Archive for the ‘Budget’ 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“catch and release” policy that allowed dangerous offenders to immediately leave jail after  being arrested has been repealed, and sentences were increased for certain felony offenders.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,

Friday Update for April 6, 2018

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Budget & PFD Update

On Monday, the House passed the state’s Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget, House Bill 286. This budget includes funding for the state’s operations beginning July 2018 and ending in June 2019. This budget was reviewed by subcommittees, the full House Finance Committee and was debated on the House floor.

The House considered about 84 amendments on the House floor, many of which were offered by the House Republican Caucus, that would have reduced the size of government, created efficiencies and restructured certain departments. Almost all these amendments were not adopted as the budget moved from the House to the Senate.

Unfortunately, I still view this budget as too large to be passed in its current form. While I support efforts made in this budget to fully fund education, and add additional troopers and prosecutors, it still increases spending year-over-year in areas that do not affect Alaskans’ life, health or safety. Reductions can still be made to government’s footprint. However, the budget is still working its way through the process and will continue to evolve.

The budget is now being considered by the Senate and will change from its current form. Once the Senate has completed its work on the budget, the House and Senate will reconcile differences between their two budget drafts in a conference committee. We will keep you posted on the budget process over coming weeks.

A quick update on the PFD: The House originally approved a full appropriation for the Permanent Fund Dividend according to the equation set forth in law. Following the law, and fully funding the PFD, is an effort that I continue to support. As legislators, we swear that we will uphold our state’s laws. Until a change is passed through the public process with full support, we need to follow language concerning the PFD currently on the books. The House has since passed a lower amount, $1,600.00, for the PFD, and the Senate’s current budget reflects that same number. I will keep you posted as the PFD and bills to restructure our use of the Permanent Fund’s earnings move through the process.

Please stay in touch and let us know if you have any questions on the budget!

 

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 Judiciary at 1 p.m., HB 336 Supported Decision-Making Agreements and SB 202 Native Corporation Contaminated Lands

Tuesday

Joint Session of the House and Senate at 11 a.m., Consideration of Governor’s appointees

House Finance at 5 p.m., HB 411 new oil tax legislation

Wednesday

House Finance at 5 p.m., HB 411 oil tax legislation

Thursday

Senate Finance at 9 a.m., SB 193 Medicaid work requirement bill

Senate State Affairs at 3:30 p.m., SJR 9 Constitutionalizing the permanent fund dividend

Friday

House Finance at 5 p.m., HB 411 oil tax legislation

 

Service Sports

The soccer and track seasons are fully underway now, and our teams have a busy week ahead!

Girls soccer: The girls have two games this week. The first one is on Monday April 9th at 7 p.m. versus Eagle River. That game will be played at Eagle River High School, located at 8701 Yosemite Drive, Eagle River, AK 99577. The girls second game is on Wednesday against South at 5 p.m. Our Cougar’s get home field advantage for this game!

Boys soccer: Our boys face the same opponents as the girls this week. Their game against Eagle River kicks off at 5 p.m. and will also be in Eagle River. Likewise, for the game against South the boys will play at home and begin their game at 7 p.m.

Track: The 8X8 track event will take place over the course of Friday and Saturday next week at West High School (1700 Hillcrest Drive Anchorage, AK 99517). On Friday our team will begin competing at 3:30 p.m., and then on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Cheer: A stunt cheer event is happening on Friday the 13th at Service High! We’ll be hosting Eagle River and Chugiak High from 6 – 9 p.m.

 

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 February 2, 2018

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Session Update

This week has brought about a lot of work on the budget and other bills here in the Capitol. One of the major pieces of legislation on the move is a bill to separate funding for the Department of Education from the rest of the budget. This bill provides a stable level of funding for municipalities and districts to distribute to schools and allows communities to plan out their education spending for the coming fiscal year. While some debate exists over what account should be used to pay for the bill, general agreement exists that it will move through the process expediently.

Budget subcommittees, the small groups charged with taking the first look at each department’s budget, have been meeting for the past few weeks, and are hearing from the Executive Branch regarding successes and obstacles from the past year. Their goal is to send an updated draft of the budget by the middle of February, at which point the House Finance Committee will take a deeper dive into the budget’s details.

