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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Rep. Claman’s Newsletter: House Passes Operating Budget

The House debated the budget until early this morning, which finally passed around 3am. The House consider several amendments, which included additional cost savings as well as funding for programs benefitting seniors, early childhood education, and public safety.

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NEWS: Rep. Claman Introduces Bill to Improve Women’s Access to Birth Control in Alaska

JUNEAU – Today, Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) introduced House Bill 345 that would require health insurance providers to cover 12 months of prescription oral contraceptives at a time.  The bill would improve women’s access to reliable birth control across Alaska, overall reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the State, and reduce the complexity of healthcare delivery.

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NEWS: “Right to Try” Legislation Proposed to Help the Terminally Ill in Alaska

FAIRBANKS – Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) will introduce a “right to try” bill in the upcoming 2nd Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature. The bill will be the House companion to SB 113, which was introduced by Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) in April.

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CORRECTED: Note from Rep. Gara: Politicians Should Give Back Your Vote, Avoid Annual Abortion Scuffle

Today I filed legislation no party in power would like. It will give you back your vote by eliminating the power the party in power has to gerrymander districts in their favor. This hasn’t been a monopoly of Republicans, though they gerrymandered Alaska’s lines most recently in 2012. Parties have used their majority status to “gerrymander” districts, to try to pre-determine election results, since Governor Elbridge Gerry did it in 1812.

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NEWS: Costello, Gara Announce Bi-Partisan Bill to Protect Patient Dignity and Privacy in End of Life Health Care Decisions

Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) announced they will pre-file legislation to protect the privacy and dignity of patients who are non-responsive and on life support. The bill would require the state Department of Health and Social Services to keep a person’s living will or health care directive on file to assist medical providers in locating it.

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