NEWS: Governor Signs Bill to Increase Access and Decrease Costs of Eye Care in Alaska

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 103 into law, delegating increased authority over the regulation of optometrists to the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103 was introduced by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) and its Senate companion, Senate Bill 36, was introduced by Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage). The bill passed both the Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate with strong bipartisan support in April and May.

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NEWS: Governor Walker to Sign Legislation Saturday Designating Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska

Juneau – Representative Dean Westlake (D-Kiana) will join Alaska Governor Bill Walker for a ceremony Saturday in Utgiagvik to sign House Bill 78, which designates the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Westlake and passed the Alaska State Legislature this year with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate.

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NEWS: Governor Walker Signs Legislation Authorizing Transportation Network Companies to Operate in Alaska

Juneau – Earlier today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law that allows ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber to operate in Alaska. House Bill 132, sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks), would pave the way for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Lyft and Uber to begin operating in Alaska communities.

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NEWS: Resources Committee Co-chairs will Lead Effort to Reform Unsustainable Oil Industry Subsidies

Juneau – On Monday, Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) appointed House members to negotiate a compromise on legislation to reform Alaska’s unsustainable oil tax credit system that passed both the House and Senate. House Resources Committee Co-chairs Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) and Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) will represent the House Majority on the conference committee. The House Minority will be represented by Rep. Dave Talerico (R-Healy). The State Senate is expected to appoint their members to the conference committee on Wednesday.

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NEWS: Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic Passes House

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 159, introduced at the request of the Governor and carried in the House by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), to update statutes regarding the prescription of opioids to empower and protect Alaskans. Both Governor Walker and the Alaska Legislature recently issued a disaster declaration for the ongoing opioid epidemic and allowed for the distribution of Narcan. HB 159 is an important next step in curbing the recent rapid growth of opioid abuse in Alaska.

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NEWS: Rape Kit Reform Moves Forward with Passage of a Bill Mandating an Audit of Untested Rape Kits in Alaska

Juneau – The Alaska Legislature passed legislation this week that includes a measure put forward by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) mandating a statewide audit of sexual assault examination kits. The House added the measure to Senate Bill 55, which would put in place technical changes and clarifications to Alaska’s criminal statutes as part of the ongoing effort at criminal justice reform.

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