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Update for August 2nd

Special Session Ends

Update for July 7th

Governor’s Budget Vetoes

Update for August 2nd

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Announcements, General, Service High School | Comments (0)

Friends and Neighbors,

Can you believe it is already August? We hope your summer is going well and are prepared for cooler weather that is right around the corner. Meanwhile, we are responding to questions and concerns about the ongoing Abbott Road Project so let us know if you need any additional information and we will get some answers for you as soon as possible.

Abbott Road Project Update

We recently spoke to the project management team at the Alaska Department of Transportation about the Abbott Road Project. The good news is construction is right on schedule and it should be substantially completed by the end of October. The bad news is that between now and Halloween, expect up to six more nights of paving work starting in mid-September.

We sympathize with those of you living near the construction zone who must deal with the noise and disruption that come with having bulldozers and dump trucks right outside your front door. Keep in mind that when it is finished the road will be much safer for drivers, pedestrians and bikers. Abbott Road has the highest crash rate of the five major hillside roads so it is important to rebuild the road and get it done as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions, please give DOT Construction Project Manager Bob Anderson a call at 269-0450.

 

House Bill 200

House Bill 200 was signed into law a few days ago. It improves and streamlines legal proceedings for children in Alaska’s foster care system so they can be placed in families earlier and with fewer legal proceedings. I am a proud co-sponsor the bill because placing children with relatives is frequently the best option for children whose parents, for whatever reason, are not able to care for them.

Back to School

Believe it or not, the morning school bells will be ringing in just a matter of days. The first day of school for 2nd through 12th grades is Monday, August 22, the first day of school for K-1st grade is Monday, August 29. The Anchorage School District webpage is packed with all the information you need from when and where to register for school to suggestions for school supplies. Go to http://www.asdk12.org/backtoschool/ for the details.

Thanks once again for reading our blog page, we try to keep everyone up to date on our legislative activities and community news. If you have any suggestions on how to make our blog page better, please send an email to rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov or call 269-0222.

 

Cheers,

Charisse Signature bold

 

admin @ August 2, 2016

Special Session Ends

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Announcements, Budget, General | Comments (0)

Friends and neighbors,
Thank you once again for taking the time to read our weekly blog. We want to bring you the latest on the end of the special session here in Juneau and toss in some information on a pair of fun events for the entire family.

Special Session Update
 
The fifth special session is now coming to a close, after little time between now and the Governor’s previous call down to Juneau. With little changing between this special session and the previous, the Governor was once again unable to gather sufficient support for his new tax proposals or his Permanent Fund restructure. Additionally, while many advocated for overrides for certain budget vetoes made by the Governor, none gained enough support to pass either the House or Senate. With legislators representing such diverse perspectives and constituencies from all across our state, many need more time to gather enough support from their districts and communities for landmark changes to our state’s institutions and taxes on Alaskans’ hard-earned money.
 
Our office has continued to support a plan that restructures the state’s assets in a way that makes them work for essential services and our economy, as well as significant reductions to government spending. Our state has effectively invested and saved for difficult straits like those we face today, and it is important to use those savings and investments as wisely as possible. While enough support could not be won to pass a restructuring plan this session, we will continue to strive towards this change in the coming months with neighbors and colleagues alike.
 
The Legislative session is not the only time when legislators are working with their neighbors and communities to come up with solutions for the problems facing our state. As Alaskans, we work year-round to improve our state and plan for the next generation. Please continue to reach out with your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Input from our constituents is invaluable in these unprecedented economic times.
 
Summer Events
 
As we move into the second half of summer there are a few festivals and events that we thought you may want to consider placing on your calendar. The Alaska Greek Festival will be held from August 19-21 at 2800 O’Malley Road. The annual event brings authentic Greek food, music and culture to the Last Frontier. Check out the webpage for more details at www.akgreekfestival.com
 
This year’s Alaska State Fair kicks off at the Palmer Fairgrounds on August 25 and runs through Labor Day. The event is a family favorite as we transition from summer to fall here in Southcentral Alaska. Go to www.alaskastatefair.org for all the information you may need.
 
