Budget Deal Reached; State Operating Budget Passes the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – A compromise budget agreement between the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate was reached today, resulting in the passage of the fiscal year 2019 operating budget for the State of Alaska. Today’s budget deal prevents any disruption in essential public services as the State of Alaska enters the busy summer tourism and fishing seasons. House Bill 286 features total General Fund spending of $6.27 billion. The budget includes Alaska House Majority Coalition priorities such as $942 million to inflation-proof the value of the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, $1.02 billion to pay for $1,600 Permanent Fund Dividends for each eligible Alaskan, a $10 million investment in the University of Alaska above the Governor’s proposal, and multiple measures to improve public safety and law enforcement in Alaska.

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Legislature Names Alaska’s Dating Violence Education Effort After Bree Moore

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to name Alaska’s teen dating violence awareness and prevention program after a young Alaskan killed in a senseless act of dating violence. The prevention program was initially authorized by the successful passage of the “Alaska Safe Children’s Act” in 2015. The passage of House Bill 214 today changes the name of the program to the “Bree Moore Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Program” to honor the memory of Bree Moore who was killed by her boyfriend in 2014.

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Using Data to Help Train Alaskans for the Modern Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to improve the state’s workforce training efforts by using data collected by state entities. House Bill 221 unanimously passed the Alaska State Senate today after passing the Alaska House of Representatives last month with broad bipartisan support. HB 221 allows the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education to create a new education statistics program called the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) through partnerships with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the University of Alaska.

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Public Records Restriction for Past Marijuana Convictions Passes House

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) to protect Alaskans’ ability to go to work despite past convictions for marijuana possession. House Bill 316 restricts public access to records related to simple marijuana possession in the wake of voter approval of legalization in Alaska in November of 2014. The bill also calls for the Alaska CourtView system to be wiped clean of all marijuana convictions classified as a VIA misdemeanor. The citizens’ initiative allowed the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana but failed to address how to deal with those previously convicted of marijuana possession.

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