30th Alaska Legislature
March 23, 2018
Hello from Juneau! As many of you know, I was recently appointed by Governor Walker to serve as our State Representative from House District 40. This new role is something I take extremely seriously and I’m so grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received from all over our home district. We are a people who come together in times of need and crisis, and it’s no different now. Thank you for building me up for this new role.
I’ve been assigned as Chair of the House Special Committee on Arctic Policy, Economic Development, and Tourism and a member of House Community and Regional Affairs and House Resources. These committees address many issues important to our district, and it’s been exciting to learn about new issues and advocate strongly on our behalf in the short time I’ve been in Juneau.
To those I have yet to meet, my name is John Fagerstrom Lincoln, my parents are Cindy Lincoln and the late Richard Lincoln, and my grandparents are the late Doris and Rodney Lincoln and Carroll and Lucille Brock. I have a beautiful, two-and-a-half-year-old daughter named Emily who is already a star in Juneau. I was born and raised in Kotzebue where I’ve planted my roots, but I enjoy flying out to visit friends around the Northwest and North Slope whenever I can. I serve on the Native Village of Kotzebue Tribal Council and worked for NANA as the Vice President of Lands.
As soon as I learned I would be working in Juneau, I immediately started looking for staff for our office. I knew that coming in as a freshman legislator, a month into the second session, we had to hit the ground running. We are blessed to have recruited an incredibly strong team:
My Chief of Staff is Larry Persily who came out of being semi-retired to serve our district. Larry has served in the legislature as a senior staffer, is an expert on oil and gas issues, and has an extensive background in municipal, state, and federal government and journalism.
My legislative aide and constituent relations specialist is Jacquelyn Boyer; you may recognize her from Senator Olson’s office. She has worked in his office for the past 4 years, but her temporary work in my office turned into a permanent one when I broke out the black meat and muktuk. Sorry Senator. Her Shavings side of the family is from Mekoryuk and she brings in a criminal justice background, knowledge of the political system and district, and fry bread every other Friday.
My First Alaskans Fellow, Ravynn Nothstine, is a Dartmouth educated Yup’ik and Inupiaq, whose roots are from Wales and Levelock. Her parents are Gregory Nothstine and Gloria O’Neill. She has a background in Earth Sciences and brings in a federal perspective.
I’ve also recently hired a new staff, Mary Aparezuk, who is Yupik from Kotlik, Alaska. She lived there until age five and when her mother, Celestine, moved with her to Juneau. She attended school in both Kotlik and Juneau, and graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and UAS. She has several years with the State of Alaska and many other organizations.
BUDGET WORK CONTINUES
It’s the 10th week of the legislative session and the House and Senate are making progress on the budget, funding the services so important to our communities. The legislature passed and sent to the governor for his signature the first supplemental appropriations measure to cover shortfalls in this year’s budget, particularly Medicaid services. Next up is the state operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The House is debating that spending bill this week before the measure moves to the Senate for consideration. I will work hard with my colleagues to ensure adequate funding for the services our communities need.
In addition to budget work, we continue meeting in committee to consider individual pieces of legislation. I expect this will continue for a few more weeks as we work toward the end of the legislative session.
ARCTIC MARINE SAFETY
The Senate Special Committee on the Arctic approved House Joint Resolution 19 on March 20, with the measure heading toward the full Senate for a vote. The measure won House approval last year. The resolution, which I sponsored, encourages and promotes marine safety prevention measures for international traffic in the Bering Strait. It reaffirms the Alaska Legislature’s support for the adoption of prevention measures into international agreements to ensure universal and enforceable marine safety protections in the Arctic.
The resolution urges the governor and Alaska’s congressional delegation to promote the adoption of spill prevention measures in international agreements. That’s the best way to ensure our coastline and residents are protected by rules that apply to vessels of all nations. The resolution also calls on the President and the U.S. Department of State to initiate negotiations with Alaska's coastal neighbors to enter into international agreements to ensure safe and environmentally responsible marine operations in the Arctic.
Rep. Lincoln presenting HJR19 at the Senate Special Committee on the Arctic on March 20.
STATE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES OFFICE IN KOTZEBUE
Many Northwest Arctic residents are concerned about the lack of a permanent state Division of Motor Vehicles office in our region. After the DMV office in Kotzebue ceased full-time operations, the division began contracting with the Department of Public Safety to provide licensing and registration services at the state trooper office. The concerns I heard include the pending implementation of the federal REAL ID requirement and whether the Division of Motor Vehicles will be able to process applications in time before the 2020 federal deadline when Alaskans will need the ID for domestic air travel.
VISIT TO THE DISTRICT
I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to leave Juneau for a brief visit back to Kotzebue and Buckland for the NANA annual shareholders meeting March 12. In my new and unexpected role in the legislature, this was my first visit home as your representative. I appreciate the encouragement and support I received during the visit and hearing your concerns about community services and statewide issues such as a long-term state fiscal plan.
Buckland IRA President Percy Ballot speaking at the NANA regional meeting March 12.
One of my staffers traveled with me and had the opportunity to get an in-depth tour of some of our district’s amazing facilities and met many amazing people for the first time in person.
In Kotzebue, the award-winning renewable energy system at Kotzebue’s Maniilaq Health Center not only saves money and reduces fuel consumption but it also shows the community’s commitment to local sustainability. The wind-to-heat project was a partnership of the Maniilaq Association, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Kotzebue Electric Association. The project uses excess wind energy from the utility’s wind turbine farm to power an electric boiler in the health center for space heat.
While in Utqiagvik, Ilisagvik College gave Jackie a hands-on tour of the school. Jackie also received an overview from the North Slope School District of the remote services they provide to communities. She met people at the Utqiagvik IRA and the North Slope Borough. Thank you to the residents for showing her a good time, I look forward to visiting in person, too.
We appreciate how graciously we were welcomed to Kotzebue, Buckland and Utqiagvik, and look forward to returning again soon.
PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND APPLICATION DEADLINE
The deadline to apply online for the 2018 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend is 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 31. The deadline in person at the Legislative Information Office in Barrow and Kotzebue is close of business Friday, March 30. Do not miss the deadline! Even better, don’t wait until the last minute. It’s smart to keep copies of any paperwork you submit in case there are any problems or questions. You can apply online: https://pfd.alaska.gov/Application. Please contact my staff if you have any questions — we are happy to help.
DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS VISIT
Major Gen. Laurie Hummel, the adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard and commissioner of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and many of her staff members are scheduled to be in Kotzebue for a public meeting 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27. The meeting is planned for the Alaska National Guard Armory.
Major Gen. Hummel, Deputy Commissioner Robert Doehl and others will be in the community to brief the public on recent progress in rural military issues, emergency preparedness and disaster resiliency efforts. The commissioner and her staff want to hear local concerns and answer questions and about the work of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
CALL OR EMAIL ME ANYTIME
I am in office to represent your needs. Please call me at 907-465-3473 or 888-288-3473 or email at Rep.John.Lincoln@akleg.gov and my staff and I will do our best to help.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.
Representative John Lincoln
Toll free: 888-288-3473