We will be back in the district early next week so do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do for you. Our Anchorage office number is 269-0222 and we can always be reached by email at representative.charisse.millett@akleg.gov Temps are expected to stay in the upper 70’s all weekend so go out and make the most if it!
 
 
Warmly,
Charisse Signature bold

admin @ July 15, 2016

Update for July 7th

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Announcements, Budget, General | Comments (0)

Thank you once again for reading our blog page where we make every effort to bring you up to date on the latest happenings in the Alaska Legislature and our community.

 

Protecting Alaska’s Children

This month the governor signed HB 308. The new law expands the correct use of car seats by limiting the liability of volunteer Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST’s). Alaska is fortunate to have CPST’s as a resource to help install and teach the correct installation of car seats, as a car seat can be the difference between life and death in the event of an accident.

Increasing the number of CPST’s will help keep children more secure in their safety seats. Good legislation is always a team effort, The Alaska Child Passenger Safety Coalition, along with first responders, doctors, and safety volunteers from across the state joined the legislature in supporting this important legislation.

 

Do 1 Thing

The Anchorage Office of Emergency Management is encouraging all Alaskans to create a Family Communication Plan. The ability to reach loved ones in the aftermath of a disaster as soon as possible will be a must, but if the power grid fails, cell phone service, the internet and other forms of electronic communication could be unavailable.

The Do 1 Thing Organization has four important steps to creating a Family Communication Plan:

  • Have a phone with a cord and a car charger for your cell phone standing by in case of a power failure
  • Develop a plan for how your family will stay in touch during a disaster
  • Program In Case of Emergency (ICE) numbers into all family cell phones

 

These few simple steps are the first steps to take in creating a communications plan. For more emergency preparedness information please go to http://do1thing.com/

Abbott Road Closure

Abbott Road between Little Creek Drive and Little Brook Street will be closed from 9:00 p.m. Friday, July 8 to 5:00 a.m. Monday, July 11 to install a fish passage culvert. Please look for detour signs that will be posted on Abbott Road. The road project is on schedule and could be completed by November. For more information call the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities at 644-0431.

The special session starts next week, our office will keep you posted through our Facebook page, Twitter page and this blog page with the latest from the state capitol.

 

We hope you summer is going well!

 

Best,

Charisse Signature bold

 

 

 

 

admin @ July 7, 2016

Governor’s Budget Vetoes

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Announcements, Budget, Education | Comments (0)

Good afternoon,

Our office wanted to update you on Governor Walker’s recent announcement of vetoes to the Fiscal Year 2017 compromise budget. Before approving the operating and capital budgets for the state, the Governor made significant reductions to items including K-12 education, the University of Alaska, and the Department of Corrections.

Both the House and Senate have been working for years to reduce the size and footprint of government, and have made significant progress over the last two years. There is no doubt that we need to live within our means, and unfortunately when revenue is at the levels we see today, uncomfortable, difficult cuts must be considered.

Here is a quick summary of some of the vetoes announced today:

  • K-12 foundation funding – $6.35 million
  • One-time funding to school districts – $4.7 million
  • School debt reimbursement – $30 million
  • Rural school construction – $10.4 million
  • Oil and gas tax credits: cut $430 million, leaving $30 million in the budget (the $430 million will need to be paid next year)
  • Permanent Fund Dividend: cut in half – $666.35 million – leaving an estimated $1,000 dividend for 2016

Agency Operations:

  • Public radio broadcasting – $750,000
  • Tourism marketing – $3 million
  • Correctional and Community Residential Centers – $3.5 million
  • Parents as Teachers program – $200,000
  • Workforce Development Grants – $502,400
  • Childcare Benefits – $1 million
  • Online with Libraries program – $100,000
  • Tourism Marketing – $3 million
  • University of Alaska – $10 million

Total amount of vetoes made by the Governor: $1,289,237,700

The Governor also vetoed the continuation of several road projects in the state, including the U-Med bypass road in Midtown Anchorage and the Glenn Highway, Hiland Road to Artillery Road reconstruction. He additionally has stated he is “closing down” the Knik Arm Bridge project, as well as the Susitna-Watana project.

