Rep. Tarr’s December 15th Newsletter: Restorative Justice Summit, Steps toward a fiscal plan

More than 100 people from across Alaska participated in the 2nd Restorative Justice Summit over three days in early December. Hosted by Sen. Tom Begich and myself, this annual event brings together educators, school board members, criminal justice leaders, school district officials, parents and non-profits to share best practices that can be useful in schools and every day life.

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Rep. Edgmon’s December 13th End of Year Newsletter

It was my great honor in January to be selected as the first Alaska Native Speaker of the House in the history of the state. Since then I have been leading the bi-partisan Alaska House Majority Coalition—a group of legislators who have consistently worked for the best interests of rural and urban Alaskans alike.

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NEWS: A Juneau Based Special Session is the Cheaper Alternative

Anchorage – Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) wishes to provide further information about why the upcoming Fourth Special Session should be held in the state capital of Juneau. According to the non-partisan Legislative Affairs Agency moving the session would incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional costs. This would occur just as lawmakers are wrestling with solutions to Alaska’s ongoing fiscal challenges. Speaker Edgmon has informed the members of the Alaska House of Representatives that the special session will start as scheduled Monday morning and will remain in Juneau for the duration of the session.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s October 2nd Newsletter: Criminal Justice Hearings and Senior Benefits

There has been a lot of discussion about rising crime rates and criminal justice reform as enacted in SB91. There is no arguing that crime rates are rising in Alaska- according to the Alaska Justice Center they have been rising since 2014. My heart goes out to those who have been hurt as a result—it’s terrible to have your home or property violated.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s September 15th Newsletter: Interim Update: Special session, broadband, and healthcare

Today, the Governor announced a special session that will begin on October 23rd. It will focus on revenue and criminal justice reform. Though seemingly unrelated, the recent rise of criminal activity in Alaska is a direct consequence of the fiscal crisis.

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NEWS: Alaska House Majority Coalition Responds to October Special Session Announcement

Anchorage – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition respond to news that Alaska Governor Bill Walker will call the 30th Alaska State Legislature into a 4th Special Session in late October. The special session will be focused on a not yet disclosed revenue measure, or measures, to fill the projected $2.7 billion budget gap brought on by the continued low price of oil, which has pushed Alaska into a fiscal crisis and lingering recession.

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Rep. Stutes’ August 6th Newsletter: Legislative Update

It has been a while since my last letter and I would like to update you on the legislature’s progress over the past two special sessions. This was a contentious year in Juneau and a difficult time for all Alaskans as uncertainty loomed in the form of a potential government shutdown, job losses, an economic recession, State credit-rating downgrades, and a reduction to PFDs. A potential income tax, the oil and gas tax restructuring, and other controversial solutions on the table added to the fervor of the debate.

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June 29th Note from Rep. Gara: Session Good, Bad & Ugly: Schools, Children, Seniors Protected; Economy Not!

While some good news came out of session, I’m frustrated, and know you are. As one vote, I don’t get to make all 60 people take action. I get to try. And I get to pitch compromises that I can’t force anyone to respond to. I’m a fan of democracy. I’m not a fan of not being able, as one person, to force people out of their ideological boxes to reach needed compromise, to get good things done.

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