Representative Louise Stutes-House District 32-Proudly Serving Kodiak, Cordova, and Yakutat.
I want your voice heard
Please share your opinions, concerns, or suggestions with me. Together we can make government work for you.
Please visit me:
MARCH 13, 2017
Things are moving fast in Juneau and addressing Alaska’s fiscal gap is our top priority. As session moves on, please continue to keep in touch on matters important to you and your family. I’m here for you and I will listen.
The Alaska House Majority Coalition is promoting a comprehensive and balanced approach to closing the fiscal gap and achieving a sustainable budget that is fair for all Alaskans.
The Operating Budget has passed the House Finance Committee and is on the House Floor this week for debate and amendments. You can watch the debate here:
Here is a look at where the budget is now compared to last year:Cuts this year (in thousands):
The FY17 management plan is the budget that we are operating on today and is the latest figure for the “size of government.”
The UGF cuts appear larger, in part, due to a $72 million reduction in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, swapping UGF to DGF. This is not a reduction in the “size of government” and should not be viewed as such.
Additional reductions are primarily a result of a $37 million reduction to the Oil and Gas Tax Credit Fund.
The budget is responsible and reflects the priorities of Alaskans:
Fishermen’s News Online published an interesting article covering some of our work in the Fisheries and House Transportation Committee:
Other Budget Bills:
This legislation would revamp our oil and gas tax regime and raise additional revenue for the state. The amount of expected revenue is currently uncertain, as a new version of the bill was just introduced. The original version was expected to have a $45 million impact in FY18 growing to $195 million by FY22.
There is a side-by-side comparison between the two versions of the bill: Side-by-side Comparison.
I will send out a notice when the bill reaches the House Finance Committee and public testimony is open.
HB 60 is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Finance Committee. Your testimony can keep the commercial fishing rebate in the bill. Please have your voice heard and submit your written comments to email@example.com. I will send an update when oral public testimony is scheduled. In the meantime, please contact my office at (907) 465-3271 for any questions on this legislation.
HCR8, Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, was originally scheduled for today; however, the meeting was cancelled due to the House Floor debate on the Operating Budget. The bill is now tentatively scheduled for a hearing Tuesday, March 21st, in the Fisheries Committee at 10 a.m. Testimony can be given in person at your LIO or call (907) 465-4648 prior to the meeting for a phone option.
This resolution urges the Alaska State Legislature to strongly support the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, formerly the Fishery Industrial Technology Center, as a statewide hub for research, training, and technical assistance efforts to support fisheries across the entire state and urges the University of Alaska to find a solution that keeps the center operating and stable.
HB 87, Conflict of Interest: Board Fisheries/Game, is currently in the House Resources Committee. It changes the way that the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game function. Currently, Board members must divulge a familial or financial conflict of interest; at that point, they can no longer offer input as a member of the Board and cannot vote on the matter at hand.
This bill allows the conflicted member to offer input, while still not allowing them to vote. Allowing members with expertise in particular fields to deliberate will help the Board make better informed decisions and lead to stronger fisheries management statewide.
HB 88, Board of Fisheries Membership, is a bill I introduced that would change the composition of the Board of Fisheries from seven to nine members.
The additional two members will benefit the Board by adding more diversity of interest, greater breadth of knowledge, and more points of view.
Remember to file your PFD application
The deadline to file for your PFD is March 31st and approaching fast. If you have not applied yet, be sure to visit the Permanent Fund Dividend Division and fill out your application now!
I’m here for you, so please keep in touch on matters important to you and your family!