Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Update for Friday, June 3rd

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

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

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 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.


Charisse Signature bold


Update for April 16th

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Rep. Millett with her good friend and colleague Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins wearing their kuspuks. Every Friday during session is Kuspuk Friday, A tradition in the legislature to honor native culture.

Rep. Millett with her good friend and colleague Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins wearing their kuspuks. Every Friday during session is “Kuspuk Friday”, a time honored tradition in the Alaska  Legislature to honor native culture.


Friends and neighbors,

One day remains in the regular session; work is proceeding on the budget; our personal legislation is moving forward, and other important issues have the final touches made this weekend. Today we have the latest from Juneau and much, much more.

Budget Work

The Conference Committee, a committee of both Representatives and Senators, has been evaluating the differences between the House’s and Senate’s drafts of the state operating budget. They have been taking input from the public received since the passage of both drafts of the budget into account, and evaluating the impacts of the different budget actions on our communities. This committee’s report should be in front of us in the coming days, and will be up for evaluation by all legislators. We will continue to keep you posted as this process continues!

Criminal Justice Reform

The House has been working diligently on the criminal justice reform package presented by the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission over the past few months. After the Senate passed the suite of reforms last week, changes have been made to the bill, , which takes into account the extensive public testimony that we’ve heard since the package was introduced. Protections for victims and law enforcement were among the most important changes made to the bill.

A new section to the bill, added in the House, SB 91 would allow for the surviving spouses and children of fallen public safety officers to maintain their health insurance. This policy is one that our office has been working on for years, and would provide a small level of comfort to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The State of Alaska asks their public safety employees to provide for the protection and safety of our communities. It is only right that when our employees give their lives in the service of the state that we continue to serve the family they have left behind.

Other Legislation

There are many pieces of legislation that legislators are considering as we move closer to adjourning the session. Here is a brief list of legislation for which our office is proudly advocating and working to get passed this year:

  • HB 125: Limits the sale of often-misused medicines to minors
  • HB 311: Provides the Legislature with a report on a sustainable amount of state spending
  • HB 27: Allows for additional protections and services for youth in foster care
  • HB 77: Instructs law enforcement in how to best help Alaskans with disabilities
  • HB 83: Repeals the collection of unnecessary, burdensome information on civil litigation
  • HB 188: The ABLE Act – allows Alaskans with disabilities to save for future care without losing critical services
  • HB 328: Allows all Alaskans to have smoke-free workplaces
  • SB 180: Provides parents in distress the option to give their children a safe home and temporary power of attorney


There are many other important pieces of legislation up for consideration in these next days, and our office will keep you posted as things move forward!

House Bill 76

We are so pleased that this legislation is now heading to the governor for his signature. HB 76 removes the term “gifted” from the enabling statutes for the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education.

This bill eliminates any confusion about who the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education serves, and has served so well since its inception in 1978. The Council’s critical mission of providing access to housing, employment, independent living, health, transportation and community inclusion for Alaskans with disabilities is preserved under this legislation, and its enabling statutes now reflect a clear path forward.

House Bill 308

Our legislation to limit the civil liability for Child Passenger Safety Technicians passed the House last weekend and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Its goal to increase the recruitment of child safety seat technicians is enthusiastically supported by health and safety professionals, firefighters, paramedics and healthcare professionals.

Here are some organizations that inspect seats and teach parents how to install them properly.

Alaska Injury Prevention Center – 907-929-3939

Anchorage Fire Department – 907-267-5045

Safe Kids Alaska State Coalition – 907-212-3194

Service Soccer Logo

Go Cougars!

Four games into the 2016 season, the Service High boys, and girls soccer teams are both undefeated! Both teams have two games apiece next week, and they can use your support.

The boys take on Wasilla, Monday the 19th at 7:00 p.m. in Wasilla, and play the Eagle River team Tuesday the 19th at 7:00 p.m. at Eagle River High School, while the young ladies also kick off against Eagle River on the 19th at 5:00 p.m. and host their hillside rivals, the South High Wolverines on the 21st at 7:30 p.m.

