NEWS: The House is Waiting for Progress in the State Senate

Juneau – The leadership of the Alaska House Majority Coalition has decided to hold a limited number of technical floor sessions for the remainder of the week to allow House members to travel back to their home districts for the Memorial Day Holiday. This will allow members to engage with constituents about the important issues under consideration during the Special Session called by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Allowing lawmakers to go home also saves the state money since lawmakers will not be collecting per diem in their home districts.

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NEWS: Resources Committee Co-chairs will Lead Effort to Reform Unsustainable Oil Industry Subsidies

Juneau – On Monday, Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) appointed House members to negotiate a compromise on legislation to reform Alaska’s unsustainable oil tax credit system that passed both the House and Senate. House Resources Committee Co-chairs Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) and Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) will represent the House Majority on the conference committee. The House Minority will be represented by Rep. Dave Talerico (R-Healy). The State Senate is expected to appoint their members to the conference committee on Wednesday.

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NEWS: Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic Passes House

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 159, introduced at the request of the Governor and carried in the House by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), to update statutes regarding the prescription of opioids to empower and protect Alaskans. Both Governor Walker and the Alaska Legislature recently issued a disaster declaration for the ongoing opioid epidemic and allowed for the distribution of Narcan. HB 159 is an important next step in curbing the recent rapid growth of opioid abuse in Alaska.

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NEWS: Lawmakers Must Use the First Special Session to Focus on Alaska’s Fiscal Future

Juneau – The First Regular Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature ended tonight with clear differences between the Alaska House Majority Coalition and the Alaska Senate Majority on the need for a comprehensive fiscal plan to address the ongoing recession and the $2.7 billion budget gap. Both majority organizations wanted the ten-day extension allowed for in the Alaska Constitution, but the House Republican Caucus refused to provide enough votes in favor. In response, Governor Bill Walker is calling the Alaska Legislature into a Special Session to start on Thursday. 

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NEWS: Alaska Legislature Passes Legislation to Ensure Safe Standards for Eye Care

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Juneau – Today, the Alaska State Senate joined the Alaska House of Representatives in approving legislation to update state statutes and standards for optometrists and ophthalmologists. House Bill 103, sponsored by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), allows the Board of Examiners of Optometry to use their professional expertise to regulate their profession in Alaska similar to how other professions are regulated. Additionally, the bill allows the board to set continuing education requirements for licensees in Alaska.

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