NEW HEALTH RELATED LAWS
Beginning early next year, Alaskans will face a new grocery store reality; “no more single use plastic bags”.
The Anchorage Assembly voted to phase out plastic bags by March 1, 2019. This means grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and liquor stores will no longer provide single use plastic bags to customers during check out. You will still be able to purchase an alternative bag (recycled paper bags) for a minimum fee of 10 cents per bag with a maximum charge of 50 cents per transaction. Although, these fees will be waived for any transaction with purchases that are made with SNAP or WIC vouchers. The goal is to reduce litter in the community and promote “alternative reusable bags”; so starting March 2019 don’t forget to bring your reusable bags to the store.
October 1, 2018 saw a new smoke free workplace statute (SB 63) come into effect. Smoking and vaping will no longer be allowed in enclosed public places and places of employment. This includes work areas, private offices, hotel and motel rooms, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, cafeterias, hallways, vehicles, and other employee work areas that are under the control of an employer. Smoking outdoors in certain places will also be banned; within 10 feet of a playground when children are present, seating areas in an outdoor arena and entrances of bars and restaurants. This new statute will broaden the existing smoking ban in public workplaces; keeping employees safe from second hand smoke.
Governor Bill Walker recently signed a bill (HB 333) that will allow cities to ban drivers from using their cell phones in active school zones. Although not currently in effect, HB 333 could be coming to the Anchorage Municipality soon.