Update for March 9, 2018
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.
- 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
- House Finance at 1:30 p.m., HJR 23 Constitutional Amendment Permanent Fund POMV
- House Finance at 1:30 p.m., HB 286 Operating Budget
- Senate Finance at 9 a.m., SB 196 Appropriation Limit
- House Finance at 1:30 p.m., SB 78 Permanent Fund Dividend Contributions/Lottery
- Senate Education at 8 a.m., HB 214 Bree’s Law
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!
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.