MARCH 2, 2017
Representing District 17:
Midtown, University, and East Anchorage
I Answer to You!
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1500 W. Benson Blvd #229
Anchorage, AK 99503
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Hearing testimony before the House Resources Committee
Every week in the legislature brings new challenges. The business of the state does not stop, even for a looming fiscal crisis. I’ve been working hard these last couple of weeks to balance our budget and support the needs of my constituents and all Alaskans.
In the House, budget subcommittee hearings closed out last week. This means that my focus has shifted from the budgets of individual departments and divisions to finding reliable sources of revenue for the services we all depend on.
The House Resources Committee, which I co-chair, has drafted HB 111. The bill is designed to protect oil-tax revenues for Alaskans while creating a durable tax system that doesn’t change with each new legislature. Over the past couple of weeks we have heard from experts and Alaskans and are considering the best path forward.
I have two bills that have made some ground in the past two weeks.
HB 38 (a.k.a. The Abigail Caudle Act) is a bill that repairs some problems with Alaska’s workers compensation statutes. The maximum payout for bodily injury or death was last updated sixteen years ago and hasn’t been updated for inflation. HB 38 inflation-proofs the payout. The law as it stands also provides no remedy for the estates of employees who die on the job if they have no dependents. I believe that this is an unfair oversight in our statutes that devalues a worker just for being single. Last Friday, HB 38 had its first hearing in front of the House Labor and Commerce Committee. Marianne Burke, who lost her daughter Abigail Caudle to a work injury offered powerful testimony in support of the bill, along with the AFL-CIO.
HB 23 is my bill to provide medical insurance for the dependents of fire-fighters and peace officers who die in the line of duty. The bill passed out of the House Finance committee and is currently awaiting scheduling for a vote by the full House.
Back Home in Anchorage!
Last weekend I was back home for the Anchorage Caucus. This was a great opportunity for myself and other Anchorage legislators to return home and re-connect with our constituents. I found the experience to be enlightening. It was great to hear everyone’s ideas, especially on how to solve our fiscal crisis.
On the wall at the Anchorage LIO last weekend the Anchorage legislators posted the many solutions to solving our fiscal crisis. Anchorage residents put green stickers on the ideas they supported, red stickers on the ideas they opposed, and yellow stickers on the ideas they were neutral or unsure about.
If I missed you last weekend, I’m coming back into town again this weekend. Senator Gardner, Representative Drummond, and myself will be meeting at the LIO (2nd Floor of Wells Fargo Building - 1500 W Benson Blvd) on Saturday, March 4 from 10am-11:30am with donuts and coffee. I’d love to see you there!
I look forward to receiving your thoughts on any of these issues, as it is you, my constituents, that guide every step I take toward a better Alaska.
Thank you and have a great week!
I Answer to You!
Representative Andy Josephson
1500 W. Benson Blvd., Suite 229