Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Day 100 and Counting

It’s time for the total package!

Alaska has a $4.1 billion deficit due a budget that has been over reliant on one source of revenue—oil—which is at historically low prices right now. Oil is not projected to get above $50 per barrel anytime in the next 10 years, so we can’t just hope for prices to rebound. We only have enough funds on hand to cover about 25% of Alaska’s budget.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Day 92

We have had some big accomplishments in the last few days including passing military justice reform and Medicaid reform. These are both comprehensive reform bills that garnered bipartisan support. However, there are still major issues outstanding before the legislature, and no clear path forward. Before I get into these topics I have a quick request:

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NEWS: The Late Rep. Max Gruenberg’s Final Bill Passes the Alaska Legislature, With a Little Help From His Friends

Juneau – Today, House Bill 147 passed the Alaska Senate by a unanimous vote. Earlier this month, the bill passed the Alaska House of Representatives, also by a unanimous vote. The bill was the brainchild of the late Rep. Max Gruenberg who passed away suddenly in February at the age of 72 while still in office. Rep. Liz Vazquez (R-Anchorage) sponsored HB 147, which does several things including allowing the well-being of pets to be considered by courts in divorce proceedings. Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) was appointed to the District 16 seat held by Rep. Gruenberg and she quickly became a co-sponsor of HB 147.

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NEWS: Alaska House Votes to Oppose the Sale of Frankenfish

Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives voted unanimously Friday night in favor of House Joint Resolution 28 sponsored by House Resources Committee member Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). HJR 28 puts the Alaska House on record opposing the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a genetically engineered salmon being sold for human consumption. Additionally, the resolution urges Congress to enact legislation requiring genetically engineered products be labeled.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Update and Meeting Reminders

Last week, I updated you about April being Child Abuse Prevention month. April is also national Sexual Assualt Awareness month. Today, in the House State Affairs Committee, we heard a resolution from Senate President Meyer officially designating April 2016 as Sexual Assualt Awareness month in Alaska. The movement to reduce sexual violence in Alaska has been on-going for a long-time now, and according to testimony I heard today it is showing some success–rates of reported sexual violence fell between 2010 and 2015.

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