The season is off to an amazing start – but there are some excellent teams out there waiting to challenge the Cougars for the Cook Inlet Conference title and eventually at the state tournament. So get out and cheer the teams on.

Social media can keep you in touch with both teams all season. The Lady Cougars have a Twitter page @SHS_WSOC while the young men have their own page on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the Service High Track and Field Team competes in an indoor tournament against Dimond, West and South at The Dome, this Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Lots of information about the sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers is just a click away at:

Anchorage Walks for Autism 2016

The Anchorage Walks for Autism is an annual event coordinated by the Alaska Autism Resource Center. The purpose of the Walk is to help establish a sense of community spirit among parents, educators, professionals, and people living with autism.

It is not a race! Walk one lap or run several miles, the distance is up to each participant, all ages and abilities are welcome.

The Walk takes place Saturday, April 23rd from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at The Dome, 6501 Changepoint Drive. For more information, contact Phylicia Christian at 334-1300 or send an email to

Before we go, let’s all give a warm congratulations to our constituents and friends Kikkan Randall and husband Jeff Ellis who welcomed their baby boy, Breck Stuart Randall Ellis into the world Thursday. Breck tipped the scales at 8 pounds and 11 ounces. We wish Kikkan and Jeff the best as new parents and welcome Breck to our community!

We will be working all weekend, but that never means we do not have time for our friends and neighbors. Reach out to us using our toll-free number at 1-888-269-3879.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Charisse Signature bold


Update for January 29th

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Discussing the floor session with Speaker Mike Chenault

Discussing the floor session with House Speaker Mike Chenault


Hello everyone,


It is already day 11 of the 90 day session. We are doing well and working hard each and every day representing you. This week we review some of the bills our office is working on and so much more.

Bills on the Move

House Bill 205 – Includes recommendations from the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission on measures to reduce Alaska’s rate of criminal recidivism. This is a comprehensive criminal justice reform package estimated to save $424 million over ten years, while improving public safety. If passed, this bill would reduce Alaska’s average daily prison population by 21 percent and reinvest a portion of the dollars saved into evidence-based services for offenders and crime victims. This bill holds offenders accountable, prioritizes public safety, and uses data-driven approaches to helping Alaska become “right on crime”.

HB 66 – Provides the surviving spouses and dependents of state employees who have died in the line of duty with continued medical coverage. This bill was brought to us on behalf of the families of slain Alaska State Troopers, and aims to provide stability to families who have sacrificed so much for this state.

HB 76 – Removes the word “gifted” from the enabling statute for the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. This bill updates statute to more accurately reflect the important work the Council does for individuals with disabilities, and the State and Federal obligation to oversee special education programs.

HB 90 – Establishes a variable benefit retirement plan for members of public safety, including troopers, firefighters, and police officers. This bill provides a more secure financial future for our public safety employees who typically face less time in the system and thus a greater risk of an inadequate retirement. What we aim to accomplish is preventing reliance on social welfare programs, a potential increase in Worker’s Comp costs, and the difficulty we are currently experiencing in recruiting and retaining good employees.

House Bill 125 – Prohibits the sale of cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan to those under 18 years of age without a prescription. This bill would keep children safe from the dangerous effects of medicines if used improperly, while still securing access to adults seeking remedies for cold and cough symptoms.

House Bill 241 – Defines Alaska residency for the purposes of attaining a commercial fishing permit from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. By using Permanent Fund Divided eligibility criteria, the state will be able to crack down on non-residents paying much lower fees for fishing permits and attain both justice and additional state revenue.

If you have any questions about these bills, please give us a call anytime.

Anchorage Assembly

The Anchorage Assembly has scheduled special meeting for this Thursday, February 4 at 6:00 p.m., to review, take public testimony, on a pair of ordinances that establish the rules for marijuana businesses and personal use of marijuana within the Municipality of Anchorage.

