NEWS: Independent and Democratic Lawmakers Call for a Halt to Illegal Lawsuit Challenging Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the members of Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition sent a letter to the high-priced Washington D.C. law firm of Bancroft, PLLC asking them to not move forward on an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court of a lawsuit challenging the expansion of Medicaid in Alaska. The authority to move forward with an appeal has not been granted by the full membership of the Alaska House of Representatives as is required by law. Last week, a notice of appeal was illegally filed with the Alaska Supreme Court on behalf of the Alaska Legislative Council and the Alaska House of Representatives. This is despite a clear legal opinion from the Alaska Division of Legal and Research Services that such an appeal must be authorized by a vote of the full Alaska Legislature, which it was not.

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NEWS: House Republican Leadership Illegally Appeals Lawsuit to Stop Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – The Republican-controlled leadership in the Alaska House of Representatives has filed an appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court of a lawsuit challenging Medicaid expansion in Alaska without approval of the full Alaska Legislature as required by law. The ill-advised 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.

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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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