Alaska Lawmakers Oppose Any Federal Policy Separating Children from Parents at the Southern Border

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.

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Rep. Stutes Calls for Expedited Repairs of Larsen Bay Dam

Anchorage – Representative Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) is calling on local, state, and federal officials to work quickly to repair the heavily degraded Larsen Bay Dam before a catastrophic failure jeopardizes the primary sources of drinking water and electricity for the small Kodiak Island community. The concrete channel that controls the flow of water into the reservoir is quickly eroding, sparking fear of a total failure of the dam structure. Such a failure could impact the very existence of Larsen Bay as a community.

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 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.

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Budget Deal Reached; State Operating Budget Passes the Alaska Legislature

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.

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Legislature Approves Increased Benefits for Those Displaced by Federal Construction Projects in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to increase the maximum relocation benefits available to those displaced by federally funded construction projects. House Bill 131 brings Alaska statutes in line with federal laws that were changed in 2012 with the passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Prior to passage of the act, federal relocation benefit rates had not been changed in 30-years. HB 131 was sponsored by the House Transportation Committee under the leadership of Co-Chairs Rep. Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) and Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks).

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