We do not have to tell you how important these ordinances are to our community. If you want to get involved in this, be at the Loussac Library’s assembly chambers Thursday evening.

Get Involved with Education

February is Visit Our School Month! All public schools in the Anchorage School District will conduct tours on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and an evening tour will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the 23rd.

For parents, it is an opportunity to check out the schools and programs available, and use that knowledge to make the most informed decision possible about where their children will be educated. For those parents seeking to enroll their child in a school outside of the neighborhood attendance area they reside in, it requires a lottery application. Lottery applications are due March 24th.

Tours are open to everyone. If you have any questions, please call the school you wish to visit.

Bundles of Joy

Those creative people at the Soroptimist International Society of Anchorage on Cook Inlet have come up with a clever way to collect donations for mothers with infants that need a little help with the essentials like diapers, clothes and formula.

Hold a Community Baby Shower!

On Saturday, April 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Sears Mall, the Soroptimists will collect donations for all items a mother can use to care for her baby. The group’s wish list of items also asks for bedding and toys. If you can help out, please drop off your donations April 2


Let us know if there is anything you need because my staff and I work for you.


Have a great weekend,



Session Gets Underway in Juneau

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Rep. Millett taking the Pledge of Allegiance on the first day of the 2016 legislative session.

Rep. Millett taking the Pledge of Allegiance on the first day of the 2016 legislative session.

Friends and neighbors,


Thank you for making my blog a part of your busy day. The session got underway this week and my staff and I are busy working for you, your family and our wonderful community.

First Week of Session

With the first week of session coming to a close, you can tell that legislators across the building are energized, and ready to meet the challenges we as Alaskans face. The Legislature truly hit the ground running, with budget hearings in House and Senate Finance Committees, hearings on education, the Code of Military Justice, marijuana regulations, and much more. Additionally, we heard from the Governor, through his State of the State address, about his vision for the use of the permanent fund, increased and new taxation, and reworking of certain government functions. While not everyone currently agrees on the best way to close our revenue gap and meet our budget challenge, we all do agree that it’s going to involve cooperation and collaborative work.

What seems to be the biggest takeaway this week, and certainly the point on which all legislators agree, is that the public will play a critical role in guiding us towards a budget solution this session. We really do need to hear from you about the size and scope you envision for your government, and the effect that proposals will have on your life. All of the Governor’s proposals, as well as those generated by the Legislature, will be heard publically during the committee process, and there will be multiple ways to weigh in.

As always, please reach out to my office with any and all ideas or concerns moving forward. Remember to use my toll free number, 1-888-269-3879, if you need to reach us for any reason. My email address is

Our Office

Staff are the backbone of the Alaska Legislature and my staff for the 2016 session are no exception. They are energetic, resourceful and knowledgeable of the issues and our district – I count on them every day.

Office Manager Sarrah Matheny rejoins my staff for the 2016 session. She worked for us two years ago and is now back with me after spending a year living overseas. When you call my Juneau office Sarah is most likely the person you will be speaking with. Lindsey Whitt came on board last fall after four years as Communications Director for the Municipality of Anchorage. Lindsey is a great asset and we are really glad to have her onboard.

She is a wiz at the legislative process! Majority Aide Grace Abbott carries my personal legislation and staffs my committee assignments this session. My other Majority Aide Jeff Turner, focuses on constituent work and closely follows happenings back home so I am never out of touch with you while in Juneau.

District 25 Constituent Patrick Reinhart Courtesy: SOA

District 25 Constituent Patrick Reinhart 


Constituent Spotlight: Patrick Reinhart

Patrick Reinhart is so much more than our constituent, he is a lifelong advocate for Alaska’s disabled community, striving to improve employment opportunities, resources and community understanding for Alaskans that just need a little extra assistance to become productive and contributing members of society.

As Executive Director for the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, he manages and promotes a range of services for the disabled from employment to education, to health care and transportation. As a member of the council’s board the past few years, Patrick and I were able to move several bills through the legislature for the disabled community.

