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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NEWS: Optometry & Optometrists Bill Passes Alaska House

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Juneau – For over 40 years, optometrists and ophthalmologists have been sparring over statutes that govern eye health care for Alaskans. Today, the Alaska House of Representative passed legislation that updates antiquated statutes regulating licenses of optometry and the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103, sponsored by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), seeks to improve and update the statutes that govern the board by allowing them to regulate their standards of practice similar to other boards with prescriptive authority (e.g. dentists, nurses, and doctors). The bill also allows the Board of Examiners of Optometry to set the continuing education requirements for a licensee to continue to practice.

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NEWS: Broad-Based Revenue Proposal Receives Public Support

Juneau – Last night over 100 Alaskans provided public testimony to the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on the proposed Education Funding Act, one of the four pillars of the comprehensive fiscal plan put forward by the Alaska House Majority Coalition. A significant majority of those who testified spoke in favor of House Bill 115 and maintaining Alaska’s commitment to public education and the University of Alaska. HB 115 passed the Alaska House of Representatives earlier this month and is under consideration in the Alaska State Senate.

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