Some of these reductions are worrisome and un-vetted, however it is within the Governor’s power to make changes to the budget passed by both Republicans and Democrats this spring. We will continue to work with the Governor to be sure that these vetoes don’t jeopardize the quality of our children’s education, our public safety, and the wellbeing of our communities. Your input is as important as ever, as we evaluate the Governor’s vetoes, and we hope that you will reach out with any comments or concerns about his changes to the budget.

To see the specific details of the vetoes, you can visit the Office of Management and Budget’s website.

Weather Advisory

Before we go, The National Weather Service just issued a heavy rain warning for Southcentral Alaska on Thursday. The heaviest rainfall will occur in the Mat-Su and Copper River Valleys, while Anchorage could also see significant rainfall amounts. Please look out for ponding on roads and bike paths throughout the city and if a road is flooded just turn around – do NOT try and cross any roadway that is underwater. For more information go to http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/

 

Have a safe holiday weekend,

 

Charisse Signature bold

 

 

 

 

 

admin @ June 29, 2016

REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT THANKS U.S. SENATOR MURKOWSKI FOR WORK TO CLEAN-UP TRAVESTY WELLS

Posted in: Energy, Press Releases, Travesty Wells | Comments (0)

Interior Bill will prioritize clean-up of long polluted wells

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, Juneau, Alaska –House Majority Leader Charisse Millett applauded the leadership of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski in introducing the Fiscal Year  2017 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which addresses a wide range of challenges, needs, and opportunities in Alaska. This bill places importance on cleaning up dozens of exploration wells and core tests that were drilled decades ago that remain abandoned in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, among many other important issues to Alaskans. Along with Murkowski, Millett has worked throughout her time in office to force the federal government to take responsibility for the clean-up of these wells, including sponsoring resolutions passed in 2012 and 2013, as well as testifying before the U.S. Congress.

“It’s outrageous, first off, that the wells have been pushed from the government’s conscious for this long,” Millett, R-Anchorage, said. “We’ve asked, legislatively, through unanimous resolutions, for the Bureau of Land Management to do its job and clean up and shut in these wells properly. I am proud that Alaska’s Senator, Lisa Murkowski, has continued to show leadership on this issue and is asking the federal government to commit resources to fixing this problem.”

Murkowski’s bill doubles the requested funding for legacy well cleanup in Fiscal Year 2017, and further directs the Bureau of Land Management to craft a long-term funding plan to complete the clean-up of the wells. This bill’s commitment of funds for future planning and important repairs to the lingering problem of the unplugged and environmentally harmful wells makes enormous strides towards getting the federal government to adhere to the state’s environmental standards and appropriate the money and workers to solve this massive ecological problem.

# # #

admin @ June 23, 2016

Update for Friday, June 3rd

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Budget, General | Comments (0)

Happy Friday everyone,

Today in Juneau the Alaska House held a floor session and the House Labor & Commerce and Finance Committees held meetings on bills listed on the special session agenda. We will continue to provide regular updates for you as the special session progresses.

Special Session

Since our last update, the House and Senate have both held multiple meetings on bills requested by the Governor, and have held floor sessions. The Legislature passed another one of the bills on the special session call today, House Bill 374. This bill would protect Alaskans from extreme insurance policy rate hikes, which would occur as a result of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). By making changes to our reinsurance code, insurers will better be able to spread their risk and keep prices low for Alaskans – especially those deemed “high risk”.