Our office will continue to keep you posted as important issues make their way through the legislative process. We hope you’ll continue to share your thoughts and ideas with us!

With our constituent Jennifer Aiste, who was in Juneau with the Alaska Pediatric Partnership!

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 section into our weekly blog.

Week of February 5-10th

Monday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., bills on Worker’s Compensation and APOC Registration Fees on Lobbyists

Tuesday

  • Legislative Council at 7 a.m., Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment Subcommittee and Policy
  • House Fisheries at 11 a.m., Presentation on Permitting Process by ADF&G

Wednesday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Presentation on Alaska’s Debt
  • Joint Session at 11 a.m., State of the Judiciary, Address by Chief Justice Craig Stowers

Thursday

  • Legislative Council at 7 a.m., Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment Subcommittee and Policy Review
  • House Community and Regional Affairs at 8 a.m., HB 269 Distillery Licensees and Service on Premise

Friday

  • Senate Finance 9 a.m., Operating Budget and Supplemental Budget for FY19

 

Hanshew Teacher Wins Prestigious Award!

Our office wishes to congratulate Leah Meyring for her incredible accomplishment! We have some amazing professionals and educators teaching our kids!

 

Visit our Schools Month

Did you know that every Tuesday in February our Anchorage School District neighborhood schools open their doors for public tours? Community members, businesses and parents are invited to visit any ASD school during the month of February to learn more about the community’s public schools. While schools welcome members of the public year-round, this coordinated effort provides parents and community members an opportunity to learn more about the many educational opportunities available. This is a great opportunity to check out what our amazing staff and students are up to!

For more information, visit www.asdk12.org

 

PTA Meetings!

Many of our PTAs are gearing up for their monthly meetings in the next week or two. See below for where and when they are gathering!

Abbott Loop Elementary: February 13th at 3:45 p.m. at the school

Polaris K-12: February 6th at 5:30 p.m., at the school

Trailside Elementary: February 6th at 3:45 p.m., in the library

Hanshew Middle School: February 6th at 6 p.m., in the library

Kasuun Elementary: February 14th at 4 p.m., in the library

 

Service Sports

Our Cougars have some big games and meets this week!

Boys Basketball: On Monday at 7:30 p.m., the boys’ varsity team faces off against rival South High on our home court!

Girls Basketball: Like the boys, the girls’ varsity team will face South High at home, but the game begins at 6:00 p.m.

Cross Country Skiing: The Ski Classic Relay is happening at Russian Jack Park on Saturday the 10th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

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!

Update for January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Return of Friday Blog!

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

              Monday

Senate Finance at 9 a.m., 2017 Fall Revenue Forecast Presentation

House Resources at 1 p.m., House Bill 288 – new oil tax legislation

              Tuesday           

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

              Wednesday

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

              Thursday

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

             Friday

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

 

Community Council

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 (brucearoberts@hotmail.com) the President of the Council, or check out their website found here!

 

Service Sports

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:

Boys Hockey:

Thursday at 6:30 p.m. vs West High, located at Ben Boeke Indoor Ice Arenas, 534 E 16th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Boys Basketball:

Monday at 7:30 p.m. vs Dimond High, located at Dimond High School, 2909 W 88th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99502

Girls Basketball:

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!

Welcome to Juneau Update

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Welcome to Juneau Update

Good morning from rainy Juneau! We hope you and your family had a wonderful New Year and safe holiday season. Our office has officially settled into the Capitol city and today marks the start of 2nd Regular Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature.

This year, our office is looking forward to digging into our state’s budget for the coming year, and finding ways to streamline state services and operate more efficiently. Additional priorities include increasing tools for those providing public safety services, supporting growth in our private sector, and helping our economy rebound from the state’s recession. We are optimistic that with our bond rating increasing, rising oil prices and increasing development and exploration, Alaska will come back stronger than ever after this period of economic struggle. We will keep you posted as these issues are discussed during this session.

Here’s a quick reminder of the team working in the Millett Office:

Grace, our Chief of Staff

Hans, our Policy Aide

Sarrah, our Office Manager

All three are returning staff, and are here to serve you!

