Rep. Adam Wool E-News Update: What to Expect when Expecting a New Legislature

The session for the 31rst Alaska State Legislature will begin on January 15, 2019. This is the time when legislators, both newly elected and re-elected, begin to prioritize their efforts for the coming year. A lot still remains to be seen about the election process, as the outcome of the race in House District 1 in Fairbanks is yet to be determined. This race will determine what the State House, and the Legislature as a whole, will look like. No matter who is in charge, there are a few issues I plan to focus on during my time in Juneau this year. While quick fixes don’t exist for the challenges we face, the following will be my priorities to work on this year

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Legislation Signed to Facilitate Energy Improvements to Homes and Businesses

Fairbanks – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law this evening allowing utilities in Alaska to create low-interest financing programs to help customers make energy efficiency improvement to their homes and businesses. House Bill 374, sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks), allows utilities to offer low-interest loans to customers with payments added to existing utility bills.

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Legislation Signed to Preserve Alaska’s Historic Roadhouses

Anchorage – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation today that includes measures to protect the growing hospitality industry in Alaska. Senate Bill 45 includes a provision to allow Alaska’s historic roadhouses to continue operating as they have for decades. The provision was originally included in a bill sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) that passed the Alaska House of Representatives but didn’t pass the Alaska State Senate. In the closing hours of the legislative session, the language to protect Alaska’s historic roadhouses was amended into SB 45, a bill that deals with contractors and home builders

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Governor Walker Signs a Bill to Support Alaska’s EMS Providers

Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law to allow emergency medical services (EMS) providers to recover additional costs for transporting Medicaid patients in Alaska. House Bill 176, sponsored by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks), changes state law to ensure EMS providers can seek supplemental reimbursements from the Medicaid program, which currently serves over 200,000 Alaskans.

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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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Fort Knox Mine Expansion Will Boost Fairbanks Economy

Anchorage – Alaska State Representatives Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks) have released the following statements in response to Tuesday’s announcement that the developer of the Fort Knox gold mine near Fairbanks will proceed with a mine expansion onto adjacent land owned by the State of Alaska. The Kinross Gold Corporation reports that the proposed expansion will produce 1.5 gold equivalent ounces and extend the life of the Fort Knox Mine to 2030.

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Rep. Adam Wool E-News Update: 30th AK State Legislature Comes to a Close

As many of you know, this session led to some controversial conversations regarding distilleries and breweries, as well as many other topics in the alcohol industry. Many of these conversations centered around the Title IV bill, Senate Bill 76, which was not passed this session. However, legislation was passed with allows for distilleries to make mixed drinks (this was the same language that was in House Bill 269,) and my bill to grandfather in Alaska’s historic roadhouses (House Bill 301) was also passed. To see a brief explanation of why Senate Bill 76 did not pass, and how these changes happened, please read more at the bottom of this newsletter.

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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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Coalition Members Will Take Questions After Adjourning the Session Sine Die

Juneau – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition will hold a press availability tonight to answer questions from reporters covering the 30th Alaska State Legislature. The press availability will be held 15 minutes after the Alaska House of Representatives adjourns the Second Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature sine die.

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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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