Representative IVY SPOHNHOLZ http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz Alaska State Legislature House Majority Coalition Site for Rep. Ivy Spohnholz Mon, 09 Jul 2018 23:36:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Policymakers, Experts, and Patients Weigh in on the Importance of Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/06/22/policymakers-experts-and-patients-weigh-in-on-the-importance-of-coverage-for-pre-existing-conditions/ Sat, 23 Jun 2018 01:13:03 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/06/22/policymakers-experts-and-patients-weigh-in-on-the-importance-of-coverage-for-pre-existing-conditions/

Press Conference Featured Policy Priorities and Personal Stories

Anchorage – On Friday, officials from the administration of Alaska Governor Bill Walker, health-policy advocate Dr. Alan Gross, and several patient-advocates joined Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center to highlight the importance of preserving protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.

The full event can be viewed on the Alaska House Majority Coalition Facebook page, and selected quotes have been included below for your convenience.

“There is a right way and a wrong way to reduce health care costs. Removing coverage for pre-existing conditions and other strategies that reduce access to medically necessary care is absolutely the wrong way,” said Representative Ivy Spohnholz, “Looking around the world, we see examples of how to improve health outcomes and customer satisfaction, while also containing costs. The health care price transparency legislation we passed this year is a good start because it empowers consumers with information and promotes more competition, which are both good things. As we work on solutions, we simply cannot allow matters to be made worse by denying coverage from the quarter of our population with pre-existing conditions.”

“As policymakers, we must take steps to improve health outcomes in Alaska. Allowing insurers to deny payments for the treatment of preexisting conditions is completely counter to that responsibility,” said Mike Navarre, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. “This is about ensuring quality, affordable healthcare for every Alaskan, something that should not be a partisan issue. Governor Walker is leading an effort with governors from other states to craft bipartisan solutions. The governor has also convened an executive team within the administration to work across departments on creative solutions to reduce costs in our state. I was also heartened to see work on this issue on both sides of the aisle this year in the Alaska Legislature.”

Leighan Gonzales, who was born with a preexisting condition and had open-heart surgery when she was only 5 months old, shared some of her experience regarding health coverage, “When I was 19 I felt chest pains, so I went to the only heart center we have in Alaska. I had out of state insurance because my parents had moved away, but they said ‘Go ahead, try it out, go see your doctor.’ So I went in, got all of the tests, and then a couple weeks later a bill for over $4,000. My insurance company rejected it. I was 19, alone, with a heart condition and no money, and then had to fight my insurance company to pay my medically necessary costs. It felt like I was being punished for wanting to live, for having even made it past infancy.”

“What does it mean to say someone has ‘medical coverage’ or is ‘insured’? It means that if they get sick or broken they can get access to the expertise and services of those who fix people professionally. I live by the concept of helping make people better, and I stand here today to report that our current health care system is broken. We need to do things differently to make things better but taking insurance away from someone because of a preexisting condition is not better, it is much worse,” said Dr. Alan Gross, a lifelong Alaskan and Orthopedic Physician turned health-policy advocate. “Fixing our health care system will be risky and potentially politically unpopular, but as Senator Ted Stevens once said, ‘To hell with politics. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing.’ Fixing our health system is the right thing.”

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Deputy Press Secretary Drew Cason at (907) 575-2068.

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Alaska Health Care Policy Leaders to Discuss Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/06/21/alaska-health-care-policy-leaders-to-discuss-protections-for-pre-existing-conditions/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 23:17:31 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/06/21/alaska-health-care-policy-leaders-to-discuss-protections-for-pre-existing-conditions/

Rep Ivy Spohnholz

Anchorage – Federal protections for patients with preexisting health conditions have been recently threatened on multiple levels. A rollback of these protections would have serious negative impacts on the Alaska economy and limit access to medical care for more than a quarter of all Alaskans.

On Friday June 22nd, lawmakers, state government officials, medical professionals, and patients will hold a joint press conference to discuss what potential changes would mean for Alaska.

Speakers will be available to answer questions following initial presentations.

