Containing Coronavirus
Dear Neighbor,
This afternoon, Senator Wielechowski and I sent a letter to the Governor expressing our concerns with Novel Coronavirus and asking his administration to waive health insurance fees for Alaskans who seek to be tested for the virus. Alaskans should know they can be tested and treated for this virus without risking potentially catastrophic medical bills, and we should follow the lead of state's like New York, ensuring that even the uninsured are able to get tested.
Operating Budget Updates:
Today, the House passed an operating budget to restore $1 million in funding to Alaska Public Broadcasting and public radio, and $18 million in restored funding to the Alaska Marine Highway and Alaska's ferry system, and restoration of the user-fee funded Ocean Rangers program. By a 38-1 vote, we defeated an amendment to defund Alaska Legal Services Corporation, which serves hundreds of at risk women and children trapped in cycles of domestic violence, in addition to providing legal services to disabled veterans. The House preserved funding for the State Arts Council, an organization that provides grants for veterans going through rehabilitative treatment to experience art, in addition to other services. We also rejected amendments to defund homeless services.
Victory on Sole-Source Contract:
In response to legislative oversight, the grandson of one of Dunleavy's largest campaign donors has ended his sole-source, no-bid contract with the administration. You can read about Clark Penney abandoning his role here. Representative Kreiss-Tomkins and I wrote a letter to Attorney General Clarkson asking if an independent council will be appointed to ensure the investigation is impartial, citing five other similar instances in state history. The Governor still needs to come clean with Alaskans about how his donors' family was awarded this contract in the first place.
This week the Health and Social Services Committee is hearing my legislation (HB 86 and HB 183), to prevent privatization of API and ensure adequate capacity and staffing.
Private Prisons:
On Friday, House Finance is scheduled to hear HB 187, our bipartisan legislation to permanently prevent for-profit prisons or shipment of prisoners out of state. This is the last stop before the House Floor.
Pioneer Homes
HB 96 is expected to be heard soon in Senate Finance.
I hope to see you around the neighborhood soon,
Real ID Coming Soon: Beat the lines and visit the DMV now
Reminder: Beginning
in October 2020, you will need a Real ID or it's equivalent to board a commercial airline, enter a federal building, or gain access to a military base. For more information, visit:
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