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Hello from Juneau. As you may know, the 32nd Alaska Legislature is currently in special session following adjournment from the first session late Wednesday, May 19. On the agenda for the special session are the fiscal year 2022 Operating Budget and Mental Health Budget, as well as Gov. Mike …

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Greetings from the Capitol. A lot is happening in Juneau as legislators continue working on the budget and other matters that need to be completed before we can return to our districts for the interim. Likely, we will need to extend the session to finalize the budget, driven in large part by…

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Greetings from the Capitol. This year’s legislative session is entering its final weeks as we continue working on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget and key issues. As you may be aware, legislators and the administration are awaiting guidance on how Alaska will be able to use $1 billion from the fe…

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Hello again. The Capitol building continues to be an active place as Senate and House members craft next year’s budget and debate a variety of other legislation. We will also be holding a joint-legislative confirmation hearing on the governor’s appointments to boards and commissions, as well…

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Hello again. We are over halfway through the Legislature’s 90-day session with efforts proceeding on all fronts to draft and pass the fiscal year 2022 budget, as well as several other bills. Meanwhile, myself and other members of the Senate Majority Leadership are continuing to work with our…

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Hello from Kodiak. With the general elections behind us, the members of the 31st Alaska State Legislature have a little over two months left before the end of interim. With COVID-19 cases on the rise throughout the state, it is highly unlikely the Legislature will gather in Juneau again this…

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 I hope this finds you well and in good spirits. 2020 has been a challenging year, but nowhere is that more true than in communities reliant on fisheries and tourism. Please know that my staff and I are here for you. Whether you require assistance navigating the overworked UI system, need in…

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I wanted to provide a short update on Alaska’s CARES funding as there have been several new developments. 

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Hello again. It is great to be back home again following a brief return to Juneau to pass House Bill 313 on Wednesday, May 20. This critical legislation gives the governor the authority to manage and distribute $1.5 billion in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) fu…

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Hello again. As you may recall, the legislature is in recess after lawmakers passed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget early Sunday, March 29. That day, we also passed a bill that gives the governor the broad authority to respond to ever-changing developments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As you may know, early Sunday, March 29, the legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget (House Bill 205) and Senate Bill 241 to give the state the tools to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of the seriousness of this health crisis and the need for quick action, both bills …

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COVID-19 has reached Alaska, bringing with it much disruptions to our daily lives and drastic impacts and challenges to our economy. The urgency of this health crisis is not lost on the legislature. We are focused on getting the Fiscal Year ’21 budget finalized, as well as approving legislat…

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Hello again from Juneau. The capitol has been extremely active in the early weeks of the legislative session and will continue to be so between now and adjournment this spring. The legislature’s various committees have been meeting regularly, including the Senate Education Committee, which I…

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Hello again from Juneau. Lawmakers from around the state have returned to the Capitol for the second session of the 31st Alaska State Legislature. Our 90-day session begins today and will end April 19. The state constitution allows for a 30-day extension.

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Hello again. As 2019 and the interim wind down, legislators are preparing to return to Juneau for the 2020 session, which begins Jan. 21. I am optimistic we will finish our work in 90 days. If needed, the state constitution allows the legislature to extend the session an additional month.

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Just about three months remain in the legislative interim. As always is the case, much is happening  as we prepare for the start of the next session on Jan. 21, 2020. Included on this list is consideration by Senate Republicans of Anchorage Representative Josh Revak, who is the governor’s no…

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Hello again. A little over three months remain in the interim and, as always, there is a lot happening in the legislature. In the senate, Republicans are preparing to meet as a group soon to consider the governor’s nomination of Representative Josh Revak, R-Anchorage, to fill the Anchorage S…

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I wanted to provide a brief update on an issue that is very important to our community. Namely, the Alaska Marine Highway System and a winter schedule that leaves a lot of communities, Kodiak included, out in the cold. 

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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 …