The Ketchikan Gateway Borough meets Monday, and will discuss a proposed resolution urging the state Legislature to expand Medicaid coverage and implement Medicaid reform.
The resolution was submitted by Mayor David Landis. In his sponsor statement, Landis writes that expanding Medicaid coverage will improve health statewide by cutting the number of uninsured Alaskans in half.
Landis also cites a study that shows expanding Medicaid could lead to 4,000 new jobs and about $2.5 billion in increased economic activity over seven years.
Also on the agenda is a proposal from Assembly Member Alan Bailey to define and limit how public funds are spent. In his sponsor statement, Bailey writes that some items that would be prohibited from purchase using public money include alcohol, tobacco or marijuana products, or monetary gifts to borough employees as a reward for service.
Bailey is asking the Assembly to direct borough staff to draft an ordinance with those definitions for consideration at a future meeting.
The Assembly on Monday also will discuss a proposed excise tax on tobacco products. The issue was brought before the Joint Borough-City Cooperative Relations Committee, which referred the matter to the City Council and the Borough Assembly.
At its March 19th meeting, the City Council agreed there was interest in moving forward with the concept. Council members wanted city and borough staff to talk about it and bring back more information.
The Assembly has two options on its Monday agenda statement: To work with the City of Ketchikan to draft a proposal for the Cooperative Relations Committee; or to not pursue an excise tax at this time.
Monday’s Assembly meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Borough Assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.