Rep. Gray offers a prayer on the National Day of Prayer on May 2nd.  
Final Weeks of Session
 
We are entering the final stretch of the 33rd Legislature, and there are many unanswered questions that we need to address before the Legislature adjourns for the summer. We need to finalize the budget, significantly increase the BSA, address the Southcentral energy shortage, confirm appointees to state positions, and more.

The Legislature will be having long floor sessions until the end of session, and we will keep you posted if a special session is called in order to finalize our work. 

I have been working hard on the floor in order to pass good policy wherever and whenever I can, and you can read about some of the wins we have had in the last few weeks below.

 
May Constituent Town Hall Cancelled
 
The House District 20 monthly town hall that was scheduled for this Thursday, May 9th, will be cancelled due to long floor sessions this week. We will be announcing an in-person town hall in June, so please keep an eye out for announcements! 
Rep. Gray in the News
Aiming for rehab, House-passed bill would allow some tablet computers in Alaska prison cells
The Alaska Beacon wrote about my successful amendment to HB 330, which would reduce the price of inmate phone calls by over 90%. Stopping the massive overcharge on inmate phone calls rights a terrible injustice.
Amendment banning kids under 14 from social media passes Alaska House with bipartisan support
Alaska Public Media wrote about my successful amendment to HB 254, which would ban the use of social media for children under 14, and require parental approval for children aged 15 and 16. Although I opposed the underlying bill strongly, I was glad that I was able to start this conversation with colleagues about the harmful impact that social media has on our children's mental health, self-esteem, and even physical safety. 

I also was able to pass another amendment to the same bill, which would create a voucher program for families to buy parental control software for their children's devices. 
Rep. Gray Legislative Updates
Alcoholic Beverages and Cancer Act Amendment Passes House
I was able to pass the contents of HB 298 as a floor amendment to HB 189 this week. HB 298, also known as the Alcoholic Beverages and Cancer Act, adds language to warning signs that informs consumers about the cancer risks associated with consumption of alcohol.

I am excited to see this bill become law this session and help improve the health of Alaskans across the state. 
HB 363 Moves out of Committee
The House Health and Social Services Committee passed my HB 363 out of committee this past week. HB 363 addresses the issue of foster children being placed in acute psychiatric facilities for extended periods of time, simply because there are no other placements available. HB 363 would require that foster children placed in these facilities receive a court hearing quickly instead of being institutionalized for months.

This bill now goes to the Finance committee for consideration. 
East Anchorage Book Club Podcast

During the last week of April, I released a series of episodes about trans rights, speaking with trans Alaskans, their families, and medical experts in the field of gender affirming care. 

The inspiration for these interviews is three bills currently moving through the Alaska State House: HB 183 which bans trans girls from playing girls sports; HB 105 which requires kids to get signed permission slips approving their preferred name and pronouns; and HB 338 which allows doctors to be sued up to 20 years after performing gender affirming procedures on trans youth.

Alaska has many big problems. The pressing need to increase the funding of our public school system and finding a solution for an imminent energy crisis, for example. But instead of working on these very real, very substantial problems, we are spending the last weeks of session debating whether trans youth exist and have rights. They do exist; they do have rights.


I also published an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News re: my trans rights series, which you can read below.
 
 
Last week, I spoke with Libby Bakalar, municipal attorney for Bethel. Libby became famous in Alaska for her blog, One Hot Mess, and then her social media presence as One Hot Mess Alaska. Her outspokenness led to her unlawfully firing by the Dunleavy administration when she was working there as an assistant attorney general. Today, we discuss all of that as well as her complicated feelings about the conflict in Israel as a Jewish woman and descendant of Holocaust survivors.
 
 
Mayoral Runoff Election Reminder
 
Reminder that the runoff election for the Anchorage mayoral race is happening now! Voters should have received their ballots in the mail. Please mail back your ballot or drop it off at a secure drop box by May 14th. To find drop box locations and more information about the election, please visit the link below.
Congratulations, UAA Graduates!
 
Congratulations to everyone who graduated from UAA this past weekend! I am so proud to represent the UMED district, which contains UAA and APU. Your hard work has paid off, and I am so excited to see what you all will accomplish next. Check out some great photos from UAA commencement in the link below via the ADN. 
 
House District 20 Community Council Meetings

University Area Community Council
September 4, 2024
7-9 PM

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84804536087

Russian Jack Community Council
May 8, 2024 
6:30 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82732072693?pwd=SlJQbEtKT01iTUlBVkFrVG4zMGpFUT09

Campbell Park Community Council

May 16, 2024
7 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87088852421?pwd=RUtkTW5RUGpSSWdyQWZ3bGM0RlRZQT09
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