The House Finance Committee met both Thursday and Friday to discuss tax proposals introduced by the Governor, and a change to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s infrastructure funding. The Finance Committee moved three of the Governor’s tax bills from committee, including tax hikes on fishing, mining, and motor fuels, not because the members support the measures necessarily, but to allow the full House to be able to vote them up or down. The Governor’s income tax proposal is still being evaluated by the committee.

The House Labor and Commerce Committee continued its work on House Bill 4002, which would provide the families of public safety killed in the line of duty with health coverage. This was a bill that our office sponsored, and we have been closely tracking this most recent iteration. Tomorrow, Saturday June 4th, the House Labor and Commerce Committee will be taking public testimony on this bill at 11:00 a.m. Stop by the nearest LIO or call in to (907) 465-4648 to share your thoughts. We will continue to keep you posted as this bill moves through the process.

Tomorrow the House will also meet again in session at 1:00 p.m. You can always follow floor session online at akl.tv

Anchorage School Board

Students are enjoying their summer break but the Anchorage School Board remains on duty all year long. Here are two items on the agenda for the Monday night meeting.

  • A resolution in support of locating municipal ballot drop boxes on certain school district sites. Starting in 2017, Anchorage voters will mail their ballots to city hall, or leave ballots at designated drop boxes for all local elections.
  • Accepting a grant award for suicide awareness, prevention, and postvention grant (A postvention is an intervention conducted after a suicide to support family and friends left behind)

Monday’s meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. at ASD Headquarters, 5530 East Northern Lights Blvd.

Fish on!

The fish are biting in rivers, lakes and streams all across Southcentral Alaska so now is the time to get out and start catching fish. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a really informative website http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSport.main with detailed information about regulations and fish counts so you can see where your odds are best to catch the big one.

We will be back Monday with another update on the special session. Get out and enjoy the summer and have a great weekend.

Warmly,

Charisse Signature bold

 

admin @ June 3, 2016

Update for Wednesday, June 1st

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Announcements, Budget, Education | Comments (0)

Good afternoon everyone,

This is a quick update on goings-on down here in Juneau during special session and in Anchorage as well. The House and Senate came to a landmark compromise yesterday and approved the FY 17 operating budget and capital budget, in addition to passing two other important policies. While lawmakers still have several pieces of legislation remaining on the special session agenda, we are hopeful that the people’s business can be completed soon.

Operating Budget

This year’s budget has been one of the most challenging pieces of policy most legislators have faced in their careers. With the sudden and steep drop in oil prices, Alaska’s primary source of revenue was pulled right out from under us. This has resulted in the need to look at serious and lasting reductions to the size of government, and the level of services that the state can afford. It’s fair to say that no two legislators have the same exact idea of how the budget should look, and during this fiscally straining time, no two had the exact same idea of what to cut, save, or streamline. This resulted in hard-fought budget negotiations over the course of the session and special session.

The budget the Legislature passed yesterday truly embodies the principle of compromise. No one got everything they wanted – some wanted substantially more money added back in, and many still feel that there are ways to reduce government’s footprint and find efficiencies in the way we provide state services.  However, our Constitution requires that we strike a balance and bring together this diverse group of legislators from every corner of the state to pass a budget.

 Here are a few highlights from this year’s compromise budget:

Total state spending is reduced over $1.5 Billion or 7.1%

  • Public education is fully funded
  • The Capital Budget leverages federal funds to keep Alaskans at work maintaining our infrastructure
  • Reductions are made to state services that were duplicated by the private sector, unfilled positions, unsuccessful programs, and other areas
  • Avoids the need to send out pink slips to state employees or shutdown government

 The Governor has said that he will wait to sign this compromise budget until he feels the Legislature has vetted his tax and credit proposals and Permanent Fund plan.

 Other Legislation Passed

 Yesterday two other pieces of important legislation passed the Legislature that will positively improve the ways we protect and provide for our state’s children.

 House Bill 200, which deals with the Indian Child Welfare Act, would benefit children in State Custody by assuring that adoption proceedings for children in need of aid are conducted in the manner most beneficial to the child and their family. This would include a provision that would allow for a single court and a single judge to preside over the proceeding in its entirety, and for a proxy to be used in a formal petition to adopt. This measure was previously passed by the House, and after being passed by the Senate yesterday, will now go on to be signed by the Governor.

 House Bill 27 also passed both bodies yesterday, and provides protections and additional rights for youth in foster care. The goals of this bill are to reduce the amount of time children wait for permanent housing, to ensure that foster children are prepared to leave the foster program, to allow children to remain in a stable school, to recruit and retain more foster parents, and to ensure that placements with relatives are sought when a child is moved to a new OCS placement. The passage of this bill will do great things for our foster youth and communities, and it now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

 Next Steps

Now that the Legislature has passed a compromise budget, we will continue to meet on the other items on the Governor’s special session agenda. Today in Juneau, the House Labor and Commerce Committee met and discussed House Bill 4002, which would provide major medical coverage for the surviving spouses and children of peace officers and firefighters. The House Finance Committee met and discussed some of the Governor’s tax proposals, including mining taxes, motor fuel taxes and fisheries taxes. The House Resources Committee also met and passed House Bill 246 out of committee, which would create an oil and gas infrastructure development program and the oil and gas infrastructure development fund in the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA).

Tomorrow, we will have more meetings in the House and Senate, and throughout this special session, our office will keep you posted on the Legislature’s activities. Thank you so much for your engagement and every call, email, and visit to our office. We are continually grateful to have such an involved community.

 Look for our next update later this week!

 Now, here are a few events in our community:

 Anchorage Assembly

 The Anchorage Assembly meets this Tuesday with a lengthy agenda of items to consider. Here are two proposed ordinances the board will take up that evening starting at 5:00 p.m.

  •  An ordinance prohibiting smoking and “vaping” in Town Square Park including adjacent Alaska Center for the Performing Arts property right-of-ways and walkways
  •  An ordinance permitting the Anchorage Assembly, by resolution, to order a recount of votes from any particular precinct, or for any particular office proposition or question; and to permit, but not require, the Anchorage Municipal Clerk to conduct a recount when, in the judgment of the Municipal Clerk, a recount may increase voter confidence in the election

Do 1 Thing graphic

 

 Are you and your family prepared in the event of a disaster? It is an important question that we all need to discuss with our loved ones. The Anchorage Office of Emergency Management is reminding everyone about the Do 1 Thing Program, a monthly roadmap to preparing your family for an emergency.

 For June, the Do 1 Thing Program recommends making a list of special things your family might need in the event of a disaster. Every household is different. Is there an infant or young child in your home? Does someone in your family have a medical condition that requires medication? Do you have a pet? Ask the questions, make a list and get prepared before disaster strikes.

 Check out the organization’s website for more details at http://do1thing.com

  

We are sending out posts more frequently between now and the end of the special session to keep you as informed as possible. Do not forget to check out our social media pages for late breaking news. Our Twitter page is @RepMillett and on Facebook at facebook.com/representativemillett

 

Thanks again for all your support!

 

Best regards,

 Charisse Signature bold

 

 

 

admin @ June 1, 2016

Update for May 27th

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Budget, Education, Service High School | Comments (0)

Dear neighbors,

I hope that you’re enjoying these beautiful early summer days! The Legislature is continuing its work down here in Juneau, having been called into special session by the Governor. There are many big issues on the table, including the budget and the Governor’s plan to restructure the Permanent Fund, and we plan to give all their due. Below is an update on the goings-on down here, and ways to participate.

