Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Happy Easter to you and yours to all who are celebrating! I hope you all had a great day! May the hope and joy for renewal that only this season brings grow in your hearts!


Before reading anymore, please double check that you have signed up for your PFD! You only have a few more hours! Here is the link - https://pfd.alaska.gov/


Many offices get calls from constituents who missed signing up. And sadly there is little recourse. Remind your friends and family too, especially if they are out of state for schooling or travel! Often they do not see the reminders.


It has been a breathtakingly busy two weeks here in Juneau!


You'll probably remember that last time I wrote, we were anticipating the big vote to override the Governor's veto of SB140, the big bipartisan education package.


I was incredibly disappointed that the legislature failed to override in our joint session on Monday the 18th. The Governor has continued pushing outsized teacher bonuses (in lieu of predictable and permanent BSA increases that support the whole system, student, teacher, and school), as well as more money for charter schools and other distractions. And so the state continues to fail to support students the way we should.


There are a couple of other bills with the predictable BSA funding that could make their way to the floor before the end of the session, but we will need 45 members (out of 60) to stand by their vote through likely Gubernatorial vetoes of both education bills and funding. If there is not the will to get these through, we will likely see onetime funding (which is typically not used to lower class size) once again.


It was a small comfort that earlier this week we were able to return to and pass a bill that provided the necessary funding more affordable Broadband Access for Alaska's rural schools via HB 193, Internet for Schools, which the Governor promptly signed.


Meanwhile House Finance Committee has been BUSY! Over the last two weeks, the committee majority prepared their version of the budgets for HB 268 (FY25 Operating budget) and HB 270 (FY25 Mental Health budget) and the FY24 Supplemental budget, which adds money to needed additional expenses for the current fiscal year. We spent much of the past week preparing budget amendments for and then working to amend the most recent version of this bill. Next stop for these bills is the House Floor, then the operating budgets head off to the Senate, and the House gets the Capital budget, which the Senate has been working on.


As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on each of the developments I share in my newsletter.


Warmly,

Alyse


Oh PS: This week I also did a couple of interviews you might be interested in!


  • On the morning of the Override Vote Rep. Louise Stutes and I spoke with Jasz Garrett, News of the North, in an interview that you can listen to by clicking here.
  • I joined my Minority Coalition colleagues from the House Finance committtee: Dan Ortiz, Sara Hannan, and Andy Josephson, as well as House Minority Coalition Leader Calvin Schrage and Minority Coalition Whip, Louise Stutes, to talk about our initial impressions on the draft budget, and where we hope to go from here. You can view that here!
Red For Ed 3.18.24

The members of the House Minority Coalition wore "Red for Ed" and gathered for a picture before we headed to the House Floor

on March 18th.

The final veto override vote. Devastatingly, we came up one vote short. The legislators with names written in red voted against the override, and in support of keeping the Governor's veto. The number at the top is the count for the House side only; the list of Senators and their votes for this House session are listed at the bottom. The total was 39 yeas to 20 nays. Rep Rauscher didn't attend the joint session, nor vote.

In the Capitol

About that Education Bill...

SB140 unfortunately remained overridden, HB 193, Internet in Schools, passed and was signed into law - so what now?


Well in good news, the House Education Committee has resumed meeting, and so I've been working on a new education bill that I drafted back in February, but which I've been holding onto while I waited to see what would happen with SB140.


My bill, HB 383 focuses on class size and family engagement along with Early Childhood Literacy and may make it's way through committee process soon. The problem with all of our education bills right now is that they're all similarly vulnerable to the threat of the Governor's line-item veto, so we're going to be looking carefully at how and/or when to request a hearing, and at what other education bills are in the mix...so stay tuned...


This past week the House Education Committee heard testimony on HB 392, short title: Education Funding, introduced as a committee bill by Representative Tom McKay, from Anchorage. Have a look at the Sponsor Statement (which describes the bill sponsor's intent in authoring the bill) and the Sectional Analysis (which explains what changes each section would make in simpler language than the actual bill text does) and let the committee know your thoughts once it's time for public testimony.

Have you Moved and Need To Find Out Who Your Representative and Senator Are?

You can use the handy legislator search tool on the AK Legislature's homepage to do a quick search to confirm who your Representative and Senator are!


Simply go to Alaska State Legislature (akleg.gov) and scroll to the very bottom. In the lower right-hand corner you'll find a search box labeled "Who Represents Me?" Simply enter your street address, and voila! Legislators found!

Snaps from the Floor

A moment of mirth with House Minority Coalition Leader Calvin Schrage of Anchorage, and House Minority Whip, Representative Louise Stutes of Kodiak.

...Other Bills on the Move...

HJR 18, my resolution urging the United States Congress to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset of the Social Security Act (known as "WEP-GPO"). It moved out of State Affairs Committee and awaits a floor vote before going to the Senate. You can find the bill page for HJR 18 here.


As I have mentioned before, this bipartisan resolution calls on the US Congress to advance a federal bill, the Social Security Fairness Act, that will remove WEP-GPO from the federal Social Security Act. This action enjoys bipartisan support in both the US House and Senate, and both Senator Murkowski and Representative Peltola have already signed on to co-sponsor.



