Thursday May 9th, 2019
Items of Interest in this E-News:
  • SB91 repeal and replace bill passes the House
  • Insurance coverage for telehealth passes the House
  • Earthquake relief available through FEMA
  • Meet the Chief of Staff: Ted Madsen
  • Upcoming District 16 Community Councils
SB91 Repeal and Replace Bill Passes the House
Wednesday, I voted with my colleagues in the House to repeal and replace Senate Bill 91 .

House Bill 49 is tough on crime, and also gives police and prosecutors the tools they need to make Alaska safe. Here are a few highlights of what the bill does:
  • Increases presumptive sentencing ranges for Class A and Class B felony offenses
  • Increases the maximum sentence for all Class A and Class B misdemeanors
  • Creates a new crime of "Possession of Motor Vehicle Theft Tools", under which individuals who both possess tools commonly used to steal a vehicle and demonstrate an intent to steal a vehicle can be prosecuted
  • Requires sex offenders registered in another jurisdiction to enter the Alaska sex offender registry when they move here
  • Prohibits sex offenders from receiving good-time credit while in prison or on parole
  • Repeals credits for time served for pre-trial electronic monitoring
  • Requires timely testing of sexual assault examination kits
  • Gives judges more discretion in considering pre-trial risk assessment analysis in making bail release decisions

However, we know that 80% percent of criminal offenses in Alaska are drug related, and if we really want to address crime at its root cause, we need to seriously talk about substance abuse and mental health treatment. We also need to ensure our law enforcement and courts receive the funding they need to enforce the law.
Insurance Coverage for Telehealth Passes the House
On Tuesday, the House passed my bill on insurance coverage for telehealth with bipartisan support! House Bill 29 requires private insurers, primarily Premera, Aetna, Moda, and United Health, to cover health care services performed by providers licensed in Alaska and delivered via telehealth.

This means that more Alaskans will be able to take advantage of health care services via telehealth which will greatly reduce the costs associated with travel. New parents can avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room and services will be more accessible in rural areas and communities that have a shortage in specialty healthcare providers.

HB 29 had broad support from other legislators, health care providers, and insurers in the state.
Earthquake Relief Available through FEMA
The deadline for applying for Alaska Individual Assistance for earthquake damages has passed, but its not too late to apply for assistance through FEMA. Applications can be filled ou t online and will be accepted until May 31st.

Additional information about FEMA assistance can be found in their federal assistance memo.
Meet the Chief of Staff: Ted Madsen
I am incredibly proud of my Chief of Staff, Ted Madsen, who completes his 10th legislative session this year.

Ted first came to the legislature in 2010 to work for my predecessor, the late Representative Max Gruenberg, after earning his Bachelor's in International Relations from Michigan State University. He has since earned a Master's in Community Development from the University of New Hampshire.

In 2016, when Max unfortunately passed away and I was appointed to replace him, Ted remained on as my chief of staff. Ted is an essential member of my team. We simply wouldn't be doing the good work we are doing without him.

Ted has served as a board member for Alaska Common Ground, and enjoys playing Settler's of Catan, pub trivia, and spending time with friends.

Thanks for all your hard work Ted!
Upcoming District 16 Community Councils
The most local form of government we have in Alaska are the  Community Councils.   We have three in our district. You can find the agendas and more information on the individual community council websites we have linked below. If you don't know which one is yours, call our office at  (907) 465-4940  and we will help you figure it out!

  • Russian Jack - Second Wednesday of the month: the next one is May 8th, 6:30 pm at Wonder Park Elementary School.

  • Northeast - Third Thursday of the month; the next one is May 16th, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Muldoon Community Assembly Youth Facility, 1005 North Ermine St.

  • University Area - UACC is on hiatus for the summer! They will meet back up again in September on the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting will be on September 4th, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the University Baptist Church on Tudor Road.
I'll send out email updates fairly frequently during the legislative session. Please let me know if you want to know about anything that I don't cover in the updates. You can reply to this email or give me a call!

Keep in touch!
Phone Number: (907) 465-4940