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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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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NEWS: Rep. Spohnholz Praises Approval for New Resources Essential to the Response to Alaska’s Opioid Epidemic

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Anchorage – Last week, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services approved certificate of need requests from both the Alaska Regional Hospital and the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for new treatment facilities for those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee, supported both certificate of need applications as a way to address Alaska’s worsening opioid epidemic and fill a need for behavioral healthcare in both Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough.

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NEWS: House Health and Social Services Committee to Examine Omnibus Crime Bill Justice Reinvestment Provisions

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Juneau – The House Health and Social Services Committee will hold a hearing Thursday afternoon related to the Alaska Legislature’s ongoing efforts at criminal justice reform. Specifically, the committee will examine the implementation of provisions in last year’s omnibus crime bill to reinvest savings into resources to help those struggling with substance abuse.

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NEWS: Committee Meetings Scheduled to Examine Public Safety in Alaska

Anchorage – The Finance Committee in the Alaska House of Representatives has scheduled a series of budget subcommittee meetings to discuss the nexus between crime rates and available public resources in Alaska. The budget subcommittees for the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law will meet on October 5th at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office (LIO).

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