Rep Carrick's HB 17: 12-Months of Contraceptive Coverage!


I was super proud last week to join my colleagues in voting to move Representative Carrick's HB 17, "An Act relating to insurance coverage for contraceptives and related services; and relating to medical assistance coverage for contraceptives and related services," out of the House!


Representative Carrick did a great job patiently shepherding this bill, which I co-sponsored, through a whopping three House Committees before the bill reached Finance, and then the Floor. It has now been voted out of the House and is being heard in the Senate. Way to go Rep Carrick!

My Meetings with Alaskans

It is always such a pleasure to meet with and hear from many constituents and fellow Alaskans between long stretches amending the budget!


As always, you can reach out to my staff to set up a time to meet or to talk to me by phone. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Alaska District 14.

Alaska State Council on the Arts

Above, Rep Story, a friend, and myself at the State Council on the Arts Reception last week.


Right: With Ben Brown at the AK State Council on the Arts reception in Juneau at the State Museum.

Speaking with Senate President Gary Stevens of Kodiak

President Stevens sponsored SB 29: a civics education bill intended to improve awareness of the importance of civics education in Alaska.

There has been confusion about the bill because some are concerned that in order to receive a diploma, students must pass U.S. Citizenship test, but the way the bill is written taking a civics class suffices. The test is only necessary if students did not take a class.

I listened to his presentation in the House Education committee and look forward to voting for it once the bill gets to the floor.

Wonder how you would do taking the citizenship test? Try it here

City of Valdez representatives, Elise Sorum-Birk, Deputy City Clerk and friends visited to present their Legislative Priorities;

* Support for Local Housing & Child Care needs * Adequately fund-staff essential state services

* Increase local control in municipal property taxation * Fisheries & Mariculture

* Adequately fund public education * Prioritize a stable & attractive public retirement system

Alaska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

It was lovely to meet Carson, in her bid for Mrs. Alaska - she communicated about Suicide Prevention as her platform to promote awareness and advocate for mental health supports, while wearing platform heels! Double the strength!

Mrs. Alaska, Carson Hupe and Lead Advocacy Ambassador Jim Biela, stopped in to lobby for more awareness of and investment in Suicide Prevention. Please see American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for support materials.


Did you know Alaska ranks 3rd in the country for suicide death rates with 88% of our communities having insufficient numbers of mental health providers to serve residents last year?


For help for yourself or someone you know, call or text 988, the suicide & crisis Lifeline or Careline 877-266 HELP (4357).


I look forward to supporting SB 24: Mental Health Education in Public Schools, SB 103: Peer Support Counselling Program, and SB 188: Appropriating funding for Alaska's mental and behavioral health programs and initiatives.

Just Transitions Summit Attendees visit with staff

Meredith met with Margi of the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, and Rochelle & Constituent Erin with Alaska Public Interest Research Group, paid a visit to discuss SB 114: Oil & Gas Production Income Tax. The Just Transition Alliance describe Just Transition as a principle, a process and a practice. In Juneau, attendees were promoting regenerative economies in resources, ecological & social wellbeing and governance.

Drop By Vists Welcome!


Barbara Stek a retired Teacher is back in the classroom, working as a substitute teacher!

I am so grateful to seasoned educators like Barbara who bolster the quality of education in schools by making the ultimate contribution of coming out of retirement to teach.


News from the District!

Learn about road, rail, pedestrian, air, and safety projects being planned and designed near you!

Anchorage held a free transportation fair this past Thursday, March 28th. While the Fair has past, the projects and opportunities to provide feedback and input on many planned transportation projects is still available!


Click here and scroll down to learn more!

Serving you,

District 14 Community Council Schedule

You're always invited to your local neighborhood gathering!

Tudor

Spenard

Rogers Park

Midtown

April 4



7 p.m.


Fire Station Four

April 3



7 p.m.


Spenard Rec Center

April 8



7 p.m.


Rogers Park Elementary School Library

April 10



12 p.m.


3000 "C" St. Building

We Look Forward to Hearing From, and Serving You!

Representative Alyse Galvin


Anchorage LIO

1500 W Benson Blvd.

Room 325

Anchorage, AK 99503


Office: 907-465-3875

Representative.Alyse.Galvin@akleg.gov

Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson


Anchorage LIO

1500 W Benson Blvd.

Room 328

Anchorage, AK 99503


Office: 907-269-0174

Senator.Elvi.Gray-Jackson@akleg.gov

Congresswoman

Mary Peltola


Anchorage Office:

121 W Fireweed Ln, Ste. 260

Anchorage, AK 99503

 

Phone: 907-921-6575


Peltola.House.Gov

Senator

Lisa Murkowski


510 L Street

Suite 600

Anchorage, AK 99501


Phone: (907) 271-3735


Murkowski.Senate.Gov

Senator

Dan Sullivan


510 L Street

Suite 750

Anchorage, AK 99501


Phone: (907) 271-5915


Sullivan.Senate.Gov

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