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Containing Coronavirus

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.

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Saving the Marine Highway

Great news: Thanks to Representative Stutes and other coastal legislators, the current draft of the operating budget has $11 million in additional Marine Highway funding to restore ferry service. Many communities have run out of food, diapers, and other essentials in stores.

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Victory on Alaska Apprenticeships

Great news: The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development has withdrawn controversial anti-apprenticeship regulations that would have undermined workplace safety and encouraged replacement of Alaskans with out-of-state workers.

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Tomorrow at 10:30am, the legislature will convene in joint session to vote on overriding the Governor’s vetoes of Marine Highway and school bond debt reimbursement funding. I intend to vote “yes” to override. It is unacceptable that coastal communities have been cut off from ferry service for long periods of time, and that veto of school bond debt reimbursement shifts tens of millions of dollars in costs onto the back of local property tax payers.

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Keep criminal gangs out of Alaska

While we’re out of session, I wanted to update you on some issues many of us care about, including shipment of prisoners out of state, API, and local transportation issues:

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Here’s what Dunleavy just vetoed…again.

It’s been a remarkable year–never have Alaskans come together to defend our state from the existential threat posed by Mike Dunleavy. I don’t think there’s any question that the recall effort forced the Governor to retreat from many of his initial vetoes. Thanks to Alaskans’ activism, we still have a chance to save our University system, and we protected funding for survivors of domestic violence, and for some but not all homeless programs. Unfortunately, Dunleavy is vetoing (for the second time) many programs that are critical for public safety and our civil society. Here’s a list of his re-vetoes, including a few low-lights:

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