Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Weekly Update for 8-10-18

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Happy Friday! We’re looking forward to another great summer weekend, and are grateful that you’ve taken the time to check out our weekly update.

Trailside Elementary Back to School Night!

Trailside Elementary families, mark your calendars for next Thursday’s Back to School Night! Families will all meet in the Trailside multipurpose room at 5:00pm to hear from Principal Mary Ellison, and then you and your students an tour classrooms, meet teachers and chat with the amazing PTA!

The PTA is asking that families consider bringing a side dish to accompany hot dogs and hamburgers:
A-M please provide sides and salads
N-Z please provide desserts and drinks

There will be a PTA table for membership registration (but feel free to sign up online prior) and new Trailside gear. Good luck in the coming school year!

Seward Highway Project Update

Here is a weekly update from the Department of Transportation:

ROAD CLOSURE: Homer Drive is CLOSED from 71st Avenue to 76th Avenue. Drivers please plan to use Briarwood Street as a DETOUR route. Also, Brayton Drive is CLOSED from Lore Road to 68th Avenue. Please plan to use Meadow Street as a DETOUR route.

RAMP CLOSURE: The northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Lore Road is CLOSED. Residents between Dowling Road and Abbott Road should plan to use the newly opened northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Abbott Road as a DETOUR route.

Speed limits have been reduced within the project corridor to 55 MPH and traffic patterns will be modified as necessary to accommodate work. Please follow construction signs and be aware of future notifications.

Median and shoulder work are being done along the New Seward Highway near the Dowling Road Exit in order to accommodate 6 lanes of through traffic in the final configuration.

Work is being done in sections along the frontage roads, going from the south end to the north end along Brayton Drive and the north end to the south end on Homer Drive from Dimond Boulevard to Dowling Road; sections of the roads will be CLOSED as work progresses.

 

Girls on the Run!

 

Girls on the Run of Greater a Alaska is an amazing organization dedicated to engendering and encouraging confidence in young women. Through running and other fun physical activities, they inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through our research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games. Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop essential skills to help them navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event.

Currently, they are looking for volunteer coaches to help with their program. To find out more, visit https://www.gotrgreateralaska.org

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our newsletter! Have a wonderful weekend.

 

 

August’s First Friday Update!

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Happy August! It may be a little drizzly outside, but we’re still looking forward to another weekend enjoying an Anchorage summer. We wanted to share a quick update on happenings in our community, and we are so grateful that you’re taking the time to check it out.

As always, we want to hear from you! If there are topics or events you’d like to see featured in our updates, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

Abbott Loop Elementary Parade!

Now that we’ve officially kicked off the month of August, Abbott Loop Elementary School wants to be sure that kiddos and families are in the know about what’s coming this school year. Join staff, teachers, and fellow Abbott Loop families for the parade back to school.

On August 17th at 4:00pm, folks will be meeting at Spruce Park on 84th Avenue to meet teachers, get updates on the school, and then walk together back to the school. Teachers will be giving out tickets at that time, that you can trade in for hotdogs at the “mingle and meet” out on the playground. This is a great opportunity to check out the classrooms, get familiar with staff, and meet other Abbott Loop students.

 

Seward Highway Construction Update

ROAD CLOSURE: Homer Drive is CLOSED from 71st Avenue to 76th Avenue. Drivers please plan to use Briarwood Street as a DETOUR route. Also, Brayton Drive is CLOSED from Lore Road to 68th Avenue. Please plan to use Meadow Street as a DETOUR route.

RAMP CLOSURE: The northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Lore Road is CLOSED. Residents between Dowling Road and Abbott Road should plan to use the newly opened northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Abbott Road as a DETOUR route.

Speed limits have been reduced within the project corridor to 55 MPH and traffic patterns will be modified as necessary to accommodate work. Please follow construction signs and be aware of future notifications.

Median and shoulder work are being done along the New Seward Highway near the Dowling Road Exit in order to accommodate 6 lanes of through traffic in the final configuration.

Work is being done in sections along the frontage roads, going from the south end to the north end along Brayton Drive and the north end to the south end on Homer Drive from Dimond Boulevard to Dowling Road; sections of the roads will be CLOSED as work progresses.

Kenai River Emergency Order

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently released this order, which begins tomorrow:

“To protect returning sockeye salmon and increased fishing opportunities in the future, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing closure on the Kenai River effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, August 4, 2018.

The Kenai River is closed to fishing for sockeye salmon from its mouth upstream to the Sterling Highway Bridge at the outlet of Kenai Lake, except those waters of the Upper Kenai River, Russian River, and Russian River confluence areas remain open. The waters of the Russian River confluence remain open to allow anglers to target Russian River sockeye salmon. Please review page 60 of the 2018 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary Booklet for a description of the area.”

 

For additional information, please contact Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller at (907) 262-9368 or visit: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/Static-sf/EONR/PDFs/2018/R2/EO-2-RS-1-49-18%20Kenai%20sockeye%20close_TT.pdf

 

Anchorage International Festival

Are you interested in learning more about Anchorage’s many cultures and learning more about our city’s diversity? This Saturday, August 4th, from 1-5pm join friends and community members at Cuddy Midtown Park for the Anchorage International Festival. This is a free event where you can taste food from around the world, experience local performances, and learn about the many cultures represented in Anchorage.

To find out more, visit www.anchorageinternationalfestival.com

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update, and we hope to see you out and about this weekend!

 

Have a wonderful rest of your day,

Friday Update for 7/13/18

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Happy Friday! We’re celebrating what looks like another sunny weekend ahead of us and wanted to share some information on happenings in the Legislature, community and more.

As a note, if there are ever topics that you would like to see featured in this weekly update or questions you’d like to have answered, please let us know! We want to make these posts as applicable and helpful to you and to our neighborhood as possible.

 

Changes to Criminal Laws

Many of you have reached out to our office asking for an update on changes made to our criminal statutes made after the passage of SB 91. We’ve included a list of the most significant changes to our laws HERE for you.

We are proud to have been able to work so hard to see these changes pass, however there is still much work to do. While we are still fighting to see a full repeal of SB 91, we are also working on targeted fixes to some of the more dangerous loopholes created in the justice overhaul.

As a reminder, there are many groups attempting to help address the crime wave, including our neighborhood Community Patrol. To find out more or join us in patrolling our streets and looking out for neighbors, visit: http://www.accpatrols.org/

Fishing License – On Your Phone!

This week, a bill was signed into law that will allow for your Fish and Game licenses, tags and permits to be kept on your electronic device. In addition to being a convenient way to remember your license while on a trip, this also helps protect against water damage and wear-and-tear that we know is so prevalent when you’re out on an adventure.

If you ever have questions about hunting and fishing regulations, you can visit: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildliferegulations.hunting

Jeff Dusenbury Park Naming

If you’ve ever visited Spruce Park, you know that it can be a great meeting place for friends, neighbors, and those interested in starting their walk or bike ride. It also is a very special and meaningful location for the Dusenbury family, who along with friends, have begun the process of trying to change the park’s name to honor Jeff Dusenbury. Jeff was tragically lost four years ago but has continued to leave a profound legacy in our community.

On July 19th at 5:30PM, there will be a public hearing in what is now Spruce Park to listen to the community’s thoughts on whether to change the name of the park in Jeff’s honor. We’d love to see you there.

Interested in Gardening?

Are you a gardener who is interested in participating in a community garden project? Let our office know if you would like to either utilize a community garden plot or help set one up for all neighbors to enjoy!

You can shoot us an email at rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov or give us a shout at 907-269-0222

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this update! Please stay in touch, and have a wonderful weekend.

 

All my best,

Happy Friday from Rep. Millett!

Friday, July 6th, 2018

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Your Friday Update for 6/29/18

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Happy Friday!

We’re gearing up for a sunny (keeping our fingers crossed) 4th of July and we wanted to be sure that you had some information before jumping into your weekend!

Abbott Loop Community Picnic

We had an amazing time yesterday at the Abbott Loop Community Picnic! There was a great turnout, wonderful food, and lots of time to catch up with friends and neighbors. Thank you so much to the Abbott Loop Community Council, all of the hard-working volunteers, and everyone who brought yummy potluck items! It is really a blessing to have events like this that bring our community together and to be reminded of how much neighbors care for one another.

At the picnic, we also discussed the great work of our Community Patrol, and we wanted to share the link again to provide more information on how to join:

http://www.accpatrols.org/

 

 

 

Elmore Traffic Issues

We’ve been hearing from many District 25 neighbors – and experiencing ourselves – fairly significant traffic problems on Elmore Road, between Abbott Road and Lore Road. There have been accidents and many “near misses”, and now with summer upon us, there are more comings and goings from the Abbott Loop Community Park. It is our belief that a stoplight would be a reasonable way to help control the traffic flow as well as provide for increased pedestrian safety.

On Friday of next week, we will be sitting down with the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to advocate for a fix for this issue, and to encourage more community involvement. We will keep you posted as this process continues!

NOTE: We will also be discussing the recent airport project that has caused lots of noise in South Anchorage. Stay tuned for an update on that issue as well!

 

Q & A with Anchorage Police

A recent article in the Anchorage Daily News has a good breakdown of the rash of car thefts, and the effects of SB 91 on our public safety. No matter your take on the crime wave in Anchorage, this has some helpful information on the way SB 91 has reduced crime deterrents. Check it out here: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2018/06/28/how-counterfeit-cash-sb-91-stolen-guns-fit-into-the-anchorage-car-theft-epidemic-a-qa-with-detectives/

We can and should be doing more. SB 91 has reduced our police’s ability to hold offenders accountable and prevent crime and needs to be repealed.

Seward Highway Project Update

As you make your plans for the holiday and weekend, here is an update from the Department of Transportation on the ongoing Seward Highway project:

ROAD CLOSURE: Sandlewood Place is CLOSED at 82nd Avenue. Business access will be maintained during the CLOSURE, plan to use Hartzell Road and Lore Road as a DETOUR route.

Also, Lore Road is CLOSED from Sandlewood Place to Brayton Drive, and Brayton Drive is CLOSED from Lore Road to 72nd Avenue.

RAMP CLOSURE: The northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Lore Road is CLOSED. During this time, residents between Dowling Road and Abbott Road should plan to use the newly opened northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Abbott Road as a DETOUR route.

The southbound Dowling Road On-Ramp to the Seward Highway is CLOSED. During this time, please plan to follow signs for DETOUR routes to the Tudor Road On-Ramp, the Old Seward Highway or Lake Otis Parkway. Business access will be maintained during the CLOSURE, plan to use the Old Seward Highway as a DETOUR route.

Speed limits have been reduced within the project corridor to 55 MPH and traffic patterns will be modified as necessary to accommodate work. Please follow construction signs and be aware of future notifications.

Median and shoulder work are being done along the New Seward Highway near the Dowling Exit in order to accommodate 6 lanes of through traffic in the final configuration.

Work is being done in sections along the frontage roads, going from the south end to the north end along Brayton Drive and the north end to the south end on Homer Drive from Dimond Boulevard to Dowling Road; sections of the roads will be CLOSED as work progresses.

 

We hope that you have a fun, safe 4th of July holiday! On this holiday, as everyday, we will most certainly be remembering and sharing our gratitude for those who have served our country and sacrificed for our freedom. Freedom is not free, and we thank you for your service.

 

All  the best,

District Update for 6/22/18

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Happy Solstice! Last night’s sunset was enough to convince just about anyone (we’re a little biased) that living in the Midnight Sun State is an unparalleled experience. We know folks are out and about getting ready for their weekend, but we wanted to send you a few quick updates on community happenings!

 

Seward Highway Construction Continues

ROAD CLOSURESandlewood Place is CLOSED at 82nd Avenue. Business access will be maintained during the CLOSURE, plan to use Hartzell Road and Lore Road as a DETOUR route.

Also, Lore Road is CLOSED from Sandlewood Place to Brayton Drive, and Brayton Drive is CLOSED from Lore Road to 72nd Avenue.

RAMP CLOSURE: The northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Lore Road is CLOSED. During this time, residents between Dowling Road and Abbott Road should plan to use the newly opened northbound Seward Highway On-Ramp from Abbott Road as a DETOUR route.

The southbound Dowling Road On-Ramp to the Seward Highway is CLOSED for approximately 3 weeks. During this time, please plan to follow signs for DETOUR routes to the Tudor Road On-Ramp, the Old Seward Highway or Lake Otis Parkway. Business access will be maintained during the CLOSURE, plan to use the Old Seward Highway as a DETOUR route.

Speed limits have been reduced within the project corridor to 55 MPH and traffic patterns will be modified as necessary to accommodate work. Please follow construction signs and be aware of future notifications.

Median and shoulder work are being done along the New Seward Highway near the Dowling Exit in order to accommodate 6 lanes of through traffic in the final configuration.

Work is being done in sections along the frontage roads, going from the south end to the north end along Brayton Drive and the north end to the south end on Homer Drive from Dimond Boulevard to Dowling Road; sections of the roads will be CLOSED as work progresses.

Salmon Orders Update

From June 20-June 30, anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from its mouth to the outlet of Skilak Lake.

From July 1-July 31, anglers may not fish for king salmon of any size in the Kenai River from the Fish and Game marker 300 yards downstream from Slikok Creek to the marker at the outlet of Skilak Lake.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is implementing the following sport fishing regulation liberalization by opening the Russian River Sanctuary area early for anglers to sport fish for sockeye salmon. This regulatory change is effective 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018. Please review the Upper Kenai River and Russian River Confluence area map (Area B) on page 60 of the 2018 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

The following sockeye salmon regulations apply for the Russian River Sanctuary area:

June 19 – July 14, 2018:

  • Sockeye salmon
    • 16 inches or greater in length; 3 per day, 6 in possession
    • Less than 16 inches in length, 10 per day, 10 in possession

July 15 – August 20, 2018:

  • fly-fishing-only waters
  • Sockeye or coho salmon
    • 16 inches or longer, 3 per day 6 in possession in combination, of which only 1 per day, 1 in possession may be a coho salmon
    • Less than 16 inches in length, 10 per day, 10 in possession;

Anglers are reminded, after August 20, 2018, the retention of sockeye salmon is prohibited in this area.

For more information visit http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.main

 

Celebrate Solstice!

Tomorrow morning, runners will chase the sun in one of several simultaneous races, including the Midnight Sun Marathon, Alaska Half-Marathon and the relay-style Buddy Half Marathon. These races are great opportunities to both get some exercise as well as watch/cheer for talented runners! Races will finish at the Delaney Park Strip. (mayorsmarathon.com)

In Downtown, there will also be an even bigger-than-usual Solstice celebration! Besides the normal festival fare (live music, food trucks, beer gardens, a vendor fair) this eight-block party includes a petting zoo, Hero Games, a deadlift competition, a three-on-three basketball tournament and a dance-off. Noon-6 p.m. Saturday. (anchoragedowntown.org)

 

We hope you have a safe and fun weekend!

 

All the best,

District 25 Update for June 1, 2018

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Public Safety Work This Session

This year, the Legislature fell short of a full repeal of SB 91. Our office worked hard to share the comments and frustrations voiced to us by concerned citizens, along with polls, resolutions, and other documents which highlighted the overwhelming consensus that Alaskans want the dangerous changes made under SB 91 rolled back. Unfortunately, many colleagues were unable to support the full repeal. We are dedicated to implementing a full repeal of SB 91 and intend to keep the pressure up on this effort over the interim. Please continue to share your stories, experiences, thoughts and ideas on ways that we can make our city and state safer.

Thankfully, some big changes were made to our criminal laws that we believe will begin repairing Alaska’s criminal justice system. Those changes include the following: judges were given back the ability to hold dangerous offenders in custody before trial; sentences were raised for certain felonies; sentences were increased for repeat theft offenses; law enforcement officers were given back greater arrest capabilities; dangerous and synthetic drugs were added to our criminal schedule; and other reforms were passed this session. Our office fought hard for all these changes. We likewise acknowledge that more needs to be done to improve public safety, and make people feel secure in their communities. To learn more about particular bills that passed or changes we still believe must be made, please reach out! Your calls and emails are incredibly important to us.

Community Patrols – Get Involved!

One of our state’s greatest resources is the willingness of our neighbors to look out for one another. Community Patrols have been sprouting up all over the state, and specifically right here in Anchorage. We’ve talked about it in this blog before, but again extend our sincerest thanks to all of those who help volunteer for these Community Patrols in Anchorage and across Alaska. These engaged community members keep a watchful eye on our neighborhood streets, assist police officers, report suspicious activity, help citizens and support security at events. This year our office fought for and was successful in securing over $175,000.00 in funding for Community Patrols in Anchorage. Our office believes that this will help grow and support their very important efforts.

Additionally, patrols like District 25’s very own Abbott Loop Community Patrol, are always looking for more volunteers! Now that we’re back from Juneau, we have the privilege of joining as volunteers, and you can too by visiting: http://www.accpatrols.org/joinus.html. Rep. Millett recently attended Abbott Loop’s meeting, and they are eager to help new participants navigate the process of getting on board. You can also work with your Community Council to start a patrol if one doesn’t already exist in your neighborhood.

Seward Highway Project Construction Update!

The summer construction season is in full swing now. Crews are out on the roads working hard and pulling long days to improve our public roadways and transit systems. As has been the case for the past year, the Seward Highway from Dimond Boulevard to Dowling Road is undergoing considerable upgrades and work.

The latest report on the project status involves a considerable number of road closures and corresponding detours. Some of the closures, like the northbound Dowling off-ramp from the Seward Highway, will remain in effect till mid-June. Keep your eyes open for the speed limit signs and business access routes along Brayton and Homer Drive. For the full rundown, and map detailing all the closures and detours click here!

Community Meetings

Next week on June 7th the Hillside Home and Landowners Organization (HALO) will meet to discuss issues related to the community and living in the Southeast Hillside area of our city. We encourage you to get involved if you have an interest in the general wellbeing of this part of town! HALO gathers for their meetings at the Holy Spirit Center, which is located at the corner of O’Malley Road and Hillside Drive. The meeting beings at 7 p.m.

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,