Representative Matt Claman's Alaska Matters
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Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain
April 7, 2017
In this issue:
• Proposed 90 Day Session
• Real ID Legislation
• Community Events

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We’re nearing the end of the 90-day legislative session and the House and Senate are picking up the pace as the deadline approaches. The budget remains our top priority and we’re committed to working together to create a responsible action plan for Alaska.

Proposed 90 Day Session

Today is the 81st day of the 90 day session, and it’s likely that the legislature won’t adjourn on time. I continue to support finishing on time with a responsible action plan for Alaska. Earlier this session, I filed House Joint Resolution 3 to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2018 to limit the regular legislative session to 90 days.

In the 2006 general election, Alaskans voted to shorten the duration of the session from 120 days to 90 days. Since the initiative took effect in 2008, however, the legislature has run over the limit five times, which has cost Alaskans more than $900,000.00. Legally, the legislature can ignore the statutory 90-day session limit because the Alaska Constitution states “the legislature shall adjourn from a regular session no later than one hundred and twenty consecutive calendar days from the date it convenes.” HJR 3 amends the Constitution to read “no later than ninety consecutive calendar days” and brings the Alaska Constitution in line with the Alaska Statutes.

Costs Associated with Failure to Adjourn within 90-Day Statutory Session Limit
Year Days in Session Legislator Per Diem Staff Per Diem Personal Services Costs Total
2010 91 0 0 0  
2012 91 0 0 0  
2014 95 $70,211 0 0 $70,211
2015 98 $105,702 $5,129 $42,000 $152,831
2016 121 $409,284 $40,491 $248,997 $698,772
Sources: Jessica Geary, LAA Finance Manager , and Skiff Lobaugh, LAA Human Resources Manager

When the framers wrote the Alaska Constitution, there was no limit on session length. In the early days of statehood, the legislature often adjourned in less than 90 days. In fact, the first session to exceed 90 days was in 1969. Voters amended the Constitution in 1984 to set the 120-day limit after the 1981 session ran for 165 days.

One positive step toward more certainty about session length is allowing Alaskans to decide whether the Alaska Constitution should be consistent with the public vote in 2006. Approximately 59% of those who responded to our 2017 constituent survey support the amendment, and I will continue to support placing the constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2018.

Real ID Legislation: House Joint Resolution 15 & House Bill 74

Real ID is a Federal mandate that establishes minimum requirements for secure issuance and production of driver’s licenses and identification cards. Currently, 26 states comply with Real ID regulations, 5 do not comply (WA, MT, MN, MO, & ME), and 19 states, including Alaska, have extensions allowing continued issuance and use of non-compliant cards. Alaska’s exemption ends June 6, 2017, after which, driver’s licenses will not be sufficient to access federal facilities and military bases. In addition, airports will enforce the same restrictions starting January 18, 2018. In order to access these facilities, a person would need a passport, passport card, or similar federal form of identification.

There are two pieces of legislation in the House that deal with the subject of Real ID: House Joint Resolution 15 and House Bill 74. HJR 15, introduced by Representative Johnson, is a resolution that encourages Congress and the Executive Branch of the United States government to repeal the Real ID Act because it allegedly disregards the 10thAmendment of the US Constitution by imposing an unfunded mandate on every State in the Union. The resolution passed out of State Affairs committee and is pending consideration on the House floor.

HB 74, introduced by Governor Bill Walker, gives Alaskans the choice to acquire REAL ID compliant identification—one that can be used for air travel and to access federal facilities—or opt for a noncompliant ID card/driver’s license. It does not mandate that a person must get a Real ID compliant ID card or driver’s license. In Alaska, all state, borough, and city governments must treat noncompliant identification the same as compliant identification.

If HB 74 is passed, you can expect the following changes to the current process of getting an ID/driver’s license at the DMV:

•   A $10 increase in the fee to pay for the increased cost of production
•   DMV will take the applicant’s photo at the time of application and store the photo for the time required by the Department of Homeland Security
•   DMV will validate birthday and passport information when provided by the applicant
•   Real ID cards with have unique markings/color
•   Noncompliant cards will state “Not for Federal Use”
•   IDs and driver’s licenses will be valid for 8 years instead of 5 years

For more information, please see the FAQ document that has been supplied with the bill.

Representative Claman answers questions from the House Finance committee about the school tax legislation.
Representative Claman answers questions from the House Finance committee about the school tax legislation.

Community Events

Mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Job Fair

When: Saturday, April 8th from 10am to 3 pm
Where: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, North Terminal
Check out the Airport’s annual job fair if you are looking for a summer job or a new career opportunity. 
It’s free to attend and includes free parking.

Anchorage Senior Citizens Advisory Commission Survey

The Senior Citizens Advisory Council is asking for your help to measure the issues and concerns of Anchorage seniors. Your input will help the council to focus its policy concerns for the future. Take the survey hereThe deadline for the survey is Thursday, April 21st at noon.

As always, please let us know if you have any question or concerns.


signed: Matt Claman

    Rep. Matt Claman

    P.S. follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Contact Information

(907) 465-4919

State Capitol Bldg. Rm 405
Juneau, Alaska 99801

Contact the Governor

550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
T (907) 269-7450 F (907) 269-7461
EMAIL: Governor Bill Walker


State Info (907) 269-5111

Serving the Anchorage Neighborhoods of
Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain

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