Oil, Guns and Medicaid Reform
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Tomorrow is the last day of the regular session and the house is moving legislation that was previously put on hold to prioritize the budget. HB 247, Oil and Gas Tax Credits, passed out of Finance Committee and made its way to the floor where it was then sent back to the Rules Committee.
The cost of unsustainable oil industry subsidies is $1000.00 per Alaskan. With proposed legislation to cap the dividend to fund government, it would be unfair for Alaskans to give up their dividend without oil companies coming to the table as well. The Legislature needs to take serious consideration of the impacts oil and gas tax credits have on our state.
Guns on Campus
SB 174, an act relating to firearms and knives on campus, recently passed out of the Senate and is being taken up in the House for consideration. I am not supporting this. Allowing guns on campus endangers students, teachers and the public.
The University has asked for help in implementing this legislation to provide for increased security measures that would have to be adopted if this law were to pass. The Senate dropped the fiscal note submitted by the University and attached a zero note. If this law is to pass the University of Alaska would be forced to absorb the costs associated with ensuring students are safe on campus.
In time, SB 174 will land in Finance Committee and public testimony will be taken on whether the University should have guns on campus. I will keep you posted as to when this happens.
Yesterday the House passed SB 74, and act relating to Medicaid reform. I voted in favor of this legislation, which saves the state a great deal of money. The bill also creates greater efficiencies that will be felt all across the medical community.
This program requires the Department of Health and Social Services to expand the use of telemedicine, enhance fraud prevention and enforcement, undertake pharmacy initiatives and reduces the cost of the state’s home and community-based services with a new waiver program.
With any luck, I will be back home in Fairbanks soon. The likelihood of a special session is on the horizon, with the location yet to be determined. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any concerns or recommendations.