Representative Matt Claman's Alaska Matters
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Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain
February 24, 2015
In this issue:
• Marijuana Initiative Takes Effect
• Minimum Wage Increase in Effect
• Anchorage Caucus
• Sikuliaq Comes to Juneau
• Follow us!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Two voter initiatives from the November 2014 Election take effect today: the marijuana initiative and the minimum wage initiative.

Marijuana Possession is Legal Today

The marijuana initiative goes into effect today. But be aware, the sale or manufacture for sale of marijuana remains illegal. Specifically, there is a sixteen-month time frame starting today before the first commercial marijuana businesses may begin operating.

Currently, possession of up to four ounces of marijuana in the home is protected under the Right to Privacy in the Alaska Constitution. Under the initiative, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in public is now legal. Transportation of up to one ounce of marijuana is technically allowed under the initiative, but there are questions about transportation of marijuana and the legislature may address this issue. Employers are still allowed to drug test for marijuana. Contact your employer if you have questions about their drug testing policy in light of the initiative. Here is a helpful FAQ from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and also a Public Safety Announcement from the Governor’s office.

The House Judiciary Committee is still hearing HB79, which removes marijuana from the controlled substances list and modifies criminal statutes affected by legalization.

Minimum Wage Increases Today

Alaska’s minimum wage increases today to $8.75. A substantial majority of Alaskans passed this initiative in November. On January 1st of 2016, the minimum wage will increase another dollar to $9.75. The initiative has some exemptions to the increase, including an exemption for minors working no more than 30 hours per week and for individuals who provide voluntary emergency medical services.

Anchorage Caucus

Anchorage Caucus

The Anchorage Caucus public hearing will be at the Assembly Chambers at the Loussac Library this Saturday, February 28th from 1-5 pm. We’ll be there to listen to your concerns about issues the legislature is addressing this session. Representative Vasquez and myself are co-chairs of the caucus. I hope to see you there!

Research Vessel Sikuliaq

I was able to tour the Research Vessel Sikuliaq when it visited Juneau last week. The vessel is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as part of the U.S. academic research fleet. It was purchased with federal stimulus dollars in 2009 and this will be its first year of operation. While it is not technically an “ice breaker,” it can break ice up to 2.5 feet thick so that it can operate in the polar regions. Researchers can use the vessel by applying for a grant from the National Science Foundation. Read more here.

View of the bridge on the Sikuliaq
View of the bridge on the Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq at Sea
Sikuliaq at Sea

Deck of the Sikuliaq
Deck of the Sikuliaq

Remember to File for Your PFD

It’s that time again! Permanent Fund Dividend applications are due March 31st. Click here for more information or to apply for your PFD today.

And when you apply, please consider joining the thousands of Alaskans who choose to Pick.Click.Give. Your contribution of $25 or more helps enrich our community by supporting local non-profit organizations.

As always, please let us know if you have any thoughts or suggestions.

Sincerely,

signed: Matt Claman

    Rep. Matt Claman

    P.S. follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Contact Information

(907) 465-4919

Rep.Matt.Claman@akleg.gov

State Capitol Bldg. Rm 405
Juneau, Alaska 99801

www.repmattclaman.com

Contact the Governor

550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
T (907) 269-7450 F (907) 269-7461
EMAIL: Governor Bill Walker

STATE of ALASKA
http://alaska.gov/

State Info (907) 269-5111

Serving the Anchorage Neighborhoods of
Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain

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