Comprehensive Bill to Improve Lives of Alaska Foster Youth and Families Passes with Strong Bipartisan Support

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for caseworkers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better health and outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts major, comprehensive national best practice standards. The bill passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday by a unanimous 18-0 vote. The bill was co-sponsored by 18 members of the Senate.

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It’s time for the Legislature to reverse the trend of declining school support

Public education matters because a student’s opportunity to achieve matters. The Legislature has an opportunity to end years of continuing cuts to teachers, guidance and career counselors, teacher training, end even courses. We’ve lost over 500 teachers, counselors and education support staff in recent years. Bigger class sizes, demoralized teachers, and rolled back curriculum don’t increase academic achievement.

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House Passes Bill to Increase Cooperation Between Lawmakers

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives took a step towards returning to the tradition of allowing lawmakers from different parties and caucuses to jointly sponsor bills and resolutions. House Bill 41 reinstates a long-time practice of allowing members to work together as lead sponsors of important legislation.

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House Passes Resolution on Proposed Plan for Offshore Lease Sales

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Resolution 6, weighing in on the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program. The current draft program calls for lease sales in 14 of the 15 planning areas in Alaska (there are a total of 26 planning areas across the country).

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$500-700 Million Loss to Alaskans: Fair Oil Tax Reforms Passed by the House Could Erase Major Portion of $2.5 Billion State Deficit

Juneau – A recent report from the Department of Revenue shows the state is losing more than a half billion dollars in annual revenue by not enacting the modest 25% tax on oil company profits passed by the House last year. Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) released the following statement regarding the role oil taxes play in Alaska’s multi-billion-dollar deficit.

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