Here’s where we are with some key bills and appropriations work:
Base Student Allocation (BSA) Education Funding:
I’m a cosponsor of HB 65, Rep Ortiz’s bill to raise the BSA by $1,250. This bill has received its first hearing in the Education Committee.
I’m working with the Anchorage Community Development Authority on federal earmark requests to accelerate redevelopment of vacant parcels or derelict buildings downtown.
Public Safety and Parks:
I’m working with the Anchorage Parks Foundation on federal earmark requests and state budget CAPSIS requests to support a range of parks projects in the Chester Creek, Coastal Trail, and Ship Creek corridors, including establishing safe, well-lighted gateways to trails in the North Star neighborhood and major upgrades to Eastchester Park on the southern border of Fairview.
The Labor and Commerce Committee marked up my child care bill, HB 46, this week, including with an amendment to establish a tax credit for companies that either subsidize child care or construct new child care facilities. I hope we’re able to move this bill to its next committee of referral in the near future. This legislation was recently featured in ADN coverage and in Senator Murkowski’s speech.
In partnership with other legislators, I wrote a workforce development overview to help guide our work across legislative and budgetary deliberations. It focuses on strengthening school-to-apprenticeship and other school-to-work programs, expanding college credit opportunities for apprenticeship and other on-the-job training, and make necessary IT upgrades so our state employees can work more efficiently rather than waste time managing computer systems that were out of date decades ago. I’ve included an outline below that identifies workforce development opportunities.
Following in-depth hearings with the Department of Health on the SNAP backlog and consultation with non-profits on the front lines addressing hunger, other legislators and I wrote a letter supporting quick action to reduce the SNAP backlog and address food insecurity.
I will be in Anchorage with my family for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on Saturday, March 4th, and for the annual Anchorage Caucus public input session on Sunday, March 5th at 2pm at Rasmuson Hall on UAA’s campus. I really miss seeing you when I’m working in Juneau, so maybe one of those events will be a chance to catch up.