NEWS: Rape Kit Reform Moves Forward with Passage of a Bill Mandating an Audit of Untested Rape Kits in Alaska

Rep. Geran Tarr

Juneau – The Alaska Legislature passed legislation this week that includes a measure put forward by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) mandating a statewide audit of sexual assault examination kits. The House added the measure to Senate Bill 55, which would put in place technical changes and clarifications to Alaska’s criminal statutes as part of the ongoing effort at criminal justice reform.

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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: House Passes Legislation to Honor Hmong and Laotian Veterans

Rep. Geran Tarr

Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation today to honor Hmong and Laotian soldiers who fought as allies to the United States during the Vietnam War. House Bill 125, sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), authorizes a special designation for Hmong and Laotian veterans on state-issued IDs and driver’s licenses.

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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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