His involvement only begins there. For the past 30 years he served on the board, or as Executive Director at Challenge Alaska and he also holds a seat on the Alaska Brain Injury Network and is Vice-Chair of the Alaska Mobility Coalition.

Patrick, his wife Rebecca Horton and their two friendly dogs, Sophie and Stella, are seven year residents of Abbott Loop and we are so glad to call them constituents.

Get Involved in Education

Here is the February schedule for the PTA meetings in our district. Remember, you do not have to have a child at the school to participate, just a sincere interest for making our public schools the best they can be!

Abbott Loop Elementary PTA – Tuesday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m.

Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, February 4 at 4:00 p.m.

(Click here to read Kasuun’s January newsletter)

Trailside Elementary PTA – Thursday, February 4 at 3:45 p.m.

Polaris K-12 Parent Forum – Wednesday, February 10 at 4:30 p.m.

Hanshew Middle School PTA – Monday, February 1 at 3:30 p.m.

Service High School PTA – Tuesday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m.


Anchorage Assembly

We have a few of the hot topics for you for the upcoming Tuesday, January 26 meeting of the Anchorage Assembly.


  • Memorandums approving lobbying contracts for the Port of Anchorage and Municipal Light and Power


  • An ordinance of the Anchorage Municipal Assembly submitting to the qualified voters residing in the Girdwood Valley Service Area (GVSA) at the Regular Election on April 5, 2016, a ballot proposition to add to the existing powers of the GVSA the power to provide for police protection services beginning July 1, 2016 at the sole expense of GVSA


  • An ordinance adding a new Anchorage Municipal Code for special land use permits for marijuana establishments


Assembly meetings start at 5:00 p.m. in the Loussac Library. Here is a link the full agenda:


Thank you so much for your continued support and have a good weekend.







Update for January 15th

Friday, January 15th, 2016

The 2016 legislative session gets underway in Juneau on Tuesday.

The 2016 legislative session gets underway in Juneau on Tuesday.


Good afternoon everyone,

We are in Juneau now and prepared for a busy and productive legislative session that starts Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. My staff and I want to make sure you are able to reach us morning, noon and night, so we are providing you with our contact information in Juneau.

2016 Session Contact Information

We always look forward to your questions, concerns or ideas and that is why we want to make sure you know how to reach us at the state capitol.

Toll Free Number: 1-888-269-3879


Social media is a great way to track our legislative activities, we use both Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter: @RepMillett

Facebook: My page is under the name Representative Charisse Millett

The Alaska Legislature operates the BASIS website where Alaskans can look up bills, check committee schedules, or even watch committee hearings from their computer. Check it out at:

Feel free to reach out to us anytime because we really appreciate your input on legislation, the budget, or any other issue that come before lawmakers during the 90 day session. If you are in Juneau, please make sure to drop by our capitol building office and say hello! We love meeting our constituents in person. The office is located the second floor in room 204.


Go Timberwolves!

Trailside Elementary School’s January newsletter is hot off the press. Click here to read it.


It is that time of year again where we all sign up for this year’s Permanent Fund dividend. When you fill out the application please consider donating a portion of your dividend through Pick. Click. Give, the Permanent Fund Dividend Charitable Contributions Program. Managed by the Alaska Community Foundation, this tremendous program has successfully encouraged Alaskans to generously donate millions of dollars from their dividends each year to worthy charities and non-profits.

Even a few dollars can make a big difference. The list of eligible organizations is long and diverse from the Food Bank of Alaska, to the AWAIC Shelter, arts groups and animal shelters. You can even make a child’s wish come true.

Learn more about the program and how you can participate by going to its website at

That is all for now. Next week we will fill you in on how the first week of the legislative session unfolded, the February PTA schedule and much more.

Have a safe and relaxing weekend.







Update for January 8th

Friday, January 8th, 2016


Co-Chairing the public hearing of the Anchorage Caucus with Rep. Chris Tuck

Rep. Millett at the pre-session Anchorage Caucus hearing in 2014.

