Governor’s Budget Out Tomorrow

With a split of 20-20, the House still has failed to organize. Although I am frustrated with the current standstill, it is not because of apathy or lack of trying. Every day, House members meet for hours to negotiate. There are dozens of ideas floating around, and I am only one member of 40, each with their own agenda. As the sole Independent in the legislature, I am working with a variety of people every day to build a majority that values similar priorities to Southern Southeast. I ask for your continued patience so that I can put District 36 in the best position this legislative session.

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Session is Underway: Finance Overviews, a Supplemental Budget, and News Back Home

Legislative Session is underway! Although the House has been slow to organize, we are still doing finance overviews in preparation for the Governor’s Amended Budget, which will be published no later that February 13th. The Senate is also holding similar informational meetings, usually with presentations from a variety of State Departments. If you would like to watch these meetings or read the associated documents, check out AK Leg: Meetings.

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Coalition to Hold State of State Press Availability Tuesday Night

Juneau – State Representatives with the Alaska House Coalition will hold a press availability Tuesday night following the annual State of the State Address from Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. Participants will include Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham), Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), Rep. Neal Foster (D-Nome), and Rep. Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak).

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Today is the first day of the 31st Legislative Session!

My office staff has also joined me in Juneau. Many of you have already met or spoken with Caroline Hamp and Liz Harpold (pictured: center and right). I’d also like to introduce you to our new office member, Martin Stepetin Sr. (pictured: left). He is a First Alaskans Institute Public Policy Fellow.

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Final Newsletter Dec. 21, 2018

I am very thankful we all survived the major earthquake recently. The damage to roads, homes, schools and businesses was severe in some places, especially in the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas, but there were no serious injuries or loss of life. Many thanks to our emergency responders, DOT and utility workers, public officials and local public radio for keeping us informed, safe and for repairing the damage. I heard reports from teachers in our school district that the alert system and procedures worked well, allowing them to get their students to safety and help them remain calm during the tsunami warning. We have a lot for which to be thankful. The list of resources I provided on my Facebook posts following the earthquake are attached here. The Kenai Peninsula Borough will be hosting a Community Emergency Response Team Training in Soldotna, Kenai and Homer areas early in 2019. If you are interested in learning how to help your community during a disaster, please sign up!

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Upcoming Events

As many of you already know, the Alaska State House has been struggling to organize caucuses for the upcoming legislative session. In an effort to encourage bipartisanship and to focus first and foremost on our constituents, I sent the following letter to my fellow legislators:

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A Call for Unity

Events over the past week have forced open the doors of opportunity. I respect Representative Knopp for recognizing the fragility of a small, partisan majority. Our government was not established by one party or the other, nor one region. It takes people on both sides of the aisle, and all parts of our great state, coming together and putting the needs of Alaskans first.

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