Representative John Lincoln
Special Committee on Energy
Special Committee on Arctic Policy, Economic Development and Tourism
Chief of Staff
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Alaska State Capitol
Juneau, AK 99801
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30th Alaska Legislature
April 24, 2018
Springtime greetings from Juneau. I hope I’m able to make it back home before the snow melts. The Alaska Legislature is starting its 15th week in session, and we’re making progress on the budget and legislation important to our district. The House and Senate each passed their version of the state operating budget to fund schools, public safety and other essential services, and talks are underway to resolve the differences between the two versions to reach a compromise that is good for Alaskans.
Some of the notable points in the House version of the budget are:
- A $1,600 Permanent Fund dividend this fall for eligible Alaskans.
- The first increase in four years to the Base Student Allocation, the state per-student formula for funding K-12 schools.
- $2.2 million (with matching federal funds) for additional employees to address the backlog in public assistance applications.
While serving on House Finance subcommittees, I added intent language that encourages the Department of Corrections to address the high rate of imprisonment for Alaska Natives. The disproportionate rate at which Alaska Natives find themselves in the criminal justice system is longstanding, and I look forward to the administration continuing to address this problem.
I also included language that encourages the Department of Public Safety to fully disperse funds within the Village Public Safety Officer program to service providers. The Village Public Safety Officer program faces issues with recruitment, retention, transportation and housing that urban public safety programs often do not face. My intent language asks that the department to focus on efforts to boost recruitment and retention for these positions that are so important for our communities.
Coast Guard port
The Special Committee on Arctic Policy, Economic Development and Tourism, which I chair, was the first legislative committee to hear House Joint Resolution 33. The resolution calls on the president and Congress to establish a U.S. Coast Guard port in the Arctic, support an increase in defensive capabilities in the region, and encourage development of critical Arctic infrastructure. Both the House and Senate approved the measure.
I prime sponsored House Joint Resolution 19, which urges the president and Congress to adopt spill-prevention measures in international agreements for Arctic waters. These agreements are necessary to ensure safe and environmentally responsible marine operations. I am pleased to report that both the House and Senate approved the resolution unanimously.
The House plans to soon vote on a measure (Senate Bill 202) that would protect Alaska Native corporations from liability for contaminated lands transferred by the federal government under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure on April 2. Native corporations should not be liable for contamination left behind by the federal government, and this bill is a critical step to correcting a historic injustice and rehabilitating our land.
I had the great pleasure of carrying Senator Olson’s ivory ban resolution when it passed the House on April 17. Senate Joint Resolution 4, which I also co-sponsored, urges our congressional delegation to pass federal legislation protecting Alaskans’ right to work with and sell legally acquired ivory. All Alaskans can possess, work with, and sell fossilized mammoth and mastodon ivory, and through the Marine Mammal Protection Act, indigenous Alaskans may also use raw ivory harvested as a byproduct of subsistence hunting. The Alaska Legislature is taking a stand after several states adopted laws, that while were well-intended to reduce African Elephant poaching, have banned the purchase or possession of all ivory products. These states need to know that their efforts to stop poaching of elephants hurts Alaskan who use ivory legally for artwork and other crafts.
Rep. Lincoln speaking in the House on April 17 in support of the resolution that calls for federal legislation to protect the rights of indigenous people to use ivory in traditional crafts and art.
CONSTITUENT VISITOR PHOTOS
Rep. Lincoln visited with representatives from the Yukon-Koyukuk School District on April 10.
Rep. Lincoln met with medical professionals in April. Theresa (right) is from Kotzebue
Visitors from Ilisagvik College, the only tribal college in Alaska, came to Juneau.
Students from the Northwest Arctic participating in the Sister Exchange Program in Juneau
CALL OR EMAIL ME ANYTIME
I am in office to work for you and your community. Please call me at 907-465-3473 or 888-288-3473 or email at Rep.John.Lincoln@akleg.gov. 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