Update for April 8th
Good afternoon everyone,
As we approach the end of session, there are still outstanding issues to be discussed in the Legislature, and much happening in South Anchorage as well!
This week the House and Senate formed a conference committee, comprised of Democrats and Republicans from both of the Finance committees. The conference committee will meet and discuss the items that the House and Senate disagreed on in the budget. This includes money in just about every agency, and policy calls that will affect how much our state needs to withdraw from its savings account.
The House’s goal in this discussion is to prioritize funding government at a sustainable level – that is, attempting to match our spending with our revenue. With the drop in oil prices and state income, there are simply some programs that the state can no longer afford. We will be looking to preserve funding for public safety, emergency and health, and community stability.
Criminal Justice Reform
A lot has been happening in the Legislature over the past few days in regards to criminal justice reform. The House Judiciary Committee has been hearing amendments over the past few days in response to public input regarding House Bill 205, the House’s draft of the package. Alaskans weighed in on sentencing concerns, offender supervision, and critical reinvestment in violence prevention and treatment – which have been incorporated in the amendments being adopted.
The Senate is going to be hearing their draft of the bill, Senate Bill 91, on the Senate floor this weekend, with the intent of voting on it and sending it to the House for further evaluation. Many edits have been made to the original recommendations provided by the Criminal Justice Commission, which will need to be vetted in the House by legislators and agency experts.
The goal of this suite of reforms is first and foremost ensuring public safety. We know that our current justice system is broken, and needs fixes to better serve victims and our communities. Please continue to reach out with your ideas and concerns – your input really does make a difference and we are so grateful for your engagement.
House Bill 76
We are proud to report that HB 76 passed the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday. This bill eliminates any confusion about who the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education serves, and has served so well since its inception in 1978. The Council’s critical mission of providing access to housing, employment, independent living, health, transportation and community inclusion for Alaskans with disabilities is preserved under this legislation, and its enabling statutes now reflect a clear path forward.
House Bill 76 now heads to the Governor for his signature.
House Bill 308
House Bill 308 moved through the House Judiciary Committee and should be up for a final vote on the house floor any day now. The bill will limit the civil liability of Child Passenger Safety Technicians who install, inspect and adjust child safety seats and educate parents about their proper use. The way the current law is written makes it much tougher to recruit and train technicians, so if HB 308 is passed, we will have more technicians ensuring safety seats are properly installed so our children are protected in the event of an automobile accident.
The legislation has broad support from Alaska’s law enforcement officers, health and safety professionals, firefighters, paramedics and healthcare professionals.
If you have young children in your life, you might want to get their car seat inspected. Visit www.carseatsak.org or call the numbers below to learn how to install correctly your child’s safety seat.
Alaska Injury Prevention Center – 907-929-3939
Anchorage Fire Department – 907-267-5045
Safe Kids Alaska State Coalition – 907-212-3194
For other locations around the state go to: http://www.carseatsak.org/Links/index.cfm?fuseaction=CheckUpLocations
Hanshew PTA Needs You!
The Hanshew Middle School PTA is actively recruiting executive committee members for the 2016-2017 school year. The board needs Hanshew parents, or anyone just interested in education, to step up and serve in the secretary, vice-president and treasurer positions. If you are interested and available, please contact PTA President Bright Nygard at HanshewPTA@gmail.com
Spring is here, the snow is gone, and the Service High spring sports programs are well underway. The Cougar Track and Field teams have been competing since late March and have an indoor meet today (3:00 p.m.) and tomorrow (11:00 a.m.) at The Dome, 6501 Changepoint Drive. Track meets will take place outdoors starting April 20th.
The team has its own webpage so Cougar fans can follow the action all season long. Go to:
The risk of wildfires is so high in the Anchorage bowl right now the Anchorage Fire Department has banned the use of burn barrels and is not issuing any burn permits until conditions improve. Abbott Loop has many large wooded areas that can erupt into a devastating wildfire if someone becomes careless, so please heed the ban and take all brush and tree material to the nearest wood lot.
Information on how to protect your property and family from a wildfire and where wood lots are located are just a mouse click away at http://www.muni.org/Departments/Fire/Wildfire/Pages/default.aspx
The legislative process may be in high gear but we always have time to respond to your questions, concerns or comments. Call our toll free number at 1-888-269-3879, or send an email to Rep.Charisse.Millett@akleg.gov
Be sure to follow us on social media – Twitter @RepMillett or Facebook at facebook.com/representativemillett
The forecast shows lots of sun this weekend so be sure to get out and enjoy it!
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