Akiachak, Akiak, Aniak, Atmautluak, Bethel, Chefornak, Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Eek, Platinum, Goodnews Bay, Kasigluk, Kipnuk, Kongiganak, Kwigillingok, Kwethluk, Marshall, Mekoryuk, Napakiak, Napaskiak, Newtok, Nunapitchak, Oscarville, Quinhagak, Russian Mission, Tuluksak, Tuntutuliak, Nightmute, Toksook Bay, Tununak, Lower Kalskag, Upper Kalskag
January 26, 2018
Bills, Committees, and Meetings
The work of the legislature has geared up to full-speed quickly this year. In this edition of the 38 Special I'll discuss some of the bills that my office is working on and following closely. I'll also introduce you to the subcommittee process which is already underway as the first step the legislature takes to consider the budget. The state budget is the most important work that the legislature does and it's important that we do everything we can to pass a fiscally responsible budget in our 90 day regular session. My goal is to help make that process more transparent to Alaskans. The third major part of this edition will be to highlight some of the news from our District. If you have suggestions for news from around the region for future editions of the 38 Special please email us!
Many of you may have also heard that John Lincoln of Kotzebue has been selected by Governor Walker to fill the vacant House District 40 seat in the House of Representatives. His appointment was confirmed by the House Democrats on Thursday night and Rep. Lincoln will be joining us in Juneau soon.
House Majority Coalition
Ravynn, Michelle, and Mary on Kuspuk Friday
Selected Bill Highlights
HB 106 -- Civil legal services fund, This bill would establish an additional funding mechanism for Alaska Legal Services. This would give the legislature the option of levying up to 25% of court fees for Alaska Legal Services in times of fiscal certainty. This bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance committee; the bill's last committee of referral before it can move to the Senate Floor for consideration. I am the primary sponsor on this bill.
HB 176 -- Ground emergency medical transport, This bill would allow emergency medical transport service providers to be reimbursed up to the full amount allowed by the federal government. Currently emergency medical transport service providers are typically reimbursed for less than their actual costs when puts a strain on these services. This bill will be heard next in House Finance, the last committee of referral before it goes to the House Floor for consideration. I am the primary sponsor on this bill.
HB 180 -- Money services business, This bill would update the State of Alaska Money Services Act to recognize and support new means of money transmission, including the use of other values that substitute for money. By modernizing Alaska Statute, this way the State of Alaska can more readily recognize virtual currencies and better continue its regulation of emerging payment systems. This bill is currently in House Judiciary. I am the primary sponsor on this bill.
HB 199 -- Fish/wildlife habitat protection, This bill sponsored by Representative Stutes would establish permits related to the protection of subsistence, commercial, sport, and personal use fishing interests while creating efficiency and predictability in permitting and enforcement. This bill is currently in House Fisheries, a committee on which I sit. Please reach out to me or my office if you have questions or comments about this bill.
HB 267 -- Release hunting/fishing records to municipalities, This bill sponsored by Speaker Edgmon would provide a tool for municipalities bringing in revenue through levies on fish and game guiding to confirm that activities are being accurately reported to them. The access this bill grants to municipalities is modeled on the long-existing provisions allowing local governments to review records related to local commercial fishing taxes. This bill is currently being considered in House Community and Regional Affairs.
Finance Subcommittees: What you Need to Know
The first step in the legislative budget process this year is consideration of the budget details and programs from departments in subcommittees. Each legislator sits on multiple subcommittees - this is where the nitty-gritty budget work gets done. If you are curious about who is on each subcommittee you can check out the membership here and click on each different subcommittee. Most subcommittees already have their meeting schedule posted. See the image below with the "meetings" tab circled -- this is where you'll find meeting information if you are interested in listening in via the video livestream.
Example of finance subcommittee meeting page
From Around the District
K300 -- Congratulations to all mushers who participated in the K300 this year and many thanks to the countless volunteers and supporters who make this race possible every year. Congratulations to Pete Kaiser on his incredible 4th win, to Matthew Failor on winning this year's Humanitarian Award, and to Isaac Underwood on completing the race as this year's Red Lantern winner.
Innovation in Recording Traditional Knowledge -- Community organizers in Bethel are aiming to train Y-K Delta youth on using a mobile app to collect stories and traditional knowledge in an effort to preserve this information in our region.
Please reach out to me or my office with questions, comments, or concerns about the issues that matter to you and your family. As a reminder my office has a number of ways you can stay in touch this session while I am in Juneau:
- E-newsletters (email firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe)
- Facebook, Twitter, or my website.
- Call or email my office to schedule a phone call update for your group or organization
- Listen to KYUK for periodic legislative updates
- Stop by the Bethel Legislative Information office where Ben Anderson-Agimuk will be working throughout session.
Have a good one,
Alaska State Representative
District 38 - Bethel