February 25, 2022
Dear friends + neighbors,

The work of the FY23 budget subcommittees in the House is coming to a close this week. As standing and policy committee work resumes, I look forward to continuing work to improve rural public safety, advance State partnerships with Tribes, and roll up my sleeves to protect culturally-relevant education. Over the last couple of weeks, it was wonderful to have a series of in-person visits with friends and constituents.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer an update on happenings in the Capitol.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Health and Social Services Budget Subcommittee

We have been working hard on the FY23 Health and Social Services budget in recent weeks. We were pleased to see the return of funding for many crucial programs that had previously been cut or vetoed, such as retention bonuses for front line Office of Children's Services (OCS) workers.

I was proud to again offer an amendment to increase funding for the Tribal Child Welfare Compact. This important program augments the work of OCS by leveraging Tribal resources and personnel. My amendment adds $1.9 million in funding, bringing the total FY23 appropriation to $5 million and was adopted with bi-partisan support in a vote of 6-2.

Due to Executive Order 121, which proposes to split the Department of Health and Social Services into a Department of Health and a Department of Family and Community Services, we have been considering two separate budgets for FY23. Since the question of whether the Legislature will oppose the bifurcation is still unresolved, I voted against funding the salaries related to standing up a duplicate Commissioner's office for the new department. We will continue our work on this important issue in standing committee next week.

We will be continuing our budget work tomorrow, February 26. Please tune in at 3pm on http://akleg.gov for this important discussion.
VPSO Hearing in Tribal Affairs
Yesterday, the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs heard testimony about the status and opportunities to improve the Village Public Safety Officer program. Quyana to Commissioner Jim Cockrell, Director Joel Hard, President Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson and Mike Nemeth for their update before the committee.
Friends + Neighbors at the Capitol
Yupiit School District Superintendent Scott Ballard, students, educators, and board members visited with me about issues regarding education in the YK Delta. 
It was great to meet with board members, students, teachers, and administrators from Kashunamiut School District in Chevak, who came to Juneau to talk with legislators about teacher housing and local education needs.

Senator Holland, Senator Shower and I welcomed Julie Kitka, President of Alaska Federation of Natives to Juneau. Julie testified in support of HB 123, State Recognition of Tribes, in the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Alberta Unok, President and CEO of the Alaska Native Health Board, stopped by to present me with a beautiful commemorative coin celebrating the Board's work.

Bethel Mayor Mark Springer traveled to Juneau for the Alaska Municipal League Legislative fly-in. I was honored to introduce him on the House Floor after a discussion on Bethel's capital project needs.
Thanks to Andrew Guy, CEO of Calista, for visiting during a recent trip to Juneau. Andrew and I talked about my Tribal Recognition bill, infrastructure development opportunities in the YK Delta, and ways that we can work together to move the region forward.

My good friend, Dr. Elizabeth Roll, popped in to say hello! Elizabeth was recently in town with the Alaska Academy of Family Physicians. Big thanks to Dr. Roll, and all of her colleagues at YKHC, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.
My personal legislation in the 32nd Alaska State Legislature

HB 38, an act related to addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, is awaiting next steps in the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs.

HB 123, State Recognition of Tribes, passed the House last Spring and is awaiting its next hearing in Senate State Affairs.

HB 147, an act related to the teacher education loan program for rural educators, is awaiting next steps in the House Education Committee.

HB 184, an act related to the Tribal Child Welfare Compact, passed the House last Spring and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Health and Social Services Committee.

HB 198, marking September 10 as Community Health Aide Appreciation Day, passed the House last Spring and is waiting for its first hearing in Senate State Affairs.

HB 313, an act related to Village Public Safety Officer Grants, is awaiting its first hearing in House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs.

HB 351, an act related to State-Tribal education compacting, was introduced this week and was referred to the House Education Committee.

HB 374, an act related to village safe water and hygienic sewage disposal, was introduced on the House Floor this week and was referred to the House Special Committee on Tribal Affairs.

*SMS Bill Tracking!* Text a bill number (ex: HB1) to 559-245-2529 to enroll in text alerts. You will receive an enrollment confirmation and instructions on how to stop receiving the alerts.

I would love to hear from you if you have a suggestion for a legislative citation of importance to District 38!

What is a citation? It is an official document expressing commendation, condolences, appreciation or congratulations to an individual or group.

There are two types of citations:

"Honorarium" recognizes a person, organization, or special occasion.

"In Memorium" honors someone who has recently passed away.

Please feel free to call or e-mail my office if you have any questions.
Katy Giorgio
Health & Social Services
Committee Aide
Logan Basner
Tribal Affairs
Committee Aide
Averie Wells
Scheduling & Education Committee Support