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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May 10th: Outstanding items as we wrap up session

I’m expecting we will adjourn in the next few days and I’m pleased to report that many good bills have passed in recent days, including bills to increase access to mental health care, bills that will improve the lives of Alaskans with mental or physical disabilities, and a bill to reform our foster care system. My personal legislation to address rape kit reform and increase purchasing of Alaska Grown have also passed.

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Legislation Passes to Encourage Alaska’s Farm-to-Table Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to increase economic opportunities for Alaska farmers, fishermen and the farm-to-table economy. House Bill 217, sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), encourages the State of Alaska, school districts, and municipalities to buy more “Alaska Grown” products. The bill also encourages the growing practice of farm touring and allows receipt authority for the Alaska Division of Agriculture to sell products with the Alaska Grown logo in support of Alaska farmers.

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Alaska House Passes Invasive Species Control Measure

Juneau – The Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 177, legislation introduced by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) to help the State respond to aquatic invasive species. Invasive plant and fish species are a threat to local ecosystems, commercially important endemic species (like salmon), and accessibility.

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