NEWS: Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Supports Long Overdue Decision to Drop Failed Lawsuit to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Anchorage – Earlier today, a majority of the members of the Alaska Legislative Council voted to stop the lawsuit challenging Medicaid expansion in Alaska. The lawsuit was dismissed in March by a Superior Court Judge after finding that the Social Security Act allowed the Governor to initiate Medicaid expansion and that existing state law required Governor Walker to provide Medicaid to the group of Alaskans eligible for expansion. The Alaska Legislative Council is made up of members of both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska Senate and it represents the Alaska Legislature in some instances when the Legislature is not in session. Today’s action by the Legislative Council stops an appeal of the lawsuit to the Alaska Supreme Court.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Special Session Report and a Look Ahead

Rep. Spohnholz's newsletter

On Saturday, June 18th, the House gaveled out of the Special Session with the Senate gaveling out the following day. We accomplished a lot during this time, but failed to reach consensus on some of the most important elements on the agenda. Here is a summary of what happened followed by an update on the NEXT special session scheduled to start on July 11th and some information on local events of interest.

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NEWS: Alaska House Ends Special Session Without a Fiscal Plan to Protect the Alaska Economy

Juneau – Tonight, the Alaska House of Representatives closed out the Fourth Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature without making any substantial progress towards creating a balanced and sustainable plan to address the ongoing fiscal crisis in Alaska. The House failed to pass any of the revenue measures they were called into Special Session to consider by Alaska Governor Bill Walker. The 13 members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) remain committed to working on a comprehensive fiscal plan that will protect the Alaska economy and the essential functions of state government.

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NEWS: Alaska Legislature Should Quickly Act to Continue Insurance for Families of Police and Firefighters Killed in the Line of Duty

Juneau – Common sense legislation to honor Alaska’s first responders and their families is stuck in committee in both the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska Senate. House Bill 4002 and Senate Bill 4002 would allow the State of Alaska to continue insurance coverage for spouses and dependents of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

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NEWS: Conference Committee Advances Flawed Oil Tax Credit Subsidy Bill

Juneau – Today, the Conference Committee created to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of House Bill 247 advanced a new version that continues unsustainable subsidies to the oil and gas industry that will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The only member of the Minority on the Conference Committee is Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). She objected to the new version of HB 247 and voted no on advancing the bill out of the committee.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Special Session Update

Rep. Spohnholz's newsletter

On Tuesday, the legislature passed a compromise budget package funded by the Constitutional Budget Reserve as is needed. This budget compromise is far from perfect, as are many compromises, but it allows us to keep Alaska open for business so that the fishing, tourism and business communities can continue to operate during the summer. The budget compromise ensures that we don’t face a crippling government shut down which would further damage the State of Alaska’s credit rating and hurt the thousands of Alaskan state employees and those who count on their essential efforts. In this special session update, I will describe these budgets generally as well as what is next in the special session.

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