Category - Press

NEWS: Public Fishing Stream Access Bill Signed Into Law

Today, the governor signed into law Representative Les Gara’s legislation to ensure future public access to Alaska’s fishing streams, House Bill 144. The bill passed the House last year with a vote of 38 Yeas and passed the Senate by a vote of 20 to 0 on February 27. “I want to thank the governor and the legislative body for their support in protecting Alaskans’ access to fishing streams for this and the next generation. In other states you have to pay access fees to fish a stream, or are simply blocked from this public resource. We don’t ever want that to happen in Alaska,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), an avid fisherman and fishing writer.

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NEWS: LEGISLATURE APPROVES “CHILD-ONLY” INSURANCE COVERAGE

Guttenberg bill piggybacked on another measure JUNEAU, Alaska – In an unusual maneuver, the Alaska State Legislature early this morning enacted the essence of Representative David Guttenberg’s (D- Fairbanks) House Bill 326 to substantially increase access to “child-only” health insurance. Existing law prevents parents with pre-existing conditions from acquiring health insurance solely for their children. HB 326 would have remedied that by allowing parents to purchase insurance for their dependent children.

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Democrats on Education Proposal: Fair Compromise, Schools Still Deserve Better

Lots of good for schools, but not enough to prevent cuts this year or in the future JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats claimed a partial victory in the debate over school funding as the House passed a bill that provides far more resources to Alaska’s schools than what the governor proposed. The governor flat funded education and later proposed what was effectively a $10 million one-time increase, far short of keeping up with inflation.

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NEWS: Legislature Reinstates Texting While Driving Ban

Bi-partisan Bill Will Prevent Deadly Practice Today, the Legislature passed bi-partisan legislation led by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines) to put Alaska’s strong anti-texting law back on the books. Last year, a number of judges questioned whether the existing law covers texting while driving. “The Legislature intended to ban dangerous conduct like texting while driving. Rather than wait for appeals, we’re sending a clear message to the public, now, that texting, and typing on personal and computer devices can cause death and serious injury. In an average text you drive the length of a football field before paying attention to driving. We don’t want cars to be moving weapons,” said Rep. Gara.

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NEWS: Bill Protecting Public Access To Fishing Streams Sent to Governor

Today, the Speaker of the House sent Representative Les Gara’s legislation to ensure future public access to Alaska’s fishing streams, House Bill 144, to the governor for his signature. The bill passed the House last year with a vote of 38 Yeas and passed the Senate by a vote of 20 to 0 on February 27. “I want to thank the Speaker for sending this bill to the governor and the legislative body for their support in protecting Alaskans’ access to fishing streams for this and the next generation. In other states you have to pay access fees to fish a stream, or are simply blocked from this public resource. We don’t ever want that to happen in Alaska,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), an avid fisherman and fishing writer.

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Legislature Grants Free Death Certificates to Families of Deceased Veterans

Rep. Gruenberg bill pays respect in time of mourning by reducing costs, easing red tape JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation allowing a surviving spouse, next of kin, or other relative of a deceased veteran to get up to four free certified death certificates of the deceased. Families often need a certified copies of a death certificate to process various benefits for which they are entitled as a result of their loss.

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NEWS: Rep. Gara Again Calls for Answers from Port

The state needs to know if Port of Anchorage will keep coming back for more $$ JUNEAU – Today on the House Floor, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) again demanded the Port of Anchorage tell Alaskans whether it’s asking for $350 million as it now claims or $1.2 billion as it has as recently as November 2011. The Port project has been plagued with hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns.

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“The House Majority supports this education based income tax as one part of the solution to grow a stable economy.”

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