As the legislative session gets underway, we want to ensure you have the right resources to stay in touch with us. Our session contact is as follows:

Phone: 907-465-3879

Email: Representative.Charisse.Millett@akleg.gov

Address: State Capitol Room 404 Juneau AK, 99801

You can follow us along on social media as usual!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/representativemillett/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RepMillett

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rep.charisse.millett/

Likewise, below are some helpful bits of information on how to get around the Legislature’s site, ways to participate in public testimony and more!

How to use BASIS

How bill becomes law

Public testimony opportunities

Getting started with AKLEG

Guide to using INFOBASES

We will be resuming our regular weekly blog this Friday so look for that in your inbox! As always, please reach out to us if you have questions or concerns!

Update for October 20, 2017

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Special Session Begins Monday

As you probably know at this point, the Governor has called the Legislature into a 4th Special Session to consider his new tax bill and Senate Bill 54, which makes a few changes to the criminal justice overhaul (Senate Bill 91) passed last year. The Special Session will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, and hearings on those bills will start thereafter. Here is the schedule that we have so far:

  • House State Affairs Committee: Senate Bill 54 Oct. 23 at 12:30 p.m.
  • House Judiciary Committee: Senate Bill 54 Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.
  • House Judiciary Committee: Senate Bill 54 Oct. 24 at 9 a.m.
  • Senate Finance, Judiciary Joint Committee: Crime and Justice Policy Review Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.
  • Senate Finance, Judiciary Joint Committee: Crime and Justice Policy Review Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m..
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 24 at 1:00 p.m.
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 25 at 1:00 p.m.
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 26 at 1:00 p.m.
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 27 at 1:00 p.m.

If you’d like to watch or listen to any of these hearings, you can visit akleg.gov and click on the “Live Now” tab. We will keep you posted as the Special Session moves forward.

 

Anchorage Homelessness Survey

As part of the Anchorage Community Plan to End Homelessness, several organizations working to address homelessness (e.g. Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, United Way of Anchorage, Municipality of Anchorage) have developed a survey to understand the Anchorage community’s impressions of homelessness and to gauge the willingness of people surveyed to tackle the issue.

You can help by taking this survey – 10 minutes of your time will provide invaluable information. This information will be used to determine how we can work together to make homelessness as rare and brief as possible.

All information will remain confidential.

Also, if you want to share this through your personal networks, social media pages, etc., please do so – and take it yourself. It’s open through Nov. 3rd.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/plantoendhomelessness

 

Keeping Your Vehicle Safe

We’ve officially entered that time of the year where it’s become necessary to start our cars early in the morning to warm up! However, leaving your car running and unlocked with the keys in it makes it a prime target for thieves. Given the substantial increase in car thefts, and the compounding issue of winter closing in, our office wants to make sure you take the right steps to keep your vehicle from being stolen.

One of the best options to ensure your vehicle heats up and remains safe while running without you in it is to have an auto start/remote start installed. For those who don’t know, an auto start or remote start is a “a radio-controlled device, which is installed in a vehicle by the factory or an aftermarket installer to preheat or cool the vehicle before the owner gets into it. Once activated, by pushing a button on a special keychain remote, it starts the vehicle automatically for a predetermined time.”

The great benefit of an auto start is that your vehicle can start and run, and remain locked at the same time. Furthermore, most auto starts shut your car off if someone gets in and taps the breaks without having the keys in the ignition – hence stopping a thief who breaks in thinking they can get away with your running vehicle.

In Anchorage, a considerable number of businesses exist that install auto start devices for reasonable fares. An entry level auto start will run you anywhere from $200 to 275, while auto starts that are operated from your smart phone likely cost $500 or more.

We encourage you to research and find an auto start that best meets your needs and budget. If an auto start is not attainable the next best thing would be to lock your vehicle while it warms up, and have a second set of keys handy to unlock it when you’re ready to head to work!

 

New Route Along the Seward Highway!

Working in conjunction with contractor QAP, the Alaska Department of Transportation is working diligently to complete as much work along the Seward Highway and impacted access roads before the snow hits. DOT’s weekly update of the large project is below with new information regarding traffic patterns.

