NEWS: Lawmakers Applaud Today’s Superior Court Decision to Dismiss Ill-Advised Lawsuit Over Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – Today, Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner issued a ruling in the case brought by the Alaska Legislative Council against Alaska Governor Bill Walker over his decision last year to expand Medicaid without legislative approval. Judge Pfiffner found that the Social Security Act requires Medicaid expansion, and that existing state law required Governor Walker to provide Medicaid to the group of Alaskans eligible for expansion. In his 26-page ruling, Judge Pfiffner granted the Governor’s motion for summary judgement and dismissed the case brought by the Alaska Legislative Council, which is made up of ten members of the Alaska Legislature.

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

Rep. Matt Claman

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: Anchorage Caucus Meeting Scheduled for Saturday

Rep. Matt Claman

JUNEAU – The Anchorage Legislative Caucus will hold its mid-session public hearing in Anchorage on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at the Loussac Library in Anchorage.  Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) is the Democratic co-chair of the Anchorage Legislative Caucus.  He will co-chair Saturday’s meeting with Representative Liz Vazquez (R-Anchorage), the Republican co-chair of the caucus.

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Rep. Claman’s Newsletter: House Focuses on Budget

Claman's Alaska Matters

The House voted this week to suspend non-budget related committee hearings. This move allows us to focus on budget topics. Budget subcommittee meetings have been extended and the House Finance Committee is meeting daily. Yesterday, the Finance Committee hosted a “Budget 101,” which is a helpful resource to understanding budget documents. I will keep you as informed as possible as we go through the next few weeks on opportunities for public testimony and other community events.

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NEWS: Reps. Gruenberg and Claman Praise Today’s Bold and Inspirational State of the Judiciary Address

Rep. Matt Claman

Juneau – Today, Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers gave the annual State of the Judiciary Address to the members of the Alaska House and Senate. In his speech, Chief Justice Stowers outlined, in great detail, how the Alaska Court system is working to streamline services and save money as Alaska is facing huge fiscal challenges. He also called on the members of the House and Senate to work together and make the hard decisions that are needed to allow Alaska to weather the current fiscal storm. Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage), a member of the House Finance Committee’s Courts Budget Subcommittee, praised Justice Stowers’ speech as an example for lawmakers to emulate as they consider how to address the nearly $4 billion budget deficit.

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NEWS: House and Senate Minorities Propose Creating a Caucus of the Whole in the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – Last Friday was the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Alaska Constitution.  The convention in Fairbanks featured 55 Alaskans, elected from all regions and walks of life.  These far-thinking delegates came together as one and crafted a document that has guided not only the state government, but also Alaska’s institutions and people.  The constitutional example is being followed today by the Alaska Senate Democrats and the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition as they propose a new structure for the 29th Alaska Legislature.

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