Dear friends and neighbors,


We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. We are busy packing up our office to return to Juneau for the 2016 legislative session that begins January 19. In addition to our Constituent Spotlight and educational news, we have specifics on the upcoming Anchorage Caucus pre-session meeting.

Anchorage Caucus

Legislators from Chugiak to Girdwood will gather for a pre-session public hearing this Saturday, January 9th from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Loussac Library and you are invited!

Most of the time is reserved for public testimony. As you know, the state’s fiscal situation is expected to dominate the 90 day regular session. So my colleagues and I are eager to hear your thoughts on the state budget, the governor’s plan to create new taxes on working families, limiting the amount of the annual Permanent Fund Dividend payout, and any ideas you may have to align spending with available revenues. This is your opportunity to speak out on the budget, or any other issue you believe is important to the safety, health and welfare of all Alaskans.

If you wish to testify, please sign your name to the public testimony list. We look forward to seeing all of you this Saturday.

District 25 Constituent Margaret Stock

District 25 Constituent Margaret Stock

Constituent Spotlight: Margaret Stock

If Margaret Stock could be described in a single word it would be overachiever. An attorney specializing in immigration, citizenship and military law, she is one of the most highly regarded immigration attorneys in the entire country. Margaret was nationally recognized for her work two years ago as one of 24 Americans awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Genius Grant. The award was given for her legal work helping immigrants from across the globe earn the American dream of living, working and raising their families in America.

Margaret completed her bachelor’s degree and law degree from Harvard University, but loves to tell everyone that “it was the only school that would let her in.” She entered the United States Army in 1981. Her first duty station was Fort Richardson where she served as an MP and later was assigned to teach at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring to practice law in Alaska.

Margaret also serves on the Board of Directors for the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova and really enjoys Alaska’s great outdoors, but wishes to see more snow on the ground this winter so she can hit the slopes and cross country ski trails.

She and her husband Neil O’Donnell first made Abbott Loop their home 16 years ago and plan on remaining here for many more years because they love the neighborhood, their neighbors and our great state.

Get Involved in Education

Hanshew Middle School needs volunteers to staff the Hawk House this semester. The Hawk House sells school supplies and merchandise three days a week from 10:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

If you are available to volunteer, the Hanshew PTA and the school will really appreciate your assistance. Send an email to or call the school at 349-1561.

Anchorage Assembly

The first Anchorage Assembly meeting of the year is set for this Tuesday, January 12 at 5:00 p.m. at the Loussac Library.

We have a few of the highlights for the meeting:


  • An ordinance creating special land use permits for marijuana businesses and allowing retail marijuana establishments in the central business district


  • An ordinance submitting to the qualified voters of the Municipality of Anchorage a ballot proposition amending the Anchorage Municipal Charter to adopt a retail marijuana sales tax


  • A memorandum on Code Enforcement Tow Company Compliance Quarterly Report, September 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015


Click here for the full agenda:


Thank you so much for reading our blog page. Next week we will have more on the upcoming legislative session and as always, more neighborhood news and the latest information from our schools.







Update for December 18th

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Hi Everyone,

The upcoming holidays are keeping you super busy so we really appreciate you taking a few minutes to read our blog post. This week we have the schedule for the January PTA meetings and our Constituent Spotlight.

Constituent Bethany Marcum

Constituent Bethany Marcum

Constituent Spotlight: Bethany Marcum

Bethany Marcum is one of our great friends in the district. She and her husband Conley have made Abbott Loop their home for ten years.

Bethany has devoted her professional life to defending our nation. For seven years she served in the United States Navy Reserve and is now in her seventh year as a Tech Sargent in the Alaska Air National Guard working as an intelligence analyst.

In her spare time she enjoys Alaska’s great outdoors and is involved in protecting and promoting responsible hunting practices as President of the Alaska Chapter of Safari Club International.

Bethany is a dear friend and a wonderful neighbor. We are proud of her commitment to protecting Alaska and our country, so if you know Bethany or get the opportunity to meet her, please thank her for her service.