 

WHAT:

Joint Press Conference on Protections for Preexisting Conditions

 

WHO: 

  • Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage)
  • Mike Navarre, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
  • Dr. Jay Butler, Chief Medical Officer for the State of Alaska
  • Dr. Alan Gross, Orthopedic Physician and Health Care Policy Advocate
  • Leighan Gonzales, Sherri Roberds, Amanda Amodemo, and Joseph Amodemo; Patient Advocates

 

WHERE:

Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, 4951 Business Park Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99503

 

WHEN:

Friday, June 22nd at 11:30 AM

 

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Deputy Press Secretary Drew Cason at (907) 575-2068.

Drew Cason
Deputy Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 575-2068
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

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Alaska Lawmakers Oppose Any Federal Policy Separating Children from Parents at the Southern Border http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/06/20/alaska-lawmakers-oppose-any-federal-policy-separating-children-from-parents-at-the-southern-border/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:04:05 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/06/20/alaska-lawmakers-oppose-any-federal-policy-separating-children-from-parents-at-the-southern-border/

21 Alaska State Senators and Representatives Send a Letter to President Trump 

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.

“Many of the families arriving at the southern border are fleeing life-threatening circumstances and persecution in their home country. They came to America searching for relief and asylum and instead they have been greeted with callous separation from their children. What we witnessed at the border is wrong and not in keeping with American ideals and values,” said Rep. Guttenberg.

“The growing daily outrage we heard from business, religious, and political leaders across the country is justified, and I want to add my name to the list of Americans calling for an end to any policy that separates children from families on the southern border,” said Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks).  

The letter to President Trump from the members of the Alaska Legislature cites the United Nations Human Rights Office, which has called the policy change a “serious violation” of the rights of children. The policy also violates the UN Refugee Convention, which was signed by the United States. The convention clearly states that asylum-seekers should not be penalized for entering a country illegally.

“What we have witnessed on the southern border is both heartbreaking and infuriating. I never thought we would have government agents taking children from the arms of parents and caging them like criminals when all they wanted was to find the American dream,” said Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee.    

“Forced separation of children from their mothers does not align with my Alaskan values. With this policy young children could suffer further trauma,” said Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer).

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 30th Alaska Legislature http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/13/coalition-members-reflect-on-the-30th-alaska-legislature/ Mon, 14 May 2018 00:47:07 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/13/coalition-members-reflect-on-the-30th-alaska-legislature

Budget, Fiscal, and Other Legislative Achievements Highlight a Successful 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.

“Goal number one of most politicians is to avoid political risk at all cost. That doesn’t apply to the men and women of the Alaska House Majority Coalition. We took huge political risks over the past two years and set an example for openness and transparency I hope future legislatures will emulate. Too often politics is judged by who wins and who loses. I admit that we lost some, but I stand proudly with my House Majority colleagues in celebrating our wins. We faced more obstacles to success than any legislature in Alaska’s history, and as I step away from the House I judge our Coalition a success,” said Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), House Finance Committee member.

“Nearly every day I speak with people who are concerned about the future of Alaska. I share many of those concerns. Our job as lawmakers is to work every day to help people and to secure a brighter future for our great state. My colleagues in the Alaska House Majority Coalition worked diligently for the past two years on solutions. We did this by ditching the old pattern of partisan politics in favor of hard work and listening to the will of the people,” said Rep. Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), House Finance Committee member.

“What I will remember from the last two years is the moving public testimony that brought many of us to tears. Sometimes they were tears of sadness and other times they were tears of joy. The legislative process can be very frustrating to watch and often even more frustrating to be part of, but I am deeply grateful for my friends in this Coalition. We cast aside politics to work together. In doing so we addressed some incredibly important issues during what will always be considered a remarkable legislative session,” said Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Education Committee.

“The most important thing we can all do to protect the future of Alaska is to realize that the politics of winners and losers is counterproductive to real solutions. I took some extremely tough votes over the past two years with the goal of protecting Alaskan jobs, the Alaska economy, and our education system. If the alternative is inaction, there was no choice at all. We did a lot of good things this session, some very good,” said Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks), Chair of the House Energy Committee.  

“I am thrilled to have passed health care price transparency, protected the Permanent Fund, and secured funding increases for the next two years for K-12 and pre-k education,” said Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee.

