We are on track to bring the 2018 legislative session to a successful conclusion very soon. As I write this, votes on the final ver-sions of the Operating and Capital Budgets are still pending, and many bills by individu-al lawmakers are passing across both the House and Senate floors.Read more
Day 116: Legislative Session in Final Days
This past week, the legislature made some big decisions necessary to get to the finish line. Here is a quick recap on some of the major issues, where I stand and what else remains before we head home.
Dear friends, neighbors, and fellow Fairbanksans,
Finally, the 30th Alaska State Legislature is winding down and wrapping up. While there are still a few more issues to resolve here in Juneau, including the State budget, this has been a long and productive session. I am proud of what has been accomplished, and optimistic about being able to come home soon.
This Sunday, we honor and celebrate family: Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers and women who, each and every day, provide love and support to their children and families.Read more
Juneau – Yesterday, the Alaska Legislature passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for caseworkers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better health and outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts major, comprehensive national best practice standards. The bill passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday by a unanimous 18-0 vote. The bill was co-sponsored by 18 members of the Senate.Read more
I’m expecting we will adjourn in the next few days and I’m pleased to report that many good bills have passed in recent days, including bills to increase access to mental health care, bills that will improve the lives of Alaskans with mental or physical disabilities, and a bill to reform our foster care system. My personal legislation to address rape kit reform and increase purchasing of Alaska Grown have also passed.Read more
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature made significant progress to address the ongoing fiscal crisis that has left the State of Alaska with a $2.3 billion budget gap. The House and Senate both passed the new compromise version of Senate Bill 26 that was referred from the conference committee this morning. The new version of the bill includes a spending cap on the use of earnings from the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund. SB 26 sets rules for a structured and predictable draw from the Earnings Reserve Account (ERA) to pay for Permanent Fund Dividends and to help pay for essential public services.Read more
Today the House Finance committee will adopt a new working draft of HB 284 Capital Budget. This new draft will mirror the Senate’s version R that passed out of Senate Finance yesterday.Read more