Representative Genevieve Mina

Alaska State Legislature House District 19 (East Anchorage) E-Newsletter

Proudly serving Airport Heights, Mountain View, and Russian Jack

Rep. Mina in front of a Barrow Transit bus at Piuraaġiaqta (Spring Festival) in Utqiagvik.

April 19, 2024


Dear friends and neighbors,


Last Friday, the House passed the Fiscal Year 2025 operating budget to the Senate. The budget has many positives, such as a one-time increment of $175 million towards education. However, once the $550 million capital budget is added, the budget as a whole is unbalanced. I voted no on this operating budget because it results in an overall $270 million deficit. The House is working on the capital budget as we wait for the Senate send the operating budget back for concurrence and pass a balanced budget.


One significant issue that has dropped is the recent ruling regarding correspondence schools (e.g., homeschool) and allotments. Article VII, Section 1 of the Alaska Constitution states that "No money shall be paid from public funds for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution." Current statutory language on allotments have been deemed unconstitutional by the Superior Court, upending the entire allotment system.  Whether it's correspondence, charter, and neighborhood schools, we must work together to lift all students to succeed in education.


I support a legislative fix to the allotment statutes to support families that choose correspondence - without violating the constitution. If you are concerned about correspondence programs and allotments, please reach out to my office. I also suggest registering for Rep. Galvin's Virtual Education Listening Session this Monday, April 22 from 5-6:30PM for families to express their concerns to legislators; I will be attending.


After the budget passed, I also had the opportunity to visit with constituents in Anchorage and participate in a trip up to the Utqiagvik with Sen. Murkowski and other Arctic leaders from around the globe!


Keep reading to learn about the operating budget, the capital budget, my bills, and my recent visit to Anchorage and the Arctic.

Virtual Education Town Hall


On Monday, April 22nd from 5-6:30PM, Rep. Galvin is hosting a virtual town hall to listen to families' concerns on education.


In light of the recent Superior Court ruling on correspondence schools, and concerns about safe and appropriate class size in neighborhood and charter schools, legislators will attend this session and listen to families about their experiences with Alaska's school system, and with correspondence schooling.


My colleagues and I look forward to hearing from you! Pre-registration is required.

Click here to register for the Virtual Town Hall

Sincerely,

.

House District 19 Issues Survey


Whether it's education, the PFD, snow plowing, public assistance, or the economy, I want to know what you care about most.


Please complete this short 5-10 minute survey so that I can best serve you. You may choose to keep your responses anonymous, however there is an option to provide your contact information and/or indicate which neighborhood you live in at the end of the survey.

Complete the district survey!

Legislative Update

Operating Budget and Capital Budget


The House passed the operating budget last week, and I’m grateful for the fair process and respectful debate. Our House Minority Coalition added funds for education, snow removal, and public safety. In response to snow maintenance struggles, I successfully worked with my colleague Rep. Fields to increase Central Region's maintenance operations by 6%!


However, as Southcentral Alaska faces a potential increase in utility bills due a looming shortfall in natural gas, I know that this budget needs to be forward-thinking on Alaska's energy issues. The House's operating budget (click here for a full recap from The Alaska Beacon) included:

  • $175M one-time education $ increase
  • $2,270 PFD (including energy relief)
  • $9M for K-3 reading
  • Covering a year of school meals for students receiving reduced-price lunch


Along with the House Minority Coalition, I voted no because the budget as a whole is currently unbalanced. Although the operating budget is "balanced" by itself, once we add the $550 million capital budget, there is a $250M+ deficit to the state. There were also no investments to address the Southcentral energy crisis.


The House will now work on the capital budget, which includes state match funds for the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, federal funds that would modernize the Railbelt, lower energy costs, and increase our grid's capacity for renewables. It also has numerous projects for HD 19 (pages 13-15): in Mountain View, there is funding to support new housing developments, honor Hmong Veterans, invest in a community resource center, expand commercial kitchen access, and improve Davis Park; in Airport Heights, there is funding for safe walkways, trails, and pedestrian traffic calming.


However, no funding is final until the Legislature passes these budgets and the Governor signs these bills in June. We will continue to work on creating a holistic, balanced budget that ensures investments in education, energy, and a sustainable PFD.

HB 325 - Business License Fees


On Tuesday, I had my first hearing of HB 325 in House Labor and Commerce Committee. This bill seeks to waive business license fees for sole proprietors receiving public benefits. The House Labor & Commerce Committee opted to take up committee substitute of the bill, which incorporates aspects of HB 314, a Governor bill that changes the way that investigation fees under occupational licensing are regulated. The next hearing of HB 325 is Wednesday, April 24th at 3:15PM.