End of Regular Session

After 120 days of working on the issues before us, the Legislature was incredibly close to a compromise on the budget, whose passage would have allowed us to adjourn and avoid a special session. Unfortunately, parties involved were unable to meet all of the last minute requests of the House and Senate minorities, and important cooperation was prevented. While this was a frustrating turn of events after long hours of negotiations, we all understand that a budget must be passed and are committed to continue to work hard and find common ground.

Special Session Topics

Eleven items are on the Governor’s special session agenda including the budget, an omnibus proposal for taxes on Alaskans and businesses, a Permanent Fund restructure, a reinsurance plan for self-insured Alaskans, insurance coverage for surviving families of public safety, oil and gas tax credits, and others.

The House and Senate passed a resolution on the second day of special session to better use the time before us to pass a budget and other bills on the governor’s proclamation. The resolution prioritizes the passage of a fully funded budget in a timely manner that will ensure state workers remain employed and essential state services continue uninterrupted and keeps us from having to wipe the slate clean and start all over, saving time and money during this special session.

While a wide range of bills are before us, the first priority has to be passing a budget, and ensuring that state employees don’t need to worry for their jobs and Alaskans maintain critical services. On the last night of session, compromise was within our sight line, and we’re all confident that momentum from last week will continue into special session.

As we move through special session, there will be numerous opportunities to testify on bills before the Legislature, as well as televised and streamed meetings if you’re interested in following along. More importantly, our office is always so grateful to get your calls and emails, and hopeful that you will reach out with any questions, concerns or ideas.

House Bill 4002

Our office was particularly encouraged by the Governor’s introduction of House Bill 4002, which mirrors our bill, House Bill 66 and provides for major medical coverage for the surviving spouses and children of public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty. Alaska’s peace officers and firefighters put their lives on the line for all of us every day, and do so without the comfort of knowing that if they make the ultimate sacrifice, their families will have health coverage. This policy would allow for families of slain peace officers and firefighters to enter early into the retiree health plan, and have secure coverage through the state.

When we ask our state employees to run into danger, the state should be prepared to honor them and protect their families when the worst happens. The families of Troopers Johnson, Rich and Toll, all troopers slain in the line of duty, have been unfailing advocates for this small protection, and we are truly looking forward to the possibility of its passage this year.

The pace is picking up here in Juneau. The committees are busy reviewing bills and drawing closer to agreements to bring the special session to a successful conclusion. We respectfully ask for your patience as we move towards adjournment and thank everyone who has contacted our office with thoughts, ideas and suggestions. We are listening and count on all of you to guide our decision making process.

Road Construction

Remember to be courteous and check your speed in road construction zones this summer. Two major road projects are underway now in the Abbott Loop area. Abbott Road from Lake Otis to Jupiter Street will be widened from two to three lanes and will make the road safer and keep traffic moving during the morning and evening rush hours.

Three years will be necessary to finish widening the New Seward Highway between Dowling and Dimond. Expect lane closures, detours and flaggers for the $50 million project as work has already begun to widen the highway from four to six lanes. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the third quarter of 2018.

Go Cougars!

The school year is over but Cougar sports remain in high gear. The ASAA Track and Field Championships started today and continue through Saturday at Dimond High’s outdoor track. The Cougar boys and girls soccer teams are competing in the state tournament at the Eagle River and Service High fields.

Last but certainly not least, we want to say farewell and happy retirement to Service High School Principal John Gaskins. John was a pleasure to work with the past few years on the new home field, PTA meetings and so much more. His dedication to the students is admirable and showed each and every day at Service. Let’s all wish John and his family well as he begins a well-earned retirement.

As always, we can be reached in Juneau, by our toll free line, 1-888-269-3879 or by email at rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov No one could ask for better weather this holiday weekend so take the family out and enjoy it!

 

Sincerely,

Charisse Signature bold

 

 

 

 

 

 

admin @ May 27, 2016

Update for May 6th

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Announcements, Budget, Service High School | Comments (0)

Gov. Walker signed HB 76 into law this week. Jill Burkert with the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education and Rep. Millett's staffer Grace Abbott attended the signing ceremony.

