MAY 5, 2017
Representing District 17:
Midtown, University, and East Anchorage
I Answer to You!
Contact my office:
1500 W. Benson Blvd #229
Anchorage, AK 99503
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Friends and Neighbors,
The seasons are changing in Juneau and I’m still here working hard to represent you and do what I hope is best for all Alaskans. I want to extend a special thank-you to those who phoned in to the University Subcommittee meeting last Saturday. We in the Capitol are sometimes called leaders, but we lead best with input from our constituents.
Last week, speaking at a press availability with Reps. Tuck, Wool, and Spohnholz. The Senate Finance Committee had just significantly revised HB 111. HB 111 is the oil and gas tax bill authored by the House Resources Committee, which I co-chair. You can find a comparison of the House vs. Senate versions here.
Yesterday, two of my bills were heard before the House State Affairs Committee; HB 173, and HB 184.
HB 173 – Climate Change Commission
HB 173 establishes the Climate Change Response Commission within the Office of the Governor. The commission would serve to monitor the climate, work with the University, and consult with experts to develop practical solutions for Alaska. In addition to research, the commission would also try to secure federal and private funding to protect Alaska from climate change impacts. Billions of federal and private funding are spent on such efforts each year, and our state has been missing out on much of this funding.
HB 184 – Anti-Discrimination Legislation
House Bill 184 amends Alaska’s civil rights statutes to include the additional protected classes of sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. In our state, LGBTQ Alaskans are not equally protected under the law. This bill aims to change that.
Although much has changed over the past three decades in the realm of federal case law, the Alaska Supreme Court held in 2015 that our human rights statutes do not extend protections for sexual orientation. My legislation aligns our state statutes with the findings of the federal courts, and bridges the gap of inadequate protections for this important population of Alaskans.
UAA Graduation Congratulations!
This weekend many UAA students—including my new staff-member Megan Holland—are turning the tassel. Whether they are entering the work-force, continuing their education, or both, they are beginning a new chapter of their lives. Many of these students live on or near campus and are my constituents. So, to those of you graduating, congratulations. I wish you the best in your future endeavors!
Megan Holland was interning with Senator Gardner. The end of her internship corresponded with the retirement of my staffer, Lisa Weissler, so I hired her to finish this session with me. She graduates from UAA Sunday with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Political Science
I look forward to receiving your thoughts on any issues, as it is you, my constituents, that guide every step I take toward a better Alaska.
Thank you and have a great weekend.
I Answer to You!
Representative Andy Josephson
1500 W. Benson Blvd., Suite 229