|And We’re Off!|
It’s been a whirlwind week getting into the full swing of things. I’ve been meeting with constituents and various organizations from all across the state hearing from people interested in helping to develop responsible, evidence based policy. The budget continues to be the major focus of our non-partisan working coalition in the House. We are committed to having an open conversation between all parties who come to the table with good ideas and good intentions to create a responsible, sustainable budget. We know that’s a tall order, but we are prepared to tackle the budget head on, with all solutions on the table.
Rep. Spohnholz with Head Start parent Raheel Asghard
and Dirk Shumaker, KidsCorps Executive Director
In committee this week we heard several good ideas for changes we can make to increase the quality of life of our neighbors. The Military and Veterans Affairs committee heard a bill to extend a voluntary hiring preference to help our friends and neighbors transitioning out of the military to find solid jobs in the civilian sector.
We had our first meeting of the House Energy Committee, and reviewed House Bill 80 which will make it easier to finance energy efficiency upgrades for commercial buildings. I’m excited to hear this bill because energy upgrades can be real cost savers, making it easier to operate sustainable businesses in the state.
The House Education Committee heard an overview of the Department of Education and Early development from Commissioner Michael Johnson. Commissioner Johnson shared information about special programs and the budget for the department, as well as his strategic priorities moving forward to ensure a high quality education for every Alaskan child.
In addition to all the work we are doing inside the Capitol, our national Congress is currently getting underway with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, without a replacement plan in mind. I spoke out at a rally against the repeal of the ACA without a replacement, and in defense of the hundreds of thousands of friends and neighbors who could lose access to preventative health care services. If you also have concerns about the repeal of the ACA without a replacement, email, call, or write a letter to our Alaskan delegation in DC!
As things pick up here it is vitally important to me to stay in contact with you. I encourage you to keep attending your community council meetings, and stay in touch with our office in Juneau. We love hearing from you!
Keep in touch!