The Trailside PTA meets the first Thursday of each month.

The Trailside PTA meets the first Thursday of each month.

Get Involved in Education


Here are the January PTA meetings in our district:


Hanshew Middle School PTA – Monday, January 4 at 3:30 p.m.


Kasuun Elementary School PTA – Thursday, January 7 at 6:30 p.m.


Trailside Elementary School PTA – Thursday, January 7 at 6:30 p.m.


Abbott Loop Elementary School PTA – Tuesday, January 12 at 6:00 p.m.


Service High School PTA – Tuesday, January 12 at 6:00 p.m.


Polaris School PTA – Wednesday, January 13 at 4:30 p.m.


Anyone can join a PTA and the good work they do assists teachers in the classroom and enriches the educational experience for the kids so please consider joining a PTA near you.

Anchorage Assembly

The Anchorage Assembly has some important items to consider at its last meeting of the year, this Tuesday, December 22 at 5:00 p.m.

Here are a few highlights on the agenda:


  • Multiple ordinances will be introduced to place bond propositions on the April 5, 2016 Municipal ballot. Bonds for voter approval include $49 million for school construction and maintenance, $36.5 million for road and storm drain maintenance, $3.6 million for parks and recreational facilities, one million for fire service capital improvements, $3.8 million for Anchorage Police Department capital improvements and three million for various public safety improvements.


  • An ordinance approving a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Municipality of Anchorage and the Anchorage Municipal Employees Association, Inc.


  • An ordinance adopting the UMED District Plan as an element of the Comprehensive Plan


As always, the meetings are held at the Loussac Library and you can check out the entire agenda and all the associated documents at


That is all for this week. Christmas is next Friday and we sincerely wish you and your entire family a wonderful safe and happy holiday!







Update for December 11th

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read our weekly blog post. We want to share with you our take on the administration’s proposed state budget, our Constituent Spotlight and details on how you can help an army dedicated to helping the disadvantaged.

State Budget

As many of you well know, this week the governor released his proposed state operating budget for the coming fiscal year. In it he proposes to virtually rewrite how our state funds government by using money from the Alaska Permanent Fund, reducing the amount of the annual dividend check, creating a state income tax and raising existing taxes on everything from alcohol to the motor fuel you put into your vehicle, boat or airplane. Additionally he has proposed no significant decrease in state spending.

While I appreciate the Governor coming forward with his ideas and for taking such a bold approach, his plan, in my opinion, does not go far enough to reduce state spending before looking for Alaskans to pay.

The Legislature will do its due diligence and thoroughly review each component of the governor’s plan, but my focus this session will be to right-size state government and make state services more efficient, before digging into Alaskans’ wallets. It is hard for me to swallow taxes knowing that the Governor is proposing an increase in state travel, a large capital budget, and no decrease in services duplicated by the private sector.

Of course, the most important part of this process is hearing from Alaskans about what they think of losing 50 percent of their dividends and paying income taxes. This is your budget and state government, and we need your input moving forward.

Please know that you can always contact my office with your concerns of questions about the budget. I am here to serve you.



Salvation Army Holiday Assistance

The Salvation Army Alaska can use some volunteers so it can continue to provide services to Alaskans struggling this holiday season from Barrow to Ketchikan and everywhere in between.

You can be a bell ringer at one of their iconic red kettle collection sites, donate toys to the Angel Tree for underprivileged children, or make a monetary donation. Go to the following link for details on how you can help.


We will be back with more about our community next Friday. Give us a call if there is anything we can do for you.









Update for December 4th

Friday, December 4th, 2015


Hello everyone,

We hope your Thanksgiving was a great as ours. This week we have the latest on the proposed Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Pipeline project, and as always, the latest on our schools.

AK LNG Project

The AK LNG project took a solid step in the right direction this week, with all parties approving the coming year’s work plan and budget. During the most recent special session, the Legislature impressed upon the Governor and his gas team how crucial moving forward with this gasline is to Alaska’s future. We are relieved to see that he heeded our advice. As a state, we should be encouraged not only that our own gas team approved this plan for 2016, but perhaps most significantly, that our industry partners evaluated all of their global prospects, and deemed AK LNG worthy of their investment and support. This points to economic viability of this project and added economic strength to our state.

What happens now? The AKLNG team, comprised of representatives from all four partners and outside experts, will continue conducting fieldwork and assessments necessary for major federal and state permits, proceed with engineering and design work, and establish the fiscal regime that will keep this project on track. Alaskans can expect even more infrastructure investment from industry, and the creation and support of jobs in engineering, construction, and numerous other arenas. This is exciting progress, and we look forward to keeping you posted on this project’s growing momentum.


Get Involved in Education

The Abbott Loop PTA will meet on Tuesday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m. This PTA could really use some additional members so if you have a child attending the school please consider getting involved.

For more information, contact PTA President Marjie Wegg at

The December edition of the Kasuun Elementary School Knights is out. Click here to read it.

Additionally, all schools in Anchorage will be seeing website re-vamps in the coming weeks, so be sure to check out your child’s school site for updated content!

Anchorage Assembly

The Anchorage Assembly will conduct its first regular meeting for December at the Loussac Library, Tuesday, December 8 at 5:00 p.m.

Here are a few highlights:

  • A ballot proposition to amend the Anchorage Municipal Charter to require, for purposes of the tax increase limitation set out in the section, that the “total amount [of municipal tax] approved by the Assembly for the preceding year” shall be the total amount of tax approved by the Assembly for collection in the preceding year. If passed, the tax change will be placed on the April 5, 2016 municipal election ballot for voter approval.


  • A resolution of the Anchorage Municipal Assembly appropriating a federal grant for the continuation of the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force


  • A resolution directing the Municipal Clerk’s Office to explore implementing Vote by Mail Elections in Anchorage

To read the entire agenda, click on this hyperlink:

Remembering Juneau Mayor Greg Fisk

Alaska lost one of its leaders when Juneau Mayor Greg Fisk passed away earlier this week. Mayor Fisk was elected just weeks ago and had a vision for what he wanted Juneau to become while at the helm of the state’s second largest city.

We join all Alaskans in mourning his passing and extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.


That’s a wrap for this week. If you have any ideas for our blog page, or know someone who deserves to be in our Community Spotlight please send them to or give us a call at 269-0222.

Have a great weekend!




Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

My staff and I want to wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

If you have any time available in your busy schedule to volunteer or can make a donation to help Alaskans struggling to provide a proper holiday meal for their families, here are a few good resources.

Bean’s Café

Bean’s Café plans to serve 1,000 to 1,200 people on Thanksgiving Day. Urgently needed items include: turkeys, hams, stuffing cubes, apples, oranges, coffee, whipped cream in cans, pies (store-bought), rolls, canned corn and canned green beans. Hats, gloves and socks are also needed. Drop items off at 1101 E. Third Ave.; Tastee Freez, 3901 Raspberry Road; or SoYo Frozen Yogurt Shop, 1330 Huffman Road, or make financial donations online. Contact Bean’s Café at 274-9595.

Food Bank of Alaska

The Food Bank of Alaska welcomes financial donations: $15 will purchase a turkey, $45 a family meal. Funds can be donated online.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army welcomes financial donations to help provide meals, community dinners and food boxes in many communities throughout Alaska. Visit online or call 349-0613.

Anchorage Downtown Soup Kitchen

While the Downtown Soup Kitchen isn’t serving a Thanksgiving meal, it’s still in need of other food items including: jelly, peanut butter, beans (pinto, garbanzo and black), ham, eggs, pasta (not spaghetti) and powdered lemonade. The organization is preparing to open a women’s nighttime shelter Nov. 30 and is in need of breakfast items like oatmeal, breakfast bars, coffee and snacks. It’s at 240 E. Third Ave., 277-4302.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone,