Session update & a thank you

This week is expected to be our final week in session and we have passed out some key pieces of legislation. Below is a summary:

SB 26: Permanent Fund Protection Act:
We listened to and addressed much of the public’s concerns in the new version of SB 26 which passed out on Monday. This version of SB 26 limits the amount the Legislature could withdraw from the fund. The funds will be used to pay for both public services and Permanent Fund Dividends.

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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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Rep Guttengergs Day 95 Update!

Rep. Guttenberg's Legislative Report

Today marks day 95 of session and we are getting closer to adjourning. The State Operating Budget Conference Committee started to meet this week. This is where the House and Senate negotiate the differences in our respective budgets. They have been meeting every day and will continue working until we have a fully funded budget that satisfies both bodies.

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Legislature Urges Respect for Marijuana Legalization in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska State Senate joined the Alaska House of Representatives in passing a resolution calling on the federal government to respect states’ rights and the will of the Alaskan people regarding marijuana policy. House Joint Resolution 21, sponsored by Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), also urges the federal government to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a schedule one controlled substance.

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