Representative of Alaska House District 34
Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, Airport, Auke Bay,
and Out the Road
State of Alaska
Capitol Bldg. Room 432
Juneau, AK 99801
Hearing testimony in the House Resources Committee.
Kuspuk Friday! A tradition in the Legislature.
Representative Justin Parish’s
March 17, 2017
Hello friends and neighbors in Juneau and across Alaska! I want to start off by thanking everyone who came to my constituent meeting last Sunday. We had a productive discussion, and I got to hear from some truly passionate and caring people. I appreciate your involvement greatly. This is what true democracy looks like - you have helped me represent you.
My town hall meeting on March 12. I am proud to have such passionate constituents.
Hearing the Budget
This week, we debated changes to the budget. Over 100 amendments were heard on the House floor throughout the week, most of which were ham-handed cuts put forward by the House Minority Caucus. They proposed eliminating Public Radio and a 5% unspecified cut to education, amongst other things. Education is our best investment, and I am proud to be holding the line. The record number of amendments this year and their piecemeal submission caused unnecessary delays. I am, however, glad that several worthwhile amendments were adopted from majority and minority members alike.
The budget went through nearly a week of hearings in the House Finance Committee and a whole week of hearings on the House Floor. It will be picked back up on Monday. I encourage all my constituents to tune in on the 360North public broadcasting channel or come down to the capitol to watch us in person.
Sponsored and Recent Legislation
There are a few pieces of legislation I have sponsored or co-sponsored that will soon be going through the House. I encourage anyone who is interested to take the time to testify on these bills when they receive a hearing. We are responsible for our government, and if you think things should be done differently, you have a right to be heard.
- HB 165: My first personal bill, House Bill 165 would allow the state to hire veterans who are highly qualified, yet don’t meet published minimum qualifications for advertised state positions. This bill would direct the Department of Administration to implement a process to accomplish this goal more formally. This bill would bring experienced workers to state service while giving Alaska’s large veteran population more chances at finding work after serving our country.
- HB 166: Another bill coming from my office, House Bill 166 establishes a matching grant program for eligible museum construction, expansion, or major renovation projects. Museums are eligible for this program if they are located in Alaska, entitled to receive state grants, and provide matching funds from other sources of at least 50 percent of the project costs. Alaska has more than 60 museums throughout the state which collectively receive nearly 400,000 visitors a year and serve nearly 30,000 school children. The passage of this bill will enable museums to access funding for improvements, expansions, and upgrades when funds are appropriated. It is critical to the education of all Alaskans to learn the history of our great state. This bill will help Alaska continue the teaching of its history. It does not itself have a cost to the state.
- HB 23: A bill I co-sponsored that unanimously passed the House on Monday, House Bill 23 creates a fund for families of deceased law enforcement officers and firefighters to receive fully paid insurance. We owe so much to those who put their lives on the line for our safety. I am proud to support our first responders and thank them for their service.
My Video Series about the Legislature via Facebook
I am excited to announce a new series I am producing via Facebook live. If you follow my page, I will be posting regular, informational updates about the inner workings of the Legislature, spoken in a way that those who don’t regularly follow State business can easily understand. The first video in this series will be about committees, including how they’re formed, how they work, the subcommittee process, and more. Stay tuned!
Thank you to Patrick Sidmore, Joy Lyon, and Wayne Stevens for helping Representative Ivy Spohnholz and me host last week’s “Resilience” lunch and learn!
Upcoming Community Events
- Juneau Ballroom Dance presents: Back to the 60s. Friday, March 24th, 7-10:30 pm at the JACC. This event will start with a lesson in the Latin dance “Rueda” then open up into a dance with a 60s theme. Pay-as-you-can. All proceeds benefit the JACC.
- Juneau Raptor Center 30th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting. Saturday, March 25th. Annual meeting from 11am-12pm, and celebration from 12pm-2pm. Celebrate 30 years of service while learning about what the Raptor center does and how you can help. There will be cake!
- 43rd Annual Alaska Folk Festival. April 3rd-9th at Centennial Hall and the JACC. Come enjoy local and out of town performers, featuring special guest artists The Murphy Beds. All concerts, workshops, and dances are free to attend. Visit[akfolkfest.org]akfolkfest.org for full schedule and details.
Have a great week, and please do not hesitate to contact my office at 465-3744 if you have any questions or you would like to meet with me. I would love to hear your ideas on how I can make Juneau a better place to live for all of us.
- Representative Justin Parish