Gov. Walker signed HB 76 into law this week. Jill Burkert with the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education and Rep. Millett’s staffer Grace Abbott attended the signing ceremony.

Dear neighbors,

We will remain in Juneau for a while longer to reach agreement on a package of legislation to reform our state’s criminal justice system and bring solutions to the state’s multibillion dollar budget deficit.

We really appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work with our colleagues in the house, senate and administration to find common ground on the issues and legislation remaining this session.

Continued Session Work

The Legislature is continuing its work down here in Juneau, and have now transitioned into temporary offices as the Capitol’s seismic upgrades proceed. There is still much work to do, and issues being considered include the Governor’s tax proposals, the operating and capital budget, plans to restructure the Permanent Fund, criminal justice reform, and oil and gas tax credit reform. This has been a truly unprecedented year, and as a result a lot of careful consideration is needed of the pieces of policy before the Legislature. Every legislator is here to represent their constituents, and bring with them perspectives as diverse as this state. It is so valuable to all of us when our constituents share their ideas and concerns on issues faced by our communities, and we truly are here to listen. Please continue calling and emailing with your thoughts!

House Bill 76

This week our office was proud to see Governor Walker sign HB 76 into law. This bill gives clarity to the mission of the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and removes unnecessary statutory confusion. The Governor’s Council does truly essential and amazing work both for and with Alaskans experiencing disabilities – helping facilitate employment, transportation and other critical services. Our office is proud to serve on the Council, and dedicated to continue to support their important work. Thank you to Governor Walker for joining us in understanding the importance of this legislation, and signing it into law.

Trails for Rilke

Here is a fun event to mark on your calendar. The Rilke Schule German Immersion School is holding an Outdoor Trail Kickoff Event for the entire community tomorrow, May 7th to celebrate its plans for outdoor spaces and new trails this summer. This should be a good time and all are welcome! Checkout this poster for details.

Service T&F Logo

Go Cougars!

The Cougar sprinters, jumpers and throwers have a lot happening on and off the track right now. This morning, the track and field teams participate in an outdoor meet against the Dimond Lynx

If you have children that will be attending Service in the future and are interested in becoming a Cougar track and field athlete, the school will hold its annual Cougar Track Camp for kindergarteners through incoming ninth graders, May 23, 24, and 25th. Details about the camp are posted on the team website at: www.servicetrackandfield.com

The boys and girls soccer teams host the Bartlett Golden Bears tonight at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. The Green and Gold are having successful seasons so let’s make sure to give them the support they need to continue their winning ways.

Hanshew PTA Meeting

Hanshew Middle School PTA holds its final meeting of the school year this Monday, May 9th at 4:00 p.m. in the school library. The meeting will focus on planning for the 2016-2017 school year.

Road Construction Priorities

The Municipality of Anchorage is asking all community councils to prioritize two road projects for future funding in a municipal road and drainage bond. Our Abbott Loop Community Council is reviewing the dozen or so projects that are in various stages of development to determine which two are the most important.

Your input is needed before final selections are made at the May community council meeting. This Capital Improvement List contains the road projects in the Abbott Loop area. Please look it over and weigh in on this important decision.

 

Before we go, let’s all give a big Cougar congratulations to the Service High School Class of 2016. These young adults receive their diplomas next week and we wish them the very best in all their future endeavors.

We may still be in Juneau but we are never more than a phone call or email away. Call us toll free anytime at 1-888-269-3879.

Spring is here so get out and enjoy it!

 

Best,

Charisse Signature bold

admin @ May 6, 2016

Update for April 22nd

Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Budget, Education, Service High School | Comments (0)

Rep. Millett and House Speaker Mike Chenault discussing the floor session during at at ease last week.

Rep. Millett and House Speaker Mike Chenault discussing the floor session during an “at ease” last week.