Road Closure

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has transitioned onto the newly constructed southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic is now on the newly constructed northbound Seward Highway. Note that this traffic configuration is temporary and only in effect through the winter. Additional work to complete the project will occur next year.

What You Need to Know

  • To receive email updates about this project, email SewardDowlingDimond@spawnak.com 

Special Accommodations Contact:

Those people who reside in construction zones and may require special accommodations should call the DOT Highway Construction Engineer at 907-269-0450 (TTY 907-269-0473).

Update for September 22, 2017

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Crime Town Hall

On Wednesday, my office was privileged to attend a meeting with local business owners and concerned citizens regarding the rampant outbreak of crime in our city. It was a thoughtful discussion and most in attendance agreed that changes must be made to our criminal justice system, specifically relating to Senate Bill 91 (the criminal justice overhaul legislation that became law in 2016). In recent weeks and months, my office has been listening to constituents and their concerns over public safety and crime in Anchorage and our state.

To further this discussion my office is hosting a Crime Town Hall on Monday September 25th, at 6:30 p.m. at Abbott Loop Elementary. My office will be there to listen to your concerns, answers your questions and work together to address the out of control crime in our city.

We hope you can attend!

 

Special Session Proclamation

This afternoon Governor Bill Walker released his proclamation for the fourth special session of 2017. Two items are on the call of the special session: Senate Bill 54 and another version of an income tax.

Below is the official proclamation from Governor Walker.

 

I look forward to taking this opportunity to fight for the changes in our criminal laws that neighbors have been pleading for. We all deserve to live in a city and state that stands up for residents and crime victims.

 

Construction Update

As we near the end of the construction season, and beginning of the darker time of the year, we encourage everyone to be aware of the hardworking Alaskans working along our roads and thoroughfares.

DOT has provided another update on the major efforts and work occurring along the Seward Highway and Dowling this week. Please be advised of these road closure alerts.

From the DOT:

Road Closure

  • FUTURE ROAD CLOSURE: Beginning 8:00pm Friday, September 29, the roundabouts along Dowling Road near the Seward Highway (as well as the Seward Highway exit ramps) will be CLOSED through 5:30am Monday, October 2. Please plan to follow DETOUR routes via Tudor Road and Dimond Boulevard/Abbott Road. 

What You Need to Know

  • Be alert to daily LANE CLOSURES and DELAYS from 9:00am to 3:30pm and from 8:00pm to 5:30am along Dowling Road and its roundabouts. 

For more information and current updates on the project you may follow it here: http://alaskanavigator.org/projects/dowling-road-old-seward-highway-lake-otis-parkway-pavement-preservation

 

Community Council Elections

Our favorite community council in Anchorage, Abbott Loop Community Council (ALCC), is having its yearly Officer and Board of Directors elections next Thursday September 28th! We encourage you to attend to see who will be the new leaders of our District’s community council.

For more information on how to participate in the election process, or to just become involved with the ALCC, contact: Bruce Roberts, President of the ALCC at brucearoberts@hotmail.com or 907-952-9969

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update! We hope that as we inch closer to this special session, and just in general, you stay in touch! Please don’t hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns.

Have a great weekend,

Update for September 1, 2017

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Good afternoon and happy September everyone! We hope you have some fun plans in store for what is shaping up to be a great Labor Day weekend! Moose and caribou hunting seasons are now open in many areas of Alaska, the State Fair is in high gear and there are still Silvers to be caught down on the Kenai!

 

Kenai River Classic

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in the 25th Annual Kenai River Classic fishing event put on by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA). Many great Alaskans, including business executives, policy shapers, and government officials attended the excellent event, which late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens helped co-found.

We were able to catch some world famous Kenai River silver salmon, and help raise funds for habitat restoration and fisheries education programs. A huge thank you is owed to the entire KRSA Board of Directors, staff, and countless volunteers who helped make this event a “splashing” success!

 

Construction Update

Contractor and DOT crews are still hard at work on the Seward Highway project between Dowling and Dimond. If you are having trouble accessing side roads or with directions in the project corridor, please feel free to give my office a call! We are here to help you out!

See the weekly project update from the Alaska Department of Transportation below:

Wednesday, August 30

Weekly Update

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction. Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process.

