Muldoon Memo - 4/20

Rep. Mina and I enjoyed the performance from the Bettye Davis East High Thunderbird Ukulele Ensemble! These kids rock!

Elections Update -

Congratulations to George Martinez and Karen Bronga on their respective elections to represent the East Side on the Anchorage Assembly! I wish both of them the best luck as they shoulder this new responsibility.

Budget Update -

On Monday the budget passed the House on a party-line vote. This budget process was clouded with enmity after the House Majority amended the budget at the last minute to block a $680 increase in the BSA.

This budget was a disappointment to my colleagues and I of course, but more importantly it was a disappointment to all the Alaskans who wrote letters, called their representatives, and showed up to the capital to fight for decent public education. I’m sorry we couldn’t convert that outpouring of concern into a different outcome.

In addition to the fight over education funding, it was disheartening to watch my colleagues rise to the Floor dozens of times—offering thoughtful, well considered amendments to bolster critical programs or cut wasteful spending—only to be voted down along party lines. In the end the budget that passed is nearly $600 million underwater, and the House Majority has shown little interest in generating new revenue. I’m hopeful that the Senate can produce a more productive proposal that adequately provides for the needs of Alaskans.

Chugach State Park Gets a Boost-

Not that there’s not good news around here! Several weeks ago I offered an amendment in the House Natural Resources Finance Subcommittee to increase the Chugach State Park budget by $336,000 using funds from the state vehicle rental tax. This funding would help the park accommodate its dramatic increase in use since the start of the pandemic—it means fewer overflowing trashcans, cleaner bathrooms, better trail maintenance.

That original amendment failed in subcommittee on a party line vote because that’s what happens to minority amendments in subcommittee, but I was just not deterred.

I worked with Rep. Coulombe to get the amendment in the House budget in House Finance. Separately, last week the Senate Natural Resources Finance Subcommittee adopted the same language. With both chambers of the legislature agreeing on that funding, it will almost certainly be included in the final budget.

I listened to Rep. Rauscher present HB 95 before House Resources on March 29

Committee Rundown

The Resources Committee has quickened its pace in recent weeks. If you’d like to follow along, the Alaska Beacon is doing a great piece of public service journalism by posting brief, plain English summaries of every bill introduced here. Since we finished debating the budget we’ve heard bills on topics from non-resident students’ issues receiving hunting licenses to expedited timber sales.  

The Community & Regional Affairs Committee has also been busy in recent weeks, hearing bills on a variety of topics from banning discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity (go Rep. Armstrong!) to exempting certain nonprofits from municipal property tax.

We’ve also heard some really interesting presentations. Just this morning we had a lengthy discussion of the state of water and sewer infrastructure in rural Alaska in light of the nearly $2 billion of federal infrastructure funding available for sanitation infrastructure projects in those communities. This was a blast from the past for me in particular—many years ago I worked for ANTHC on this very issue, helping to stand up a sanitation system in Golovin—but I recommend the video to anybody curious about the most significant infrastructure investment in Alaska that most Alaskans will never see.

I also met with Alaska Regional Coalition to discuss infrastructure funding

Things of Note

  • For the first time since COVID started, Medicaid has begun removing people from the rolls again. This will be an ongoing process for months to come so, if you are on Medicaid and haven’t done so already, call 800-478-7778 and update your address and contact information so you aren’t removed by mistake.

  • The number and extent of people experiencing hunger is very high right now due to the SNAP application backlog. Community partners that distribute food are severely strained right now. If you can, please consider a food or monetary donation to organizations that support food distribution to those that need it.

  • District 21 Community Council Meetings:

Stay Connected
You can find me at community council meetings and I’ll have more regular Coffee Chats after session ends. You can always in touch with my office--by email at or by phone at 465-3438--and if you’re in Juneau please come find me in room 112 of the Capitol. If you’re on social media, please follow my
official Facebook page.

If you'd like to follow the legislature more closely on your own, I encourage you to go to and dive in. A tutorial for operating the legislature's website is available here. Feel free to call my office if you can’t find what you’re looking for.