Good afternoon everyone,

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy day to read about our efforts to represent you and your family. We are in extra innings here in Juneau, continuing to work hard to address the state’s $4 billion dollar budget gap in a manner that protects the state’s economy and your pocketbook to the greatest extent possible.

Continued Work

The Legislature is continuing its work down in Juneau in this year of unprecedented revenue shortfalls and budget deficits, there is still much to work on. As the session extends, the issues left on the table are criminal justice reform, tax credit reform, final budget details, and revenue options. The House has had meetings and floor sessions every day, and will continue to during the weekend, and until our work is done.

After the state’s 65% reduction in income, legislators and the Administration are working diligently to come up with solutions and innovations. These are solutions not easily found and often compromises not easily struck. Everyone is looking to protect Alaskans and keep our state whole, and the path of every legislator towards a sustainable state budget is going to differ slightly. Your comments, questions and ideas are still incredibly important, and we so value all the input we receive from Alaskans as we work through these incredibly difficult issues.

House Bill 379

As a measure to get state spending under control, this week the House Finance Committee is evaluating a bill brought by our office and Representative Craig Johnson to freeze state government raises until oil prices begin to rise. Businesses across the state have begun to downsize, with many laying off our friends, family and neighbors. State government, in spite of our change in fiscal circumstances, is scheduled to give its employees pay increases this year, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of spending. In this financial climate, during a period where many are unsure of their job security, the state of Alaska needs to prioritize private and public sector stability and economic health. While merit pay has been an advantage that many look forward to as a part of state employment, maintaining as many stable, healthy Alaskan families as possible must take priority.

The state’s spending needs to best reflect the reality of our fiscal situation, and while the price of oil hovers at $40 per barrel, we simply cannot afford to dole out automatic raises. Under House Bill 379, merit increases would be frozen until such as time as oil prices increase. As prices rise, employees would share in the increase, and the state would reintegrate the increases.

No employee should lose their job in order to pay a colleague’s raise, nor should Alaskans be asked to pay a share of their personal or business income, in the form of a tax to increase the pay of a state worker. This bill proposes no salary cuts or position eliminations. It simply represents an accurate reflection of the state’s finances, and places priority on keeping Alaskans employed.

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Go Cougars!

The winning streak continues! Both the boys and girls soccer teams notched victories over the Eagle River teams Monday and yesterday the Ladies defeated South High. Next up are the Dimond Lynx teams on Monday the 25th at Dimond. The girls take to the field at 5:00 p.m., the boys at 7:00 p.m.

The Service Track and Field team competes next Saturday, April 30 in a quad meet against Dimond, South and Eagle River at Eagle River High at noon. All three Cougar teams can use your support so get out and cheer on the green and gold!

Also, we have for you the April edition of the Service High newsletter.

New School Websites

The Anchorage School District is actively redesigning webpage’s for all its schools and several in our area are up and running. The redesigns make it easier to navigate the sites plus more complete information on each school for students and parents is now available.

Here are the Abbott Loop schools with redesigned websites:

Kasuun Elementary: http://kasuun.asdk12.org/

Trailside Elementary: http://trailside.asdk12.org/

Hanshew Middle School: http://hanshew.asdk12.org/

Service High School:  http://service.asdk12.org/

 

Anchorage Assembly

The Anchorage Assembly meets this Tuesday, April 26, starting at 5:00 p.m. Here is a pair of highlights.

  • An ordinance creating a retail sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products. The new tax was overwhelmingly approved by voters earlier this month.
  • Another ordinance setting the rates of tax levy, approving the amount of municipal property tax, and levying taxes for all service areas of the Municipality of Anchorage General Government for 2016.

The meeting, like all assembly meetings, takes place at the Loussac Library.

We are working seven days a week for you. Stay in touch with our toll free number, 1-888-269-3879 or send an email to rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov

Warmly,

Charisse Signature bold

admin @ April 22, 2016