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There have been some developments regarding the upcoming special session, and I wanted to be sure to keep you all in the loop.

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KODIAK — About four months remain until the legislature gathers in Juneau for the 2019 session, and while some interim committee work has taken place in recent weeks, November 6th’s General Election is occupying much of the attention right now. This year Alaskans will be asked to elect Alask…

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Few things define Alaskans more than our love of salmon. Not surprisingly, salmon allocation decisions and fluctuations in resource abundance often spur bitter political battles between user groups. A robust public process rooted in best available science has long been the arbiter of such di…

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Hello again. With the legislature adjourned until January, it has been nice to have the time to visit with constituents to get their thoughts on our work this past year and on what’s ahead in the coming year. This month, I also had the opportunity to travel to the Kodiak Island village of Ol…

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The decision to reduce the PFD in 2016 in response to Alaska’s fiscal crisis will be one of the defining issues of this election. Our opponents on both the left and the right have criticized this decision. Some Alaskans believe that it was a terrible decision that we never should have consid…

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KODIAK — Hello again. With the adjournment of the 30th Alaska Legislature in mid-May and no special sessions on the horizon, it is great to be home instead of in Juneau, as we were not through our work until early summer last year. Since adjournment, I have had the opportunity to talk to man…

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Hello again from Juneau. The Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget (HB 287) continues to be the dominant topic in the Capitol. The House passed its version of the budget on April 2, a few weeks later than usual. It calls for $11.5 billion in total spending. $5.5 billion of that total would come …

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Hello again from Juneau. We are almost a third of the way through this year’s legislative session. With committee meetings, floor sessions and the like, there is a lot going on in the Capitol right now. Of course, a lot of work remains before adjournment on April 15, but we are optimistic we…

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Greetings from the Alaska State Capitol. The second session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature got underway on Tuesday, January 16, and though a great deal of work remains, legislators are optimistic we will pass a budget and adjourn in 90 days. 

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It has always been my plan to write a letter to my constituents addressing questions some have regarding my political standing and choice to join the House Coalition. Given recent events, this seems like an opportune time. 

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I know that many commercial fishermen, residents and businesses in my district were deeply affected by disastrous pink salmon returns in 2016. Pink salmon fishing is the mainstay of our seine fleet, and the effect on families and the economy was devastating. I want to provide an update of wh…

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Governor Walker announced that he will call the Legislature back into a fourth special session on October 23 to address some form of new revenue. A special-session proclamation that outlines a specific agenda has not yet been issued, but there are existing pieces of legislation, as well as n…

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Greetings from Kodiak. It has been great to be home after the extended legislative session and special sessions needed this year to finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 budget and pass legislation eliminating the state’s oil and gas tax credit program. Being home has allowed me the opportunity to h…

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I know Alaskans are frustrated to yet again see special sessions and gridlock in Juneau. I too am frustrated; however, this may be the most critical junction in Alaska’s history, and getting the right solution is paramount. Although both the House and Senate have not been holding a lot of fl…

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Hello again from Juneau. The first session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature is well under way. Much debate remains before adjournment, which is scheduled for April 16, but the session could go longer as we work out how to bridge the $3 billion budget gap. As you probably know, key differ…

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Hello again from Juneau. The first session of the 30th Alaska Legislature began Tuesday, Jan. 17. That afternoon, 45 returning legislators and 15 new legislators took the oath of office and work began on the 90-day session. As is the case every year, the early weeks of this year’s session we…

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Season’s greetings! With only a few weeks remaining in what has been a very active interim, returning and incoming legislators alike are turning their attentions to what will surly a be a busy 2017 session. The 90-day session starts with floor sessions on Tuesday, Jan. 17, and committee work…

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I was fortunate enough to be invited to the United Fishermen of Alaska annual meeting Sept. 26-28 in Anchorage. I cannot tell you how valuable it was for me to see, in person, the interactions between industry stakeholders as well as the various departments in attendance. The depth of knowle…

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Hello from Juneau. The second session of the 29th Alaska Legislature ended May 18, though as you probably know, the governor has called lawmakers back to Juneau for a special session to complete work on several major issues we were unable to reach agreement on during this year’s session. The…

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Hello from Juneau. The second session of the 29th Alaska State Legislature is under way and a lot of work awaits lawmakers between now and adjournment. Over the next few months, legislators will debate a wide range of topics, none more important than the fiscal year 2017 budget. With a proje…

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As predicted, we are back in Juneau and gavel-in was Saturday, Oct. 24. When the governor compelled the Legislature to meet again, it was to address three subjects.

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A little over three months remain in the interim, but it will not be long before legislators return to the Capitol in Juneau as Governor Walker has called us into this year’s third special session, which is scheduled to begin Saturday, October 24th. During the special session, we will consid…

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After hearing from many of you, and making a number of calls to our congressional delegation, a solution to the groundfish closure has been reached. As requested by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries is implementing an emergency rule to provide an additional 1,600 c…

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A busy July has given way to an active August as the legislative interim continues. July’s major news was Governor Walker’s decision to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage in Alaska. The state estimates about 40 thousand uninsured Alaskans will receive coverage, and 4 thousand…

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The legislature entered the interim after passing the Fiscal Year 2016 budget on June 11. Although there has not been an official announcement yet, we may be called back into special session this fall to consider matters related to the development of a natural gas pipeline. Throughout the ne…

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Greetings from Juneau. There are just a few days left in this year’s legislative session, which is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 19. A lot will happen this week as lawmakers and the administration work on their priority legislation in hopes of completing the session within 90 days.

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Greetings from Juneau! I’d appreciate if you could take a few minutes to share your experiences and opinions about a few issues currently being debated by the legislature. Your input, as my constituents, is important as I make decisions and cast votes. Here are three bills which are currentl…

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Kodiak is all about fish and I’d like to begin this letter by sending a big congratulations to local angler Mike Olsen! Mike caught a 30.4-pound king to beat out 1,321 other anglers and win the top prize in the Homer Winter King Tournament. Speaking of fish, ComFish Alaska 2015 will be April…

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Hello again. With three weeks left until the legislature’s scheduled adjournment on Sunday, April 19, the Capitol building is a busy place. While Senate and House committees continue their discussions on various bills, the Senate Finance Committee will be holding additional hearings on next …