“I came into office last year dedicated to addressing our fiscal issues, but also to see reforms that build trust and create transparency for the people of Alaska. As we gavel out of my first term in office, I’m both proud and humbled by what has been accomplished. This legislature, I’ve passed a monumental legislative reform package, been part of a historic vote protecting the Permanent Fund and PFD, and have taken critical steps towards increasing public safety, education, and getting our economic future back on track. It’s been amazing to get to connect with my neighbors and to serve the people of District 22 with everything I’ve got,” said Rep. Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage), House Finance Committee member.

“I’m proud that our House Majority Coalition prioritized public safety by passing rape kit reform legislation along with funding to address our backlog of untested rape kits. This is a huge step forward and will bring justice to victims,” said Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the House Resources Committee.

“Our Coalition formed with the goal to ignore party labels and partisanship in favor of fiscal solutions for the State of Alaska and all Alaskans. We passed a responsible operating budget that makes sure essential public services are delivered and advanced the dialogue around the need for long-term fiscal solutions. I am grateful that our Coalition stood fast for a larger $1,600 PFD this fall when both the Governor and Senate Majority wanted PFDs set around $1,000,” said House Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer).

“The Alaska House Majority Coalition elected the first Alaska Native Speaker of the House, and we are the first non-binding majority caucus in state history. We are the most diverse majority caucus in history with conservative Republicans, progressive Democrats, strong-willed Independents, and everything in between. Every day we went to work for the people of Alaska, and for that I am proud,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).

“The Alaska Permanent Fund and the PFDs that represent our shared oil wealth are so important to the Alaskan way of life that I refused to toss them aside in favor of politics. The Permanent Fund dividend will continue to be eyed with envy by politicians, special interests, and outsiders until it’s protected in the Alaska Constitution,” said Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage), Chair of the House Rules Committee.

“I am grateful to serve in the 30th Alaska Legislature. Our coalition was successful in early funding public education for the next two years, and we came together to pass some important public safety reforms. A more personal victory was the passage of House Bill 213 to modernize the Alaska Public School Trust Fund. The bill will bring in millions of new earnings from a $650 million fund by modernizing the fund’s management to allow a more predictable draw and continued growth. The bill also creates an education raffle and endowment, the proceeds of which will go to schools on top of their regular funding,” said Rep. Justin Parish (D-Juneau), Co-Chair of the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee.

“We made lives better for children, those battling addiction, and those who deserve to be safe in their homes. I can walk out of this session proud that we passed some, but not all of the things I believe we needed to pass to improve this state,” said House Finance Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage).

“Our Coalition will be noteworthy in Alaska history for bravely confronting Alaska’s enormous fiscal instability and uncertainties. Whatever might be said about this majority, we acted boldly, courageously, and without fear. The House Resources Committee was unique in presenting legislation reflecting the viewpoints of all Alaskans, including but not limited to the voice of resource developers. The Resources Committee heard or advanced legislation on everything from the Pebble Mine to climate change, and from wildlife management to toxic flame-retardant chemicals. Perhaps never in the history of Alaska was there a more balanced showing of the many environmental and natural resources issues confronting Alaska,” said Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), House Resources Committee Co-Chair.

“Our Coalition was unwavering in our commitment to improve public safety and respond to the concerns of our friends and neighbors in the community. House Bill 312 advanced the shared public safety priorities of the House, Senate, Governor Walker, and the people of Alaska. That bill, together with the five new prosecutors and other public safety measures we funded in the budget, will make Alaska safer, but we still have work to do to respond to the opioid crisis and to make up for the ill-advised cuts to public safety over the last several years,” said Rep. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Representing House District 38 in the Alaska Legislature has been one of the greatest privileges so far in my career. And yet, it has also been very challenging at times. Alaska is faced with wide-reaching, complex, issues and I joined the effort to find solutions on day 53. I have worked with my new colleagues for the last 64 days trying to serve the everyday Alaskans who need government to work for them, not against them. With that said, I am looking forward to going home. It’s almost berry picking season,” said Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel), Co-Chair of the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee.

“Every member of the Legislature brings his or her own set of principles and priorities to Juneau, and they all have value and legitimacy. But to get things done—and to do right by the people—you eventually have to meet somewhere in the middle. It’s not easy to find that balance, and no one enjoys compromising on the goals they have for the state and for the district they serve, but I’m proud that the House raised the dividend to $1600, and that we increased funding for our schools, for safer towns and villages, for fish & game management, and more. Also, I am pleased that a tone of integrity, trust, and cooperation this session helped lead us to its successful conclusion, well within our Constitutional deadline,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham).

