Alaska State Legislature this year with unanimous support.

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NEWS: Rep. Guttenberg Thrilled with Progress to Build the Fairbanks Veterans Cemetery

Fairbanks – A ceremony formally announcing the site chosen for the Fairbanks Veterans Cemetery was held Wednesday at the site located at mile 344 of the Parks Highway. State Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) has championed the development of a Fairbanks veterans cemetery for many years and has been instrumental in its development. During Wednesday’s ceremony, Rep. Guttenberg spoke of the importance of allowing interior Alaska veterans to be buried in their home area.

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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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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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Adjournment Sine Die

After 10 hours of being on the floor, at 1:48 am on Sunday morning, the House adjourned Sine Die. We passed out the final operating and capital budgets along with other bills that make for a better Alaska.
The House added $28 million for Medicaid payments, $12 million to address substance abuse treatment and the nursing shortage at the Alaska Psychiatrist Institute. We also added a one-time increase of $20 million to k-12 education which is equivalent to a $78 base student allocation increase.

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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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Session update & a thank you

This week is expected to be our final week in session and we have passed out some key pieces of legislation. Below is a summary:

SB 26: Permanent Fund Protection Act:
We listened to and addressed much of the public’s concerns in the new version of SB 26 which passed out on Monday. This version of SB 26 limits the amount the Legislature could withdraw from the fund. The funds will be used to pay for both public services and Permanent Fund Dividends.

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