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Phone: (907) 465-3438
Email: rep.liz.snyder@akleg.gov
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House Passes Operating Budget:

Last Saturday, the House passed out the operating budget. Here are some highlights: 

  • A $1300 Energy Relief Check in addition to the PFD to help offset rising costs of energy 

  • A $1250 PFD 

  • $1 billion for inflation proofing of the Permanent Fund to ensure it continues to grow  

  • $2.2 billion to repay our savings account 

  • Fully funding public education for FY 23 and FY 24 

  • Funding for an additional 14 state troopers and 10 Village Public Safety Officers 

  • Repayment of School Bond Debt & REAA 

  • $1.6 million to grow the WWAMI program  

  • $141 million for the Alaska Marine Highway with $82 million coming from federal funds  

I am also glad to say that many of the amendments I introduced earlier in the budget process were able to stay in. These amendments addressed recruitment and retention issues across different departments and added additional funding for various services in the Department of Health and Services. You can read more about those here.

The House adopted an amendment that would target Medicaid funding for abortion services. There have been similar amendments and laws that the Alaska Supreme Court has determined to be unconstitutional. I am disappointed in the result of the vote, but I am hopeful that the courts will continue to uphold the constitution. 

It is important to note that we can afford this year’s budget due to an unexpected increase in revenue and one-time federal funding. We worked hard to balance restoring services that have been cut over the years while still recognizing that oil prices are volatile—it's why we restored our savings accounts and inflation proofed the permanent fund. While we continue to struggle to finalize a sustainable fiscal plan within a split legislature, I’m proud of the priorities and values highlighted in this budget, and even though it's not perfect, there truly are wins for everyone.  

The budget will now go to the State Senate to continue going through the legislative process. 

Since last time:
 

I am glad to say many of my bills have made much progress since our last newsletter. 

HB 298: ALASKA FOOD STRATEGY TASK FORCE was voted on in the House this week. House Bill 298 establishes the Alaska Food Strategy Task Force, a multidisciplinary task force on Alaska’s food systems and sovereignty with the goal of improving food security for the long-term benefit of Alaska’s communities, economy, and environment. Sitting members will come from various communities and interests and be representative of Alaska’s diverse population. Work of the task force will complement and expand on the momentum of the Governor's Food Security and Independence Task Force and the Legislature's Food and Farm Caucus. 

HB 392: EXPAND ADV. PRAC. REG. NURSE AUTHORITY was introduced to help Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) provide more support for the seriously ill and their families. APRNs often oversee end-of-life care. They participate in difficult conversations with patients and family members to make the best decisions for care but lack the statutory authority to sign and certify the final paperwork—only physicians can. This can result in administrative delays and additional stress in an already difficult time. HB 392 removes this administrative hurdle. Additionally, after hearing from other providers and stakeholders, we amended HB 392 to give Physician Assistants similar signature authority. It passed out of the House Health & Social Services committee earlier this week and is now moving onto House Labor & Commerce 

HB 292: HOME AND COMMUNITY BASED WAIVERS passed out of the House Health & Social Services committee and is now moving onto House Finance. Alaska has recently seen an increased demand for home-care services from our senior population and those with disabilities but we have lacked the infrastructure and policies to meet that demand. HB 292 is a step forward to addressing this. It increases the threshold for reducing waiver services so individuals on waivers access to care isn’t unexpectedly disrupted. It also allows legally responsibly individuals, like family members, to be compensated for the care they provide.  

HB 260: 50/50 POMV had its first hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee. HB 260 balances the importance of sustainably funding high-quality essential government services with the importance of protecting and growing the PFD. It will maintain the 5% POMV draw, repeal conflicting statute, and implement a “50/50” contingency plan. If 50% of the POMV draw and revenue flat funds the baseline budget, then the remaining 50% is directed to the PFD. If it does not end up funding the baseline, then the split is adjusted so more of the POMV draw goes towards funding the baseline services.  

 

If you have any questions about our legislation, please feel free to reach out to our office.  

Want to support our legislation? Send a letter of support to Rep.Liz.Snyder@akleg.gov or the committee the bills are in.
 

Bill 

Committee 

Email 

HB 145: Expand Pharmacist Authority 

House Floor  

Email our office! 

HB 146: Disclosure of Wage Information 

House Finance 

House.Finance@akleg.gov  

HB 168: Electronic Applications for State Benefits 

Senate Finance 

Senate.Finance@akleg.gov  

HB 260: 50/50 POMV Split 

House Ways and Means 

House.Ways.And.Means@akleg.gov 

HB 292: Home and Community Based Waiver Services 

House Health and Social Services 

House.Health.And.Social.Services@akleg.gov 

HB 298: Alaska Food Strategy Task Force 

House Floor 

Email our office!  

HB 382: Insulin Coverage: Insurance; Medicaid 

House Health & Social Services 

Email our office! 

HB 392: Expand Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Authority 

House Health and Social Services 

House.Health.And.Social.Services@akleg.gov 

Free At-Home COVID Tests: 

Beginning in January the White House offered four free at home COVID tests for every American household. Now you can order a second batch of COVID tests once again. Each household can now receive a total of eight tests from www.covidtests.gov







What is Ranked Choice Voting? 




 

Alaska’s new election system involves an open primary and ranked choice voting for the general election. Ranked choice voting does not apply to the Municipality of Anchorage and its regular municipal election on April 5, 2022, but will be in the special and general election (above).  

Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference: first, second, third, and fourth. If one candidate receives a majority, or more than half of the first-choice votes, they win. If not, the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. The process repeats until there are only two candidates, and the one with the most votes wins. Watch a quick explainer video here. 

The Special election primary for U.S Congress is on June 11! 59 days away! 

You can register to vote here : https://voterregistration.alaska.gov/. Be sure to register before the deadline on May 12. 

Booster shot information:

2nd booster shots are available if you are over the age of 50 or are immunocompromised. More information here: https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/VaccineInfo.aspx  

Here’s a list of vaccine distribution sites in Anchorage: https://anchoragecovidvaccine.org/  

Honored as always to serve you,

Rep. