Archive for the ‘General’ Category

District 25 Friday Update: Session Conclusion & Graduation

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Good afternoon,

Early Sunday morning, the Legislature adjourned the 2018 session. For our office, this session was marked by both accomplishments and work still to be done. However, we are certainly glad to be returning home to see friends and neighbors around District 25!

Budgets

Earlier this session, we were proud to support an early budget for education funding. By passing this bill before school districts finalized their budgets, we were able to avert confusion and anxiety about classroom funding and staffing levels for the coming year. Additionally, we supported adding funding to districts – $50 million over two years – to help them keep up with inflation and further assist in providing a quality education for our students.

Outside of education however, the state’s budget growth reached a level this year that our office continues to believe is unsustainable. We advocated for and presented over $200 million in cuts to government that did not affect public education, public safety or public health. Unfortunately these targeted budget reductions were rejected by the House Majority. While we are disappointed the Majority decided to grow the budget during a time of slim revenues, we do believe the proposed cuts we offered can provide for a future framework for budget reductions.

Public Safety

This year, unfortunately, there was not sufficient support to implement a full repeal of Senate Bill 91 and overhaul our broken criminal justice laws. However, strides were made to improve specific areas of failure in our justice system. The “catch and release” policy that allowed dangerous offenders to immediately leave jail after  being arrested has been repealed, and sentences were increased for certain felony offenders. We criminalized dangerous new “designer drugs” and gave authorities the ability to better respond to assaults and violent crimes.

Thanks to an outpouring of public support we were also able to secure nearly $200,000 of funding in the Capital Budget for Community Patrols! This funding will enable our Community Patrols, supported by courageous, engaged and caring neighbors, to provide greater support and presence on our streets as they assist our heroic police officers and Troopers in keeping our city and state safe.

There is much more work to be done to make our communities safer. We will keep working this summer to find further ways to support our law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges as they strive to hold offenders accountable and prevent future crime.

Congratulations Class of 2018!

Our office wants to extend a hearty congratulations to the graduates from Service and Polaris High School! Graduating from high school is a memorable and wonderful achievement. Our office is certainly proud of the many talented individuals who, with diplomas in hand and beaming smiles, walked proudly across those stages. Whether you are going on to a trade school, college (we hope in Alaska!), are enlisting in the armed forces, want to start your own business or are simply looking forward to working a good summer job we wish you all the very best! As you enter this new phase of adulthood we encourage you to take each day as an opportunity and blessing to make our state and country a better place! Congratulations again Class of 2018!

Legislative Success

Over the last two years our office has worked diligently on a variety of bills to improve public safety, strengthen the private sector, reduce the footprint of government, better our schools and help the most vulnerable in our society.

At the end of the 30th Alaska Legislature we saw a number of our bills pass or get rolled into other bills that eventually passed. Those bills are as follows:

House Bill 24 – which listed the dangerous synthetic opioid U-477, also known as Pink, as a schedule 1A controlled substance

House Bill 5/House Bill 23 – which ensured that families whose loved one dies in the line of duty, receive health insurance coverage and benefits

House Bill 367/Senate Bill 202 – which provided relief for Alaska Native Corporations from liability for damages and costs resulting from pre-contaminated lands conveyed to them through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)

House Bill 336 – which created a new alternative to guardianship for elderly Alaskans and those experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities

House Concurrent Resolution 22/Senate Concurrent Resolution 17 – which proclaimed April 2018 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns that you would like our office to address!

Kindly,

District 25 Friday Update: Legislation Passing and Dying

Friday, May 11th, 2018

This week my office wanted to provide you an exciting update on two pieces of legislation that have been of real interest to me and many constituents this session.

Public Safety Update – Steps Made to Bolster Justice System

The Legislature took a step toward improving public safety today with the passage of House Bill 312. This bill included a few measures that target some of the loopholes in our criminal laws:
  • Gives judges back their decision-making authority in determining whether a defendant can be released from custody before their trial;
  • Bolsters tools used by judges to consider out of state criminal history when determining a defendant’s ability to be released before trial;
  • Strengthens the pre-trial release assessment for those charged with vehicle theft and other crimes;
  • Gives Alaska’s Attorney General the authority to criminalize ever-changing, dangerous new controlled substances;
  • Increases monetary penalties imposed for felonies, misdemeanors, and violations and puts the funding into public safety needs; and
  • Provides much-needed tools to help police and prosecutors reduce crimes against our doctors and nurses.

This is not a full repeal of SB 91, which our office continues to believe is the right way to truly address the crime wave in Alaska. However, this does target specific weaknesses in our justice system, and will help law enforcement, prosecutors and judges better provide for public safety. We will keep you posted as we continue to fight to see critical changes to the way Alaska addresses and prevents crime.

House Bill 336 Passes Legislature!

Today, the Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 336, otherwise known as the “Supported Decision-Making Agreements Act.” This bill, which I introduced and worked on in conjunction with the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, provides a new tool for elderly Alaskans and those experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities to live happier, fuller, more self-directed and individualized lives.

I introduced this bill to address the considerable growth of full guardianship, which takes away a person’s rights to make decisions about their life and has doubled in our state over the last seven years. Without others options, like supported decision-making agreements, to full guardianship many adult Alaskans who have the ability and wherewithal to make decisions for themselves are being placed under the state’s jurisdiction and having their inherent rights to self-determination stripped away unnecessarily.

House Bill 336 provides a clear and meaningful alternative to full guardianship for thousands of Alaskans. The bill has widespread support throughout the disability community, and received praise from advocates for elderly Alaskans. Legislation enabling supported decision-making agreements is spreading throughout the U.S., with both Wisconsin and Tennessee enacting similar laws within the last year.

The evidence is clear: when individuals are empowered to make their decisions, direct their lives, and gain independence they become healthier, more fulfilled, are more likely to be employed and are better able to recognize and resist abuse. House Bill 336 will Alaskans do just that. The bill passed the Alaska Legislature with a cumulative vote of 58-1 and now heads to Governor Walker’s desk for his signature.

 

Update on Senate Bill 76: Alcohol Rewrite and Impact on Small Alaskan Businesses

We heard from hundreds of Alaskans this week regarding a proposed change to laws regarding breweries and distilleries. The changes would have limited the amount of their own products that local breweries and distilleries could serve to customers. This would have pulled the rug out from under small businesses and diminished local job opportunities.
Your voices made a big impact. The sponsor has now withdrawn the measure from consideration, and new limitations on the brewery and distillery industries are no longer in play this year.
We are so grateful for the engagement and advocacy of community members who demonstrated that Alaskans want more – not less – local hire, economic freedom and thriving local businesses. Your Legislature should be working to market our state, encourage entrepreneurship and stimulate small businesses. Those continue to be our office’s priorities, and we are grateful for the work of Alaskans in sharing the goal of a stronger economy.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update. Please stay in touch!
All my best,

 

Update on Senate Bill 26

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Senate Bill 26: What Is It All About?

Today the Legislature passed a bill, SB 26, to prevent government overspending and cap the amount that can be drawn from our state’s earnings reserve account. Old versions of this bill included damaging income tax provisions, industry tax hikes and lowered amounts for the Permanent Fund Dividend. Those provisions are no longer in this bill. After listening to Alaskans and our experts at the Permanent Fund Corporation, it became clear to us that the most important measure to pass this year is a spending cap to prevent future budgets from jeopardizing the health of the PFD and the overall Permanent Fund.

What SB 26 does:

– Maintains the current formula for the PFD
– Caps the amount of the state’s assets that can be used to fund government
– Helps protect the value of the Permanent Fund by preserving inflation proofing provisions

These three provisions set a solid structure for the state moving forward and protect the PFD for future generations of Alaskans. This is a totally different bill than Alaskans have seen previously, and our office is here to answer any questions you might have! Please feel free to give us a call, or shoot us an email with anything we can help with.

 

All my best,

Friday Update for May 4, 2018

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Service Sports

Boys Soccer

Our boys play a couple of games this week. The first is on Monday May 7th, at 5 p.m., against South High at South. Their second game will be against Dimond High at 7 p.m. on Wednesday May 9th, at Dimond High.

Girls Soccer

Like the boys, the girls play two games as well this week. Their first game takes place on Monday May 7th, at 7 p.m., against the Wolverines at South’s field. Then, on Wednesday May 9th, the girls face Dimond at 5 p.m., at Dimond High.

Boys Baseball

On Monday May 7th, the team will play West High down at Mulcahy Stadium beginning at 6:30 p.m. On Friday May 11th, the guys take on the Dimond High Lynx, again playing at Mulcahy Stadium at 4:30 p.m.

Girls Softball

The ladies have a double header on Wednesday May 9th! Their first game is against Bartlett High from 5:45 p.m. and will be played at the Albrecht Field #1. For that game the Cougars will be considered the home team. Then, at 7:30 p.m. they will play Dimond High on the same field, but this time will be treated as the away team.

Choir 

The talented singers of the Service High Choir will be belting their hearts out at the annual concert on Monday May 7th, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Service High.

Band 

The big band will play loudly on Tuesday May 8th, from 7 to 8 p.m. for its annual concert, also held at Service High.

Orchestra

The orchestra wraps up the three day musical showcase with its annual concert on Wednesday May 9th, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Service.

Track

Our track team has an event dubbed “The Last Chance” happening on Wednesday May 9th. The event will be held from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., at West High. Run like the wind Cougars!

Education Funding Update

Yesterday, I was pleased to join the Governor and other legislators at Harborview Elementary School here in Juneau for the signing of House Bill 287, which provides funding for our school districts for the coming year. One of my priorities coming into session was to ensure that districts, schools and teachers did not have to go through another round of pink slips, and that everyone could plan for a successful 2018-2019 school year. House Bill 287 achieves this goal, and gives extra stability and certainty for schools by outlining funding plans for next year (fiscal year 2020) as well.

The focus of our schools and teachers should be providing our students with a quality education and improving outcomes, not worrying about looming pink slips. We were able to recognize some of the great work happening in our schools by seeing happy Juneau elementary school-ers, chatting with them and sharing in their performances. I am glad the staff and parents at the bill signing yesterday had some of their worries alleviated and got to witness what cooperation in our Legislature can result in. House Bill 287 is now state law.

Here is a great video from the event yesterday, which culminated with the signing of House Bill 287!

 

Seward Highway Project

2018 marks the second full construction season of this significant project. We will be following this project and its impacts on our community through its projected completion in the summer of 2019. A 55 MPH speed zone has been established and traffic patters will be changing constantly throughout the summer. Please be aware of workers along the road and all traffic signs.

For more information on the project click here. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the project that you’d like our office to look into please give us a call (907-465-3879) or shoot us as email (Rep.Charisse.Millett@akleg.gov)!

 

PTAs

Nearly all of our parents, teachers and staff are wrapping up or have wrapped up their final PTA meetings of the school year. Our office would like to take a moment and share our appreciation for the countless parent volunteers and teachers who participate in their school’s PTA. Our schools would not be nearly as effective without the dedication and humble service these great Alaskans put towards our kids. From the Millett office, we thank you. Congratulations to all the new board members for the 2018-2019 school year, and great work to those who have and continue to serve. 

 

 

Blog Post for April 27, 2018

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Celebrating DeeDee Jonrowe 

Yesterday, I had the honor of presenting Alaska mushing legend DeeDee “Iron Woman” Jonrowe with an official legislative citation recognizing her nearly 40-year Iditarod career, triumphs over hardship and inspiring life accomplishments!

Alaskans have been blessed to witness DeeDee in her famous pink snow-suit succeed for years on the Iditarod trail. We will certainly miss her boundless optimism on the trail!

We should all strive to emulate DeeDee and her unbreakable, caring and uplifting spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Protecting Alaska Native Corps from Liability for Pre-Contaminated Lands Passes House

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of carrying Senate Bill 202 on the House floor. The bill provides relief for Alaskan Native Corporations from liability for damages and costs resulting from pre-contaminated lands conveyed to them under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Earlier this session I introduced House Bill 367, which mirrored the language of SB 202.

Under ANCSA, the federal government conveyed 44 million acres to Alaska Native Corporations. Unbeknownst to the Corporations, many of these lands were contaminated, and in fact contaminated by the federal government.

Under current law, Alaska Native Corporations face potentially crippling legal costs to clean up contaminated lands that they themselves did not contaminate. SB 202 & HB 367 were brought forth to correct this injustice.

I am pleased this bill passed with bi-partisan support, and without a single NO vote. See my floor speech on the bill by clicking here!

 

Seward Highway Project

It’s that time of the year again! Alaska’s construction season is underway, and with that brings back to life the biggest construction project in our district: the Seward Highway, Dowling to Dimond road upgrade.

Construction work is underway, and a 55 MPH speed limit, along with new traffic patterns have been established. As always, when driving through a construction zone follow the traffic signs, slow down and be aware of the workers on the road.

To stay up to date on the project click here, or if you’d like to receive emails concerning the project you can send an email to: SewardDowlingDimond@spawnideas.com

 

Service Sports

Boys Soccer:

On Monday April 30th, our boys face West at our home field. The game begins at 5 p.m.

On Wednesday May 2nd, the boys take on Eagle River High beginning at 5 p.m. The game will be played at Eagle River High, 8701 Yosemite Dr.

On Saturday May 5th, our boys will go up against Colony High at 4 p.m. We will host Colony at our field.

Girls Soccer

On Monday April 30th, the girls go up against West on our home field. The game kicks off at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday May 2nd, our girls square off against Eagle River High. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will take place at Eagle River’s field.

On Saturday May 5th, the girls take on Colony High. The game begins at 2 p.m. and we get to be the home team!

Boys Baseball

On Tuesday May 1st, our boys face Eagle River High at 6:30 p.m. The game is being played at Mulcahy Stadium, the intersection of 16th and Cordova in downtown Anchorage.

On Thursday May 3rd, the boys go up against Chugiak High. The game is an early one, starting at 6:30 a.m. and will be take place at Bartlett High School, 1101 Golden Bear Drive.

On Saturday May 5th, our boys face off against South High at 4 p.m. The game will be played at Mulcahy Stadium.

Girls Softball

On Wednesday May 2nd, our girls go up against East High at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played at the Chuck Albrecht Softball Complex, 4781 Elmore Road, Field #1.

On Friday May 4th, our girls face Chugiak High at 7:30 p.m. The game is taking place at Chuck Albrecht Softball Complex, Field #1.

On Saturday May 5th, the girls play two games: the first against Bartlett High at 12:15 p.m. will be played at Bartlett. The second game at 2 p.m. is against South High, and will likewise be played at Bartlett, located at 1101 Golden Bear Drive.

Stunt Cheer

On Frida May 4th, the South Regions cheer competition will occur. The event starts at 3 p.m. and will be held at South High School, 13400 Elmore Road.

 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and great next week! Please stay in touch!

All my best,


Public Safety Update!

Friday, April 13th, 2018

As we approach Spring, a time where many will be spending more time outside with family and in our communities, our office wanted to send out an update on public safety.
What is being worked on in the Capitol?
What resources are out there to help communities stay safe?
Public Safety in the Capitol

While I could not support SB 91, those who did acknowledged that it would require alterations during its implementation. It was an enormous change to our criminal laws and procedures, and as we have found out, passing such a large bill can result in unintended consequences. Last fall, the Legislature passed some critically necessary fixes to SB 91, however, our work to improve the accountability and security in our criminal laws is far from over.

Last night, KTVA Channel 11 aired an in-depth report on some of SB 91’s most glaring and dangerous loopholes. I worked with their reporter to present a full picture of just how harmful this new section of the law is to our community.

You can watch the full report below.

The Pretrial Risk Assessment process has gaping holes that currently allow serious criminals out of jail with inadequate or no supervision. There are a few bills this session that seek to expand the scope of the risk assessment tool. However, I believe the best solution is to keep the ultimate decision making authority, over who is safe enough or too dangerous to be released back into our communities, with our judges.
House Bill 335, which I sponsored, unties judges’ hands and allows them to keep hardened criminals and those who are unlikely to show up to mandated court appearances behind bars until their trial. Alaskans should not have to endure situations like those we’ve experienced recently where judges are prevented from stepping in and holding someone in jail, even though they view that person as a clear threat to the public’s safety.
To learn more about this bill, watch my statement below:

 

To much consternation and public outcry, House Bill 335 and other bills attempting to roll-back loopholes and address the consequences of SB 91 have stalled in the Capitol. While we are near the end of session, I remain hopeful that enough support can be gained to pass these before we adjourn. I am working daily to help my colleagues see that these critical fixes are needed, especially when we know they would have an immediate positive impact on public safety.
Many of you have asked for and are wondering whether or not the Legislature is going to support a full repeal of SB 91. I am here to tell you that in addition to voting for a full repeal of SB 91 last fall, I have co-sponsored two different bills (House Bill 311 & 228) that also fully repeal SB91. I intend to keep pressing forward on this issue and will work to see these bills discussed and passed by the Legislature. Neither of these bills have yet been given even initial hearings this session.
What Can You Do?
In addition to advocating for bills that you support and would like to see passed, there are many resources and volunteer opportunities in Anchorage that help to address community safety.
Neighborhood Watch:
Organizing a Neighborhood Watch is an incredibly helpful tool to improving vigilance and preventing crime on a street-by-street level. There may be an existing watch in your area to join, but if you’d like to start one, the Anchorage Police Department wants to help! Click here to find out more about the process.
Community Patrol:
The Anchorage Coalition of Community Patrols is a great resource for those looking to participate in a community patrol group in your area. Community patrols help improve neighborhood safety by keeping a watchful eye on our streets and reporting suspicious activity. South Anchorage has at least three different patrols right now, and you can find their contact information here.
Reporting Crime:
If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1. However, the Anchorage Police Department is looking to make it easier to report non-emergency activity by calling their new line, 3-1-1, or reporting a crime online here. Non-emergency reports are still a critical way that police build cases against offenders and track patterns of activity in our community.
I know that there is no greater priority than providing for the safety of Alaskans, and as work this session continues, our focus will be on crime prevention and survivor support. We are hopeful that when you have ideas, questions or concerns that you get in touch with us! We are here to serve you!
All my best,

Friday Update for March 23, 2018

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Welcome to our weekly update for wonderful District 25!

Community Council

The best Community Council in Anchorage will be meeting next week! On Thursday March 29th at 6:30 p.m. the Abbott Loop Community Council will gather for their monthly meeting. You’ll find their agenda for the meeting here! Like usual, their meetings occur at Abbott Loop Elementary.

 

Newsletter

Keep your eyes out for our annual Legislative newsletter as they should be hitting mailboxes sometime next week! We’ve provided updates on legislation, District events, the budget and more. As always, if you have questions or issues you’d like us to work on please reach out to our office!

 

Service Sports

Our Cougars have officially moved into the spring sports season! Next week the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams each play one game.

Boys Soccer: On Tuesday March 27th at 6:30 p.m. the boys face off against Chugiak High. The game will be at The Dome, located at 6501 Changepoint Dr., Anchorage, AK 99518

Girls Soccer: Also, on Tuesday March 27th, the girls play Chugiak High at The Dome, however, the girls game begins at 4:40 p.m.

 

Key Meetings Next Week

As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we are including this brief rundown of meetings.

Monday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., Capital budget contingent on payroll tax

Tuesday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Operating budget public testimony
  • House State Affairs at 3:15 p.m., Various presentations on the Permanent Fund and fiscal plans

Wednesday

  • House Judiciary at 1 p.m., House Bill 367 Alaska Native Corporation contaminated lands
  • Senate Finance at 1:30 p.m., Operating budget public testimony (Anchorage from 3 – 4 p.m.)

Thursday

  • House State Affairs at 3:15 p.m., SJR 17 naming April 2018 sexual assault awareness month

Friday

  • House Resources at 1 p.m., various oil tax proposals

 

Anchorage Election

Voting is underway for the Anchorage Municipal election! Voted ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day, April 3, 2018. To vote by mail simply choose one of these three options:

  1. Once you receive your ballot, mark your choices by filling in the ovals and then, place your ballot into the enclosed envelopes.
  2. Sign the declaration on the back of the ballot return envelope.
  3. Return your ballot by mailing it through the U.S. Postal Service, placing it in a Secure Drop Box, or returning it to an Accessible Vote Center.

For more information on how the vote by mail process works, or if you need to vote absentee, click here.

 

We hope you have a wonderful week! Please stay in touch!

 

Friday Update for March 16, 2018

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Vote by Mail

Anchorage Municipal ballots for the 2018 election on April 3rd have been sent out! Keep your eyes open in your mail box for your official ballot. Traditional polling locations are no longer an option for voting on Election Day. You can return your ballot in three ways:

  • U.S. Postal Service – Mail your ballot return envelope using first-class postage and postmarked before or on Election Day.  Or, save postage by using a …
  • Secure Ballot Drop Box – Place your ballot return envelope in a Secure Ballot Drop Box.
  • Accessible Vote Center – Take your ballot return envelope to an Accessible Vote Center.

The Municipal Clerk’s Office can be reached at 907-243-8683.

For more information or if you have questions on the process click here!

 

Key Meetings Next Week

As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we are including this brief rundown of meetings

Monday:

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., 2018 Spring Revenue Forecast

Tuesday:

  • House Health and Social Services at 3 p.m., HCR 22 Naming April 2018 Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Wednesday:

  • Lunch and Learn at 12 p.m., Missile Defense Presentations
  • Senate Resources at 3:30 p.m., DNR’s Role in Natural Gas Commercialization Efforts

Thursday:

  • Senate Finance at 9 p.m., Dept. of Revenue’s Role in the AKLNG Project
  • House Fisheries at 10 a.m., Presentation on Pike as an Invasive Species in AK
  • House Health and Social Services at 3 p.m., Insurance Coverage for Telehealth

Friday:

  • Lunch and Learn at 12 p.m., Norway’s Correctional System

Budget

This week the House Finance Committee finished up its work on the budget, after considering about 90 amendments. Unfortunately, no significant reductions were able to gain sufficient support in the committee, and thus the current draft of the budget includes a nearly $200 million increase, a marked uptick over previous years. This does not accurately reflect the amount of revenue that the state has coming in, nor does it take into account our state’s deficit which is worrisome to those of us who would like to see government live within its means. Along with other House Republicans, our office will be working to reduce spending in areas that don’t affect the health or safety of Alaskans as we approach the House floor debate on this budget.

Hopefully the House will consider the budget on the House floor in the coming week. Once the budget passes the House, it moves to the Senate, which has been analyzing the budget since the beginning of session as well. Usually, the House and Senate budget drafts don’t line up perfectly, and the two bodies enter negotiations to settle differences between the versions before a final draft is sent to the Governor. The Governor then may sign it or veto portions he disagrees with. If you’d like to learn more about the budget process, and tips for reading through budget documents, visit here: http://legfin.akleg.gov/Other/SwissArmyKnife16.pdf

 

Service Sports

Our Cougars are coming back from Spring Break this week and getting right into the swing of things! Soccer and track are getting underway as the spring sports season kicks off.

Boys Soccer: On Tuesday March 20th at 8:20 p.m., the boy’s soccer team will face off against Bartlett High at The Dome (6501 Changepoint Dr., Anchorage, AK 99518).

Girls Soccer: On Thursday March 22nd at 8:20 p.m., the girl’s soccer team goes up against Bartlett High at The Dome (6501 Changepoint Dr., Anchorage, AK 99518).

Track & Field: On Friday from 3 – 7 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., the Track Mini B Scramble is happening at The Dome (6501 Changepoint Dr., Anchorage, AK 99518).

We hope the start of these sports goes well for all our athletes!

District Events

In a few weeks friends and neighbors will gather at Abbott Loop Community Council’s monthly meeting. The Council is set to meet March 29th, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Abbott Loop Elementary. We encourage you to attend to learn about what is happening in our community.

The Anchorage Hillside Home and Landowners Organization meets monthly as well on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Holy Spirit Center which is located at the corner of O’Malley Road and Hillside Drive. Their next meeting will be April 5th.

 

We hope you have a great week! Please stay in touch!

Update for March 9, 2018

Friday, March 9th, 2018

International Women’s Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day! Today in the Capitol, we celebrated by swearing in Representative Tiffany Zulkosky from District 38. Rep. Zulkosky is the 19th female legislator to be currently serving in the Alaska Legislature. With 19 female legislators, there are now more women serving in state office than ever before!

Our office is incredibly proud of these hard working, caring and dedicated women who represent so many thousands of Alaskans each day!

Additionally, this day makes us all aware of the progress still to be made to ensure that everyone lives safely and free from violence. This week in Juneau, meetings of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, as well as the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault have taken place. Our office has an incredibly strong working partnership with these organizations. We join in their continued legislative and personal efforts for violence prevention and survivor support.

Key Meetings Next Week

As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we are including this brief rundown of meetings and hearings occurring next week.

Monday

  • House Finance at 1 p.m., HJR 23 Constitutional Amendment Permanent Fund POMV
  • Senate Health and Social Services at 1:30 p.m., SB 193 Work Requirement for Medicaid

Tuesday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., HJR 23 Constitutional Amendment Permanent Fund POMV

Wednesday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., HB 286 Operating Budget

Thursday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., SB 196 Appropriation Limit
  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., SB 78 Permanent Fund Dividend Contributions/Lottery

Friday

  • Senate Education at 8 a.m., HB 214 Bree’s Law

 

Budget Progress

Work on the budget has slowed down this week, however, amendments are still being considered. We have reviewed 69 amendments in the House Finance Committee thus far, with roughly 30 left to go. Unfortunately, reductions to the budget have not been approved. In fact, quite the opposite has happened, with millions of dollars being added to the budget. House Republicans remain dedicated to wisely reducing the budget in areas that don’t impact the health or safety of Alaskans. We’ve proposed dozens of targeted reductions that would have saved Alaskans $10+ million, yet all were rejected. Once the budget process is completed in the House Finance Committee, all members will have the ability to review it and offer amendments to the bill on the House floor.

Passing a budget is the Legislature’s sole constitutional mandate. Our goal is to pass the budget through both the House and Senate in the 90-day session. As the budget advances to the House Floor our office will certainly keep you posted on what the final document looks like. Please continue to reach out with your ideas and priorities for the budget this year!

 

Spring Break

 

We sincerely hope our students, teachers and parents enjoy the upcoming Spring Break! As drivers, I know all of us are making sure to be extra aware of kiddos out and about, and hope that everyone will continue to acknowledge school zones and neighborhood speed limits. To our student-athletes, rest up and get ready for the next round of sport seasons that are right around the corner!

Legislation on the Move

Some of our office’s personal legislation is gaining traction! Three of our bills have recently moved from committee: House Bill 336 “Supported Decision-Making Agreements Act,” House Bill 367 dealing with Alaska Native Corporation contaminated lands and House Concurrent Resolution 22 which names April 2018 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

We are excited for the progress on these bills and are focusing on others dealing with reforms to our criminal justice system.

Blog Post for March 4th, 2018

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

A Big THANK YOU!

Thank you so much to all of those amazing neighbors who have participated, attended and shared their thoughts at our recent community meetings and public testimony opportunities. Whether it’s been at our meet and greet, budget testimony, or more, we have been so proud of the engagement and interest in our community.
Our office has been so grateful to meet all of the new faces, as well as catch up with those who we have enjoyed meeting before. Your input, ideas and questions are so critical in informing the decisions the Legislature makes, and truly help us guide our office in the right direction.
We hope you will all stay in touch, and reach out with any future questions or concerns. We are here to serve you!

Key Meetings Next Week

Monday March 5:

  • House Finance at 9 a.m., Operating Budget review and amendments

Tuesday March 6:

  • Senate State Affairs at 3:30 p.m., SB 196 Appropriation Limit

Wednesday March 7:

  • Lunch and Learn at 12 p.m: Alaska’s Public Safety Action Plan

Thursday March 8:

  • House Health and Social Services at 3 p.m., House Bill 336 Supported Decision-Making Agreements

Friday March 9:

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., Operating Budget adopt new committee substitute

Service Sports

Next week our Cougars have a relatively light schedule, except for our basketball teams who are gearing up for the 4A Cook Inlet Conference Tournament!

Girls Basketball: Our girls play their conference game on Wednesday March 7th at 6 p.m. The game will be at East High School, located at 4025 E. Northern Lights Blvd. Anchorage, AK 99508

Boys Basketball: The boys kick off their conference game also on Wednesday March 7th, but it begins at 7:30 p.m. and is hosted at Dimond High School, 2909 W. 88th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99502

ROTC: On Wednesday March 7th from 5 – 8 p.m. our Reserve Officer’s Training Corps will be undergoing their Annual Inspection. We are sure everyone will be looking sharp!

Kikkan Love

Our office continues to beam with pride for U.S. Olympic Gold medalist, and fantastic constituent, Kikkan Randall! Kikkan and teammate Jessie Diggins were on “CBS This Morning,” earlier this week to talk about their fantastic success in Pyeongchang. We couldn’t help but share!

Go Kikkan!

Watch HERE

 

We hope you have a great week, and please stay in touch!