With constituent Arianna Cocallas
Happy to be in Juneau
Serving you is our office’s great honor. As we complete the first week of the 2nd Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature we want to let you know how grateful we are for your trust to represent your collective interests and vision for our great state. Though the last few years have been rather challenging for our entire state, we are truly optimistic and encouraged about what 2018 has in store.
Oil prices continue to rise – boosting state revenues and making projects more economical daily. Production through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System has increased two years in a row, and is set for a record third year of increase. Billions of barrels of new oil have been discovered on the North Slope, and many companies are planning extensive exploration programs this winter. The recession hopefully seems to be levelling off – with fewer jobs projected to be lost this year than in the previous two years. Our tourism industry smashed visitor records in 2017, and 2018 is projected to be even better. Mineral prices are up and the future for mining is shining bright like the many precious metals we have in Alaska. Fisherman from South East to Dutch Harbor are enjoying higher prices for their catch, and in Bristol Bay record numbers of wild sockeye salmon are returning.
However, not everything is bright and rosy. As too many of you have experienced first-hand, crime is out of control and a destructive opioid epidemic is sweeping across Alaska. State government still faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit, and our traditional savings accounts have been depleted as a result of our decrease in revenue.
For these reasons we are focused on increasing tools and support for our public safety and law enforcement community. Wise use of our state’s incredible assets, combined with targeted reductions in state government, will enable us to close the budget deficit this year and provide stability for the economy for years to come.
Key Meetings Next Week
As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we will be incorporating a new section into our weekly blog focused on key meetings occurring the following week.
Week of January 22-26th
Senate Finance at 9 a.m., 2017 Fall Revenue Forecast Presentation
House Resources at 1 p.m., House Bill 288 – new oil tax legislation
Senate Finance at 9.m., Permanent Fund Corporation Overview
House Finance at 1:30 p.m., House Bill 286/285 – budget overview by Legislative Finance
House Education and Early Development at 8 a.m., K-12 education budget overview and funding for school districts
House Resources at 1 p.m., Alaska Gasline Development Corporation overview of the AKLNG Project
House Education at 12 p.m., Workforce Readiness Presentation by Microsoft
Senate Labor and Commerce at 1:30 p.m., How do we best train Alaskans for jobs – presentation by various industries
House Education and Early Development at 8 a.m., K-12 funding and K-12 support services
Senate Resources at 3:30 p.m., Alaska’s oil production forecast
Next week our favorite community council in Anchorage, the Abbott Loop Community Council, is hosting its monthly meeting! On Thursday the 25th the community will gather at Abbott Loop Elementary School from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. An update from community leaders, along with a discussion of the proposed area wide solution to our roads, trails and drainage issues as described in the Hillside District Plan will occur.
If you need more information, or can’t make the meeting but want to review what occurred we suggest you contact Bruce Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) the President of the Council, or check out their website found here!
Cougar athletes have a busy week ahead of them! From basketball to hockey it is going to be an exciting week! Here’s the schedule for our Varsity teams:
Thursday at 6:30 p.m. vs West High, located at Ben Boeke Indoor Ice Arenas, 534 E 16th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501
Monday at 7:30 p.m. vs Dimond High, located at Dimond High School, 2909 W 88th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99502
Monday at 6 p.m. vs Dimond High, located at Dimond High School, 2909 W 88th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99502
Cross Country Skiing:
Saturday at 11 a.m., Skiathlon Relay, located at Kincaid Park, 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502
With Girdwood born, Canadian Olympic Figure Skater, Keegan Messing
As we mentioned in our brief update earlier this week, our office is open and ready for you to share your questions, ideas and concerns! Please stay in touch this session, and come visit us if you find yourself in Juneau. We are here to serve you!