Rep. Kito’s Newsletter: State budget and ride-sharing

Rep. Sam Kito's newsletter

Spring is in the air, and of course there is eternal hope for a timely end to session here in our State Capitol. We are now down to less than a month to go for us to finish in our statutorily limited 90-day session. The budget is well on its way, with a big difference in where the House and the Senate would like to end up. The discussion about whether we provide adequate funding to support state services (House version of the budget) or whether we put undue pressure on state services by cutting education, health care, public safety (Senate version of the budget), will take place in conference committee where the two versions will be reconciled.

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NEWS: Responsible Budget Passes the Alaska House of Representatives

JUNEAU – The Alaska House of Representatives today formally passed a fully funded operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that ensures the delivery of essential services and protects the Alaska economy. The $5.1 billion General Fund operating budget reduces spending on agency and statewide operations by a net of $82.5 million compared to the 2017 budget, even after Governor Bill Walker’s vetoes.

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NEWS: Congratulations to Musher Mitch Seavey on a Record-Breaking Iditarod Victory

Juneau – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition congratulate Mitch Seavey and his dog team on their record-breaking Iditarod victory today. Seavey arrived in Nome at 3:40 this afternoon with an official time of 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes, and 13 seconds. He shattered the old speed record set last year by his son Dallas Seavey, who is a four time Iditarod champion.

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NEWS: Legislation Naming Two State Ferries Passes the Alaska Legislature

Rep. Sam Kito

Juneau – Legislation to officially name two new state ferries after the Alaska glaciers Tazlina and Hubbard passed the Alaska State Legislature today. Senate Bill 33 was introduced on behalf of Alaska Governor Bill Walker. Earlier today, the bill unanimously passed the Alaska House of Representatives after unanimous support in the Alaska Senate on February 27th.

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Rep. Kito’s Newsletter: Public Testimony on the Budget

Rep. Sam Kito's newsletter

This week, the House Finance Committee will be hearing public testimony on the budget – please take time to go to your Legislative Information Office (LIO) or call to weigh in. What services and programs are important to you? See below for information on when and how to testify. It is also time to file Permanent Fund Dividend application, and additional information on that can be found below. There is also an update on some of the bills I’m sponsoring.

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NEWS: Lawmakers Believe Southeast Alaska Needs Proportional Representation on University of Alaska Board of Regents

Rep. Sam Kito

Juneau – The Southeast Alaska delegation of the Alaska House of Representatives — Reps. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka), Sam Kito III (D-Juneau), Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), Justin Parish (D-Juneau), as well as Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau) — have sent a letter to Alaska Governor Bill Walker asking for the restoration of the region’s representation on the University of Alaska Board of Regents in the next appointment cycle. A recent appointment to the Board of Regents has left Southeast Alaska with only one representative on the 11-member Board of Regents.

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NEWS: Alaska House Majority Coalition Supports Disaster Declaration for Opioid Epidemic

Juneau – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition commend Governor Walker for his decision to sign a disaster declaration for the worsening opioid epidemic in Alaska. The disaster declaration allows a statewide program under the direction of Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer to facilitate the distribution of the life-saving drug naloxone, which is used to revive overdose victims. Earlier today, Governor Walker signed an Administrative Order that sets up an Incident Command System and directs all state departments to apply for federal grants to respond to the opioid epidemic.

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Rep. Kito’s Newsletter: Community Update

I hope this finds you well and enjoying some winter fun. With all the great community activities going on (from sports to film festivals) there’s a lot to pick from. Below is just a sample – if you have others to share, let me know! As a heads-up, I’ll be in Gustavus this weekend, and I hope to see you there. As always, please keep in touch with any questions, comments, or notices.

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