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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Alaska Legislature Empowers Consumers with Health Care Price Transparency http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/13/alaska-legislature-empowers-consumers-with-health-care-price-transparency/ Sun, 13 May 2018 23:33:33 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/13/alaska-legislature-empowers-consumers-with-health-care-price-transparency

Legislative Compromise Results in New Price Transparency Requirements for Health Care Providers in Alaska

Juneau – The Alaska Legislature reached a compromise on the last day of the legislative session to pass a health care price transparency measure originally put forward by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage). Senate Bill 105 was amended to include language previously passed by the Alaska House of Representatives in House Bill 123 to require health care providers and facilities to post health care price information in their public reception areas and online. Providers will also be required to provide that information to the State of Alaska, which will make it available on the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ website. The measure also allows patients to have the option of receiving a good faith estimate of nonemergency procedures and services upon request from health care insurers, providers, or facilities. The good faith estimate provision was modeled on an ordinance adopted in Anchorage last year.

“Health care is one of the only services where consumers have almost no idea how much it will cost before committing to payment. In Alaska, we have some of the highest health care costs in the nation. I hope this measure can give consumers the price information they need to be informed consumers. This won’t solve all of our health care cost challenges in Alaska, but it’s a good first step,” said Rep. Spohnholz.

SB 105 was amended to require health care providers and facilities to post the undiscounted price with the procedure code of the ten health care services most commonly performed from each of the six sections of Category I, Current Procedural Terminology, adopted by the American Medical Association. Health care providers, facilities, and insurers will also be required to provide a good faith estimate of nonemergency procedures upon request of the patient. The original price transparency legislation sponsored by Rep. Spohnholz passed the Alaska House of Representatives last year by a vote of 34-6.

The health care price transparency language was amended into Senate Bill 105 on the last day of the legislative session and passed by the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 29-11. The Alaska State Senate concurred with the changes made in the House by a vote of 19-0. Senate Bill 105 will now be sent to Alaska Governor Bill Walker for his signature.

For more information, please contact Bernice Nisbett in Rep. Spohnholz’s office at (907) 465-2696

Mike Mason
Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 444-0889

akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

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Coalition Members Will Take Questions After Adjourning the Session Sine Die http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/12/coalition-members-will-take-questions-after-adjourning-the-session-sine-die/ Sun, 13 May 2018 03:23:35 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/12/coalition-members-will-take-questions-after-adjourning-the-session-sine-die

Alaska House Majority Coalition End of Session Press Availability Scheduled for Tonight

Juneau – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition will hold a press availability tonight to answer questions from reporters covering the 30th Alaska State Legislature. The press availability will be held 15 minutes after the Alaska House of Representatives adjourns the Second Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature sine die.

The press availability will be held in the Speaker’s Chambers of the Capitol Building in Juneau.

The public and media are welcome to attend.  For media unable to attend in person, participation is available by teleconference by calling toll free at (844) 586-9085.

WHO: Alaska House Majority Coalition members

WHAT: Alaska House Majority Coalition press availability

WHERE: Speaker’s Chambers, room 210, Alaska State Capitol, Juneau

WHEN: 15 minutes after the House adjourns the legislative session sine die

Teleconference: 1 (844) 586-9085

Live stream: http://akl.tv

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

Mike Mason
Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 444-0889
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

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Budget Deal Reached; State Operating Budget Passes the Alaska Legislature http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/12/458/ Sun, 13 May 2018 02:38:01 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/05/12/458

FY 2019 Budget Funds a Larger PFD and Includes More Money for Public Safety

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.

“This budget is the culmination of a lot of hard work and compromises on all sides. Our Coalition fought hard for a larger Permanent Fund Dividend because we know how vital PFDs are to Alaskans. The continued long-term health of the Permanent Fund, and in turn the PFD, is a key priority for our coalition, so we stood strong in demanding that the fund be inflation-proofed for the first time in three years,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham). “Throughout the public process to develop this budget, the people of Alaska were loud and clear that public safety is a major priority. Our Coalition worked to ensure no cuts to State Troopers, and we insisted on funding for more prosecutors and public defenders as part of the budget compromise.”

