NEWS: Alaska Foster Youth Champion Receives National Award

Anchorage – Next month, the United States Department of Health and Human Services will honor Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) for his career of work to improve the opportunity and lives of foster youth and families. Rep. Gara will receive a 2018 Adoption Excellence Award during a ceremony in Washington D.C. In being chosen for the award, Rep. Gara was praised for his extraordinary contributions to provide permanent, healthy outcomes for children in foster care in Alaska, including through landmark reform legislation passed this year. Rep. Gara was nominated for the prestigious national award by Amanda Metivier, who founded the foster youth advocacy and support organization, Facing Foster Care in Alaska. Metivier has garnered praise for her child protection work at the Child Welfare Academy at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

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Governor Walker Signs Legislation Honoring Veterans Who Have Earned Medals for Valor in Combat

Fairbanks – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 204 into law during a ceremony in Fairbanks. The bill, sponsored by Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau), allows Alaska chiropractors to sign Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) forms proving that a person is disabled. This will help disabled persons obtain specialized license plates and parking permits. During the legislative process, the bill was amended by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to honor Alaskans who earned medals for valor in combat by creating license plates reflecting those medals.

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Governor Walker to Sign Landmark Bill Reforming Alaska’s Overburdened Foster Care System

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker will sign landmark legislation into law to implement proven reforms to Alaska’s overburdened foster care system. The two-year process to successfully pass House Bill 151 concluded in the final days of the Second Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature. Gov. Walker is scheduled to sign the bill today at 1:00 p.m. during a ceremony at the UAA Child Welfare Academy located at 1901 Bragaw Street in Suite 105. The Governor will be joined bill sponsor Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage), who grew up in foster care, and dozens of current and former foster youth, including several youth preparing to attend the University of Alaska in the fall.

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 30th Alaska Legislature

Juneau – After a flurry of legislative action, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in adjourning the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature sine die early Sunday morning. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition reflected on the legislative achievements of the session.

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