NEWS: Legislation Pre-Filed to Improve Alaska’s Worker’s Compensation System

Juneau – Today, Representative Andy Josephson pre-filed legislation to make vital improvements to Alaska’s Workers Compensation system. House Bill 30 features several improvements including adjusting benefits for inflation for those receiving Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) and death benefits. These benefits have not been adjusted for inflation for approximately 20 and 50 years, respectively. The bill increases the PPI index from $177,000 to $255,506 and requires annual updates to account for inflation. The bill also adjusts the death benefit for financial dependents up to $100,000 from the current level of $20,000 set in 1968.

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NEWS: Legislation Pre-Filed to Require Mandatory Jail Time for Car Thieves

Anchorage – Today, Representative-elect Zack Fields (D-Anchorage), Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), and Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage) announced they would pre-file legislation for the upcoming 31st Alaska State Legislature to address the significant increase in vehicle theft across Alaska. Last year the rate of vehicle theft spiked by nearly 40 percent compared to 2016. The pre-filed legislation will require mandatory minimum jail time of at least 120 days for vehicle theft, with lengthier sentences for aggravating factors.

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NEWS: Significant Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill Becomes Law

Anchorage – Bipartisan legislation to reform Alaska’s workers’ compensation system was signed into law this morning during a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual AFL-CIO Summer Convention. Alaska Governor Bill Walker put forward House Bill 79 to modernize the system and to clearly define for the first time in Alaska’s history who can be categorized as an independent contractor. Representative Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) carried the bill on the House floor and issued the following statement upon learning that HB 79 has become law.

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Alaska Lawmakers Oppose Any Federal Policy Separating Children from Parents at the Southern Border

Anchorage – Today, 21 members of the Alaska State Legislature sent a letter to President Donald Trump thanking him for responding to the wishes of the American people by pledging to end the practice of separating children from families that illegally cross the southern border of the United States. The President has confirmed that he will use his executive order authority to stop the practice, which his administration implemented earlier this year. The lead author of the letter is long-time State Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) who notes that the policy was an inappropriate and ineffective use of government resources and taxpayer dollars.

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Mourning and learning half a century after Bobby Kennedy’s death

On Wednesday, June 6th, we recognize one of the most tragic and calamitous events in American history: that 50 years have passed since the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
Many Americans like me are sustained and encouraged by great historical figures, whether living or deceased. Mine are the usual and deserving suspects: Lincoln, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, Gandhi, and King.

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Legislature Addresses Medical Licensing, Regulation, and Family Therapy

Juneau – In a bipartisan effort to improve health care, the Alaska Legislature acted to streamline medical licensing and addressed regulatory issues in the medical field on the final day of session. House Bill 280, an extension for the Board of Marital and Family Therapy sponsored by Representative Andy Josephson (D—Anchorage), was amended to include portions Senate Bill 108 sponsored by Senator Giessel (R—Anchorage), which dealt with reforms requested by the state Medical Board.

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