The FY 19 state operating budget incorporates the rules-based Percent of Market Value (POMV) approach that lawmakers approved earlier this week to access the earnings of the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for essential public services and PFDs. The 5.25 percent draw totals $2.7 billion. $1.69 billion will be used to help pay for public services like public education, State Troopers, fish and game management, and road maintenance. $1.02 billion will be used to fund $1,600 PFDs this fall.

“Developing a responsible budget during a fiscal crisis is no easy task. We partially did that with the budget bills that passed today. I take comfort in knowing that by passing a budget in a timely manner the State of Alaska can deliver the essential public services that keep our state running. Further action will be needed to ensure sustainable income for our public services. I represent an area heavily dependent on the tourism and commercial fishing industries, and this budget allows those industries to go forward without interruption,” said House Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer), who served as the lead negotiatior for the House on the HB 286 Conference Committee.

Today, the Alaska House of Representatives approved the budget compromise by a vote of 21-19. The Alaska State Senate passed the compromise by a vote of 15-4. The Fiscal Year 2019 Operating and Mental Health Budgets will now be sent to Alaska Governor Bill Walker for his consideration.

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

Mike Mason
Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 444-0889
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

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Rep. Spohnholz 30th Legislature Weekly Update https://conta.cc/2JF2XlI Thu, 12 Apr 2018 21:04:13 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/04/12/rep-spohnholz-30th-legislature-weekly-update
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Rep. Spohnholz March 22nd Newsletter: Considering the Operating Budget. http://conta.cc/2FVJkHJ Thu, 22 Mar 2018 20:02:17 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/03/22/rep-spohnholz-march-22nd-newsletter-considering-the-operating-budget/
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House Passes Resolution on Proposed Plan for Offshore Lease Sales http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/02/21/house-passes-resolution-on-proposed-plan-for-offshore-lease-sales/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:19:55 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_spohnholz/2018/02/21/house-passes-resolution-on-proposed-plan-for-offshore-lease-sales/

2017 House Majority Session Press Generator

 

Alaska House Majority Coalition logoALASKA HOUSE
MAJORITY COALITION

AKHOUSE.ORG
CONTACT: Drew Cason (907) 575-2068
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2018

 

House Passes Resolution on Proposed Plan for Offshore Lease Sales

Alaska House Adds Voice to Congressional Delegation and Governor

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).

“With this resolution, the Alaska House joins Alaska’s entire Congressional delegation, the Governor, and a number of tribes and other stakeholders who have requested that 11 of the 14 planning areas be removed from the draft proposed plan,” said Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) “The Chukchi and Beaufort Seas planning areas have far and away the greatest estimated recoverable reserves for oil and gas, and while the Cook Inlet Planning Area has more modest potential, it is a critical source of affordable energy for Alaska’s most populous region. Lease sales in other areas are unlikely to attract significant interest, would create tremendous controversy, and would wastefully expend State and Federal money on lease sales which would not lead to development.”

HR 6 was successfully amended on the floor by Representative John Lincoln (D-Kotzebue) to further request that the existing deferrals in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas be continued in future lease sales.

“My district is home to the world’s most productive zinc mine, and one of the world’s preeminent oil fields,” said Rep. Lincoln “But we also rely on subsistence and have preserved our way of life by keeping it in the forefront of our minds whenever we pursue economic development. My amendment simply asks that we keep intact decades of work between industry and local communities identifying and protecting a crucial migratory corridor for Bowhead whales and two modest subsistence hunting areas adjacent to the whaling communities of Kaktovik and Utqiaġvik.”

Originally introduced by the House Rules committee, Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) was added as the resolution’s primary sponsor on the House floor at the request of Minority Whip Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) so that other members could add their names as co-sponsors.

“I am grateful that the House was able to move quickly and show overwhelming support for both economic development and respect for all stakeholders in that development,” said Speaker Edgmon, “I appreciate the Administration giving us the opportunity to speak to this issue, and hope they heed the combined voices of our Federal delegation, Governor, and State House.”

House Resolution 6 passed with strong bipartisan support, by a vote of 33-5. The resolution will be presented to Senator Murkowski after she makes her annual address to the Legislature on February 22nd.

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Deputy Press Secretary Drew Cason at (907) 575-2068.

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Drew Cason
Deputy Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 575-2068
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

 

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