A look at bills signed into law this week.
WORKERS COMPENSATION -- House Bill 378, introduced by Gov. Tony Knowles, changes the way the state's worker compensation and worker safety programs are paid for. All employers will pay a fee based on their worker compensation claims. The fees would replace the general funds now going into the program and the insurance premiums insured employers are now charged. The fees would apply to large employers who self-insure themselves and currently pay nothing to the state.
ASSISTED LIVING -- Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Mike Miller, R-North Pole, increases the daily rate the state pays for assisted living services from $30 per day now, to $50 per day. The rate would increase by $10 a year in each of the next two years. The rate paid to assisted living homes has not been increased since the early 1980s.
LOW-INCOME HOUSING -- House Bill 272, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Halcro, protects owners of low-income housing projects built under a federal tax credit program from high property tax assessments. The law requires municipalities to assess such housing projects based on the limited income they receive under a rent cap required for the tax credit.
HEIRLOOM MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES -- House Bill 353, sponsored by Knowles, allows the state to sell heirloom marriage certificates to benefit the Alaska Children's Trust. The certificates will cost $25 and were modeled on a successful heirloom birth certificate program that raised more than $50,000 for the trust last year.
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