Friends and Neighbors,
Wednesday, HJR 14 FCC: Increase Rural Health Care Budget was passed out of the House on a vote of 33-6.
I proudly voted in favor of HJR 14 because it shows how insufficient broadband continues to hurt Alaskans. Broadband and health care are issues I’m very passionate about.
Alaskans consistently receive 30-40% of the federal Rural Health Care Program’s funds, and this was the first year requests for funding were predicted to exceed the amount of funding available. Rural Alaskan healthcare providers could risk losing funding and be forced to increase prices for necessary telehealth services.
Our resolution urged the Federal Communications Commission to index the Rural Health Care Program’s budget to inflation--the first increase since the program’s creation in 1997. It’s vital that we keep rural Alaska telehealth services affordable. Click here to see my speech on the floor supporting HJR 14.
PUBLIC TESTIMONY, MONDAY, APRIL10
The House Finance Committee will be hearing public testimony on SB 26 on Monday, April 10th from 4:00pm-7:00pm.
SB 26: Appropriation Limit & Permanent Fund: Dividend Earnings
This bill is the Senate’s plan to deal with our current fiscal crisis. While it shares some similarities with HB 115 (the House’s comprehensive plan to achieve a balanced budget), SB 26 does nothing to address the need for additional revenue and is, at best, a partial solution that hopes to act as a placeholder until oil prices increase. Simply put, Alaskans deserve more. I urge you to call in or email with your thoughts, ideas, or concerns.
Monday, April 10th, 2017
4:00 pm- 7:00 pm
PHONE CALL: Testimony is limited to two minutes. Arrive at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office 15 minutes before the end of the allotted time period for testimony.
LIO Address: 1292 Saddler Way, Fairbanks, AK
(next to Home Depot)
If you are unable to attend in person, call the Fairbanks LIO at (907) 452-4448 to join a live teleconference. Hang up immediately after testifying to keep lines open.
If you are a member of a group with the same message, in the interest of time, please select a spokesperson to testify for the entire group.
WRITE: Send written testimony to the House Finance Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN-PERSON: Try to arrive 15 minutes early to the committee room. Sign in, and wait to be called.
OTHER BILLS TO FOLLOW
HB 111: Oil & Gas Production Tax; Payments; Credits
HB 111 deals with oil and gas production taxes and credits. The time has come to take a hard look at Alaska’s relationship with oil and gas producers and to ensure that our state is getting a fair share of the revenue generated from our resources.
HB 115: Income Tax; PFD Credit; Permanent Fund Income
HB 115 is the House’s proposed solution to Alaska’s fiscal crisis. It combines a restructuring of the permanent fund with a progressive income tax that, in conjunction with revenues generated under HB 111 and carefully considered cuts, would see our budget balanced in the next 2 years, ensuring a bright future for the next generation of Alaskans.
HB 127: Crim. Conv. Overturned; Receive Past PFD
HB 127 would ensure Alaskans who were wrongfully convicted of crimes receive the PFD payments they should have received during their period of incarceration. While the bill would help any Alaskan whose conviction has been vacated, reversed or dismissed, it would most notably benefit the Fairbanks Four as they work to rebuild their lives.