News and Press
Anchorage – Last week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services approved certificate of need requests from both the Alaska Regional Hospital and the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for new treatment facilities for those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee, supported both certificate of need applications as a way to address Alaska’s worsening opioid epidemic and fill a need for behavioral healthcare in both Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough.
Anchorage – Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) issued the following alert to help consumers avoid unfair car dealer practices and negotiation strategies. Consumers should know the truth as they negotiate one of the largest purchases they will ever make. It is no secret that car dealers often use strategies to overcharge consumers for a new car.
Juneau – The Alaska House Majority Coalition will continue to hold technical floor sessions in Juneau until the Fourth Special Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature ends on November 21st.
Juneau – With a vote earlier today, the Alaska State Senate jeopardized the stiffer criminal penalties included in Senate Bill 54 to respond to the recent spike in crime in Alaska. By refusing to fix constitutional problems with the bill through a conference committee, the Senate has guaranteed the bill will be litigated, which would leave in place the lenient sentencing guidelines included in last year’s omnibus criminal justice reform bill.
I used to do a bit of consumer protection work, and in doing that learned a bit about car selling practices that, if you ever buy a new car, might help you get a more fair deal. In addition, I wanted to pass along some information about enrolling for health insurance before the December 15 deadline.
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is open until December 15, 2017. Rates have gone down this year and financial assistance and extra savings are available to many Alaskans who qualify. If you have questions or need assistance with the enrollment process, call 1-844-PLANSAK, or visit www.getcoveredalaska.org.
I wanted to provide you with a small update from my perspective on the fourth special session. The Senate returned to Juneau last Friday, approved SB 54, and adjourned the fourth special session without addressing Governor Walker’s revenue bill.
I’m here in Juneau, with almost no senators. That’s been the case for most of Special Session, as most Republican Senate majority members skipped work the first ten days of this 30-day Special Session and then left for good this past Saturday.