No to LIO Purchase, HCR 21: Preventing Child Abuse Passes House Health Committee & Budget Update
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Things are happening quickly here in the legislature as we move towards adjournment. Please read below for important updates on the budget, ways you can testify, and our next budget teleconference.
Before that, I want to make sure you know I do not support the decision made by the Legislative Council to purchase the LIO Building. In fact, I’m really angry about this at a time when essential state services are being cut and Seniors and those with disabilities are being told we can’t afford to spend on the programs they need. This building has been a bad deal since day one, and we should have long ago left the building for the space at the Atwood Building. I do not sit on the Legislative Council so I was not able to vote no on this decision, but when it comes time to consider funding the purchase I will be a no vote.
On Saturday, April 2nd, the House Health & Social Services Committee voted to pass House Concurrent Resolution 21, part of my ongoing effort to do more to prevent and reduce incidences of child abuse. The measure calls on the legislature and Governor to respond to the epidemic of child abuse in our state, often referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The measure is now set to be heard in House Finance.
Preventing child abuse can save millions of dollars each year and with our budget situation we have to be looking for long-term savings. Investing in prevention costs very little, but when we don’t prevent child abuse the bad outcomes are very costly. We can save costs with fewer police calls, fewer court proceedings, fewer families with children in state custody, fewer families receiving assistance, and on and on. There’s also the costs associated with the Guardian Ad Litem program and education programs that children need when they come from unstable home environments and can’t learn at school.
Preventing child abuse is the answer and it will save a lot of money. If you would like to show your support for HCR 21, please send a letter to our office stating why you think addressing ACEs is important for all Alaskans. You can watch the hearing for HCR 21 here.
Update on the Budget Bills
Below is the chart we’ve included in the last couple of weeks newsletters. The chart has been updated for this week.
Not in the table, but introduced this week, is House Bill 376, introduced by Kenai Republican Representative Kurt Olson. HB 376 will tax your PFD 35%. At this time House Bill 376 does not have a hearing scheduled, but if that changes we will send an alert. Bills introduced at the end of session often move quickly, and I’m keeping a close eye on this bill.
This week many of the other budget/revenue related bills have been stalled. House Bill 247, to cut back on our unsustainable and overly generous oil and gas tax credit system, is in House Finance. The House Finance Committee put out a new version of the bill that is much improved from the version that passed (I voted against the bill) the Resources Committee.
Constituent Teleconference Meetings April 14
I am hosting one more teleconference leading up to the end of the Session. If you have any questions about the budget or any other legislation, we have scheduled Thursday evening meetings that began on March 31st and will go until April 14th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The call in number is 1-844-586-9085.
Next Tuesday, April 12th in House Health & Social Services (HHSS), SB 89 Schools, Parents Rights, Abortion Providers Limits will be having public testimony in Room 106 starting at 3:00 p.m. I oppose this bill because it takes away local control, is unconstitutional, and unnecessary. In a state where we lead the nation in rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, we must do everything we can to educate people about healthy relationships.
If you would like to call in and testify, the number is 1-844-586-9085. You can also write a letter, and email it to the HHSS Committee Members:
The Anchorage Police Department CAP team is asking for your assistance. They would like you to fill out a simple survey about crime in your neighborhood. Click here to download the APD Survey.
Upon completion of the survey please:
Mail it to: Community Councils Center 1057 West Fireweed Lane, Suite 100 Anchorage, AK 99503
Email it to: email@example.com
Fax it to: 222-3878
Give it to: Your community council at their next meeting, or to one of your council officers.
YWCA Alaska April Events 2016
Until next week,