NEWS: Optometry & Optometrists Bill Passes Alaska House

Juneau – For over 40 years, optometrists and ophthalmologists have been sparring over statutes that govern eye health care for Alaskans. Today, the Alaska House of Representative passed legislation that updates antiquated statutes regulating licenses of optometry and the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103, sponsored by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), seeks to improve and update the statutes that govern the board by allowing them to regulate their standards of practice similar to other boards with prescriptive authority (e.g. dentists, nurses, and doctors). The bill also allows the Board of Examiners of Optometry to set the continuing education requirements for a licensee to continue to practice.

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NEWS: Alaska House Unanimously Passes Right to Try for Terminally Ill Alaskans

Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives today unanimously passed legislation to increase patient rights in Alaska. House Bill 43, also known as the “Right to Try” bill, is sponsored by Representative Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage). It allows terminally ill patients who have exhausted all FDA-approved treatment options and do not qualify for clinical trials to gain faster access to safe, but experimental drugs in an effort to save their own lives.

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NEWS: Alaska House Passes Bill to Establish March as Sobriety Awareness Month

Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation Friday designating March as Sobriety Awareness Month in Alaska. Once approved and signed into law, the designation will be permanent and open up additional opportunities for both the public and private sector to organize awareness activities. House Bill 138 is sponsored by Representative Dean Westlake (D-Kiana).

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NEWS: Alaska House of Representatives Passes Legislation to extend Governor Walker’s Opioid Epidemic Disaster Declaration

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously approved Senate Bill 91 to extend the current disaster declaration for the opioid epidemic in Alaska. The bill gives Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer needed statutory authority to proceed with the planned statewide response to the opioid epidemic.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: Support Your Alaska Grown Roots

Perhaps it’s locally grown barley flour pancakes for breakfast with farm raised chicken eggs scrambled on the side, fresh garden-greens salad for lunch, or wild harvested salmon for dinner. Alaska’s long growing season, coupled with hard working farmers and fishermen, means our state can offer your appetite an array of choices locally grown from farm or sea to plate.

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NEWS: Rep. Tarr to Host Alaska Food Security Week Across the State

Juneau – Starting Monday, Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) will host events across the state for the third annual Alaska Food Security Week. The theme is “All About Alaska Grown” and will celebrate local food producers, Alaska’s agricultural history, and future opportunities for increasing the state’s local food initiatives.

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Speaker Edgmon’s Feb 17th Newsletter: Disaster Declaration for Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Yesterday Governor Walker signed an administrative order that declares the abuse of opioids a major public health issue and includes a directive for the Department of Public Safety to ramp up screening and enforcement methods to stop the trafficking of illegal drugs in our communities. The order also directs all state departments to apply for federal grants that can help in the battle against the epidemic.

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NEWS: Bill Introduced to Bring Price Transparency to Healthcare

Juneau – Today, Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) introduced legislation to require health care providers and facilities to post the full price of their most common services and procedures. Reporting entities would be required to post health care price information on their premises, online, and to the state.

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