In the Health and Social Services and Transportation committee, my priorities will include:
- Increasing health care access, addressing health care costs and strengthening our workforce
- Fixing the Department of Public Assistance (DPA) backlog crisis
- Tracking the Medicaid redetermination process
- Following Federal transportation dollars coming to Alaska from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)
- Focusing on safe, multi-modal transportation
This session, I stand with my caucus colleagues in support of an increase to the BSA and defined benefits for all public employees. Our students and teachers must have the resources they need to be successful, healthy, and safe in our schools. We have been failing our education system in recent years by not having a BSA that meets the needs of students and teachers across Alaska. And, with significant of outmigration by young professionals like myself, we must return to a defined benefit system to strengthen our public employee workforce.
Additionally, I strongly believe that we must diversify our energy portfolio and focus on energy efficiency to ensure we have a strong, sustainable economic future.
Budget hearings for FY24 have begun. Alaska is facing a large budget deficit, but I believe that we must ensure that we develop a comprehensive and responsible fiscal plan that addresses the budget shortfalls without sacrificing critical state services such as public education, social safety net programs, and the Permanent Fund Dividend.