HB 191 – Major Medical Emergencies


HB 191 will have its second hearing in the House Health and Social Services committee next Thursday, April 25th at 3PM. If passed, this legislation would improve the statewide emergency response system (EMS) - specifically for those experiencing time-sensitive emergencies like major heart attacks and strokes. In our vast state with limited health care resources, there are significant challenges getting people experiencing heart attacks and strokes to the right place for the right care by the right medical profession as quickly as possible. HB 191 would enable the Department of Health to develop guidelines, training, and best practices for EMS responders and hospitals when responding to these specific types of emergencies with the ultimate goal of reducing the length of time that a patient receives the most appropriate medical intervention. 

Anchorage Visit

Rep. Mina with HD19 neighbors Colton, Marielle, and Snowzilla.

Rep. Mina at the Barrow Whale Bone Arch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, former Rep. Sara Rasmussen, and Rep. Thomas Baker in Utqiagvik.

Snowzilla Citation


Last weekend was my last trip to the district before session ends. We visited Snowzilla to present his "caretakers" (the Powers family) a legislative citation that will permanently remain on the record in the Alaska State Legislature. Colton and I went to school together, and it's great to see their family tradition continue with their children - while staying mindful of pedestrian safety and other neighbors! Unfortunately, he wasn't looking his best, but his spirit prevails.


Utqiagvik Visit


As a part of Arctic Encounter Symposium, North America's largest Arctic policy and business convening, I was invited to Utqiagvik with Senator Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Thomas Baker, and an international group of Arctic diplomats, educators, and activists.


We visited the Inupiat Heritage Center, has a Sailor Boy charcuterie board at Barrow High School, attended the Piuraaġiaqta (spring festival) parade, toured the Barrow Arctic Research Center (BARC), and finally, we stopped by Iḷisaġvik College!

Constituent Event at Waffle Rush


Last constituent trip of the session happened at Waffle Rush! This was my first time at the new location. We snacked on yummy waffles and chatting all things operating budget. Big thanks to the owner, Debbie, for her hospitality and to my constituents for the great conversation!

Rep. Mina with House District 19 residents Kalen and Russell at Waffle Rush.

A beautiful spread of Indigenous foods and a Pilot Bread (a classic!), made by Iḷisaġvik College students.

Rep. Mina playing her alto saxophone and participating in a bipartisan, bicameral fundraiser with Sen. Matt Claman and Rep. Dan Saddler.

Vote in the Chugach Elections!


If you pay bills to Chugach Electric, you are a member of their co-op, and you have a say in their board elections. Their board makes decisions on your utilities. Vote in the Chugach Electric elections until May 17th!


Click here to vote and to learn about the candidates. Contact 866-909-3549 or support@directvote.net for help.

Community Council Meetings


Airport Heights Community Council

Hybrid meeting every third Thursday at 7:00PM.

7:00PM Thursday, May 16th

Airport Heights Elementary School Library (1510 Alder Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508)

Click here for Zoom (Passcode: 499153)

Click here for more information


Mountain View Community Council

Hybrid meeting every fourth Wednesday at 6:00PM.

6:00PM Wednesday, April 24th

Mountain View Library (120 Bragaw St, Anchorage, AK 99508)

Click here for Zoom (Passcode: 955872)

Click here for more information


Russian Jack Community Council

Hybrid meeting every second Wednesday at 6:30PM.

6:30PM Wednesday, May 8th

Zion Lutheran Church (2100 Boniface Parkway, Anchorage, Alaska 99504)

Click here for Zoom

Click here for more information

Community Events and Resources


Customer Appreciation & Recycling Event at Habitat ReStore

Saturday, April 20th, 11-4pm, 1200 Northern Lights Boulevard

Join Habitat Anchorage at their annual Earth Day recycling event! Each household that donates and/or recycles will receive a 15% off coupon to the Habitat ReStore, as well as a raffle ticket that enters them in a drawing for gift cards and prizes with a live drawing at the end of the event.


55th Annual Walk & Roll for Hope

Saturday, May 4th, Across Anchorage

Hope Community Resources is hosting the 55th Annual Walk & Roll! Their goal is raise $60,000 for Alaskans who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and mental health challenges.


Alaska Sustainable Energy Conference

Tuesday, May 21st through Thursday, May 23rd, Dena'ina Center

Join national and international sustainable energy leaders at this multi-day symposium.


City Nerd Nite: Transportation Talk

Thursday, May 30th, 6-8pm, King Street Brewing Company

Passionate about transportation like Team Mina is? Pitch a 7-minute presentation for the next City Nerd Nite by Sunday, April 21st!

Representative Genevieve Mina

House District 19


rep.genevieve.mina@akleg.gov

(907) 465-3424



Session: Alaska State Capitol, Room 420,

Juneau, Alaska 99801


Interim: Anchorage Legislative Office, Room 218,

1500 Benson Blvd, Anchorage, Alaska 99503

Katy Giorgio

Legislative Aide

katy.giorgio@akleg.gov

(907) 465-4926

Remington Purnell

Legislative Aide

remington.purnell@akleg.gov

(907) 465-4926


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