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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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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Alaska Legislature Votes to Protect Alaska’s Forested Lands

Juneau – The Alaska Legislature passed a bill Thursday sponsored by retiring State Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) to update state law related to the burning of forested lands. House Bill 355 passed the Alaska State Senate Thursday after passing the Alaska House of Representatives last month.

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Legislature Votes to Empower Local Pharmacies to Save Alaskans Money

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously passed legislation to empower local pharmacies and help lower prescription drug prices in Alaska. House Bill 240 will protect Alaska consumers by eliminating the use of “gag orders” by health care companies and prescription drug manufacturers. These orders are used to prevent local pharmacists from informing customers that they can save money by paying for some prescription drugs with cash rather than using health insurance. HB 240 also clarifies how pharmacies in Alaska can be audited by pharmacy benefit managers.

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House Passes Bill Strengthening Broadband Internet in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) to define broadband internet in Alaska as a responsibility of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). House Bill 384 does not enable the RCA to do anything that is currently preempted by the Federal Communications Commission. However, the bill would allow the RCA to collect information to more accurately map broadband internet coverage in Alaska.

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