 

Game Time!

Our Service High boy’s football team is gearing up for a big game against hillside rival South High. Tomorrow evening, at 5pm, the Varsity boys will be playing the Wolverines at South High (13400 Elmore Rd, Anchorage, Alaska 99516).

Likewise, the girls’ varsity flag football team is playing against East tomorrow morning at 11:30am. They will be taking on the Thunderbirds at East High School (4025 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99508).

If the weather forecast holds, it should be a spectacular day for some fall football!

Get out there and cheer on our Cougars!

 

Special Session in October

The news hit yesterday that Governor Walker intends to call the Legislature back into a fourth special session of the year, to deal specifically with measures to raise taxes. We expect the Governor to call us into special session on Monday, October 23, 2017.

As of today, we don’t know the particulars about the type of tax (or taxes) the Governor will propose. However, by the end of September we should have an understanding of what he envisions.

Stay tuned on this developing situation. My office will certainly want to hear how you feel about the tax proposals when they are unveiled.

 

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Thank you so much for your interest and engagement! We hope you stay in touch via phone, email or social media!

 

All my best,

 

Update for July 28, 2017

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Good afternoon and happy Friday! It’s been a few weeks since our last update, so we hope that you and your family have been able to catch some fish and enjoy this beautiful Alaskan summer!

As we head into this weekend, Alaskans can be relieved to know that the Legislature has completed the capital budget.

Capital Budget Passage

Yesterday, the House and Senate convened in Juneau for the 3rd Special Session of the year to pass a Capital Budget, SB 23. Passing this budget was essential to continue work on critical road and safety projects, along with meeting other infrastructure needs. The capital budget, like any bill that passed the Legislature this year, is a product of compromise. Many left many feeling they did not get everything they wanted. However, to receive federal funds and continue maintenance and construction projects, passage of this bill was necessary.

Here are a few highlights of this year’s Capital Budget:

  • Funding for the Community Assistance Program, for a total distribution of $38 million
  • Funding for the Public and Community Transportation State Match
  • Funding for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs and shelters
  • Funding for increased public safety patrol of the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Girdwood
  • Funding for deferred maintenance projects 

Road Safety

As we enter August, and the slowdown to summer construction season we all must remain aware of the construction zones throughout our city and state. DOT has provided us with another update to the ongoing project along the Seward Highway. Here’s what they had to say this week:

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted     from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

  • Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction.
  • Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process

School Registration

The upcoming 2017-2018 ASD school year is right around the corner (sorry kids!) and you know what that means: registration! In person registration for our schools is as follows:

  • Service High: August 1st through 3rd, 8am – 11am & 12pm – 3pm
  • Hanshew Middle: August 1st through 3rd, 8am – 11am & 12pm – 3pm
  • Kasuun Elementary: August 1st through 3rd, 9am – 3pm each day. Likewise, click here for the full school supply list for all grades!
  • Abbott Loop and Trailside are both August 1st through August 3rd, however they don’t have times set yet though we assume they will likely be similar to Kasuun. Abbott Loop does have its supply list up!

Fast and Female!

We are so blessed in Alaska to have so many strong, smart, accomplished Alaskan women in sports to inspire our young athletes. We are additionally lucky to have such amazing influencers and athletes committed to helping young women stay confident in their participation in sports through the Fast and Female program. Born out of the idea that girls drop out of sports at 6x the rate of boys in their early teens, and the top reason for their mass exodus from physical activity is the experience of a lack of social belonging, Fast and Female provides programming designed to keep girls healthy, happy and active in sports through their teens. This past Thursday, Fast and Female USA President Kikkan Randall hosted fellow athletic inspirations at the Alaska Rock Gym and led girls in instructive and fun activities to help show them that they have a place in sports. The day looked absolutely fabulous, and the girls looked enthusiastic and thoroughly engaged.

Thank you so much Kikkan for leading this program and inspiring kids and adults alike! To learn more about Fast and Female, and help the young gals in your life get involved, visit www.fastandfemale.com

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this update, and for staying engaged as we work through the issues facing our state. Please continue to reach out with your questions, ideas and concerns. We’re here to serve you!

All my best,