Rep Dan Ortiz: Session Successes

Session has ended, and I am happy to be back in the district! One of my primary goals during interim is to hear from YOU. I want to hear how you think I am doing, what I can do better, and ideas for future laws. I work to write, sponsor, and pass legislation that I think will be beneficial to District 36, and your suggestions guide me to do that.

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Southeast Lawmakers Welcome Fisheries Disaster Relief Funds

Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka) and Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) welcome news that Alaska, including Southeast, will receive $56 million in federal fisheries disaster relief funds. The 2016 pink salmon fishery’s devastatingly low revenues were felt throughout the state, but the initial request for disaster relief funds was…

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Transboundary Mining Prompts Concerns from Alaska Lawmakers

Anchorage – Several Alaska lawmakers have sent a letter to Alaska Governor Bill Walker stressing the need for action to protect the watersheds of Southeast Alaska from the negative downstream impacts of large-scale hard rock mining in British Columbia. The ten lawmakers are urging the Governor to develop partnerships with other states that border British Columbia to demand binding international agreements mandating a transparent environmental review process for mining projects. In the letter, the Alaska lawmakers insist the environmental review process satisfy the concerns of U.S., Canadian, and Tribal governments.

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The Legislature Passed the Budget

On Saturday, May 12th, the 30th Legislature adjourned Sine Die. For the first time in many years, the Legislature was able to pass a budget in less than 120 days, thanks to bipartisan, bicameral collaboration. As a member of the House Finance Committee, I had the opportunity to be a key player in creating the budget, particularly the Fish & Game and Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) budgets because I am the Finance Subcommittee Chair for both of those departments. In this newsletter, I will highlight a few key points from the operating and capital budgets we passed this year.

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 30th Alaska Legislature

Juneau – After a flurry of legislative action, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in adjourning the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature sine die early Sunday morning. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition reflected on the legislative achievements of the session.

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Legislation Approved to Support Alaska’s Commercial Fisheries

Juneau – Wednesday, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) that will help Alaskans involved in the states vital commercial fishing industry. House Bill 56 passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday after passing the Alaska House of Representatives last year.

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Alaska Legislation Votes to Help Grow Alaska’s Mariculture Industry

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill to change a state loan program to help Alaska’s fledgling mariculture industry. Participants in the industry often have trouble getting financing through private banks. House Bill 76 amends the current program to allow up to 40 percent of the fund to be used for loans to help pay for planning, construction, and operations of shellfish and seaweed hatcheries or enhancement projects.

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Alaska Legislature Votes to Support Dive Fisheries in Southeast Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to update the protocol used by the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association to charge an assessment to its members to help manage and support the geoduck, sea cucumber, and sea urchin fisheries. House Bill 354, sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), changes the assessment mechanism from a vote by a majority of permit holders to a three-quarters vote of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of permit holders participating in the election.

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House Passes Legislation to Support Dive Fisheries in Southeast Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation to update the protocol used by the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association to charge an assessment to its members to help manage and support the geoduck, sea cucumber, and sea urchin fisheries. House Bill 354 changes the assessment mechanism from a vote by a majority of permit holders to a three-quarters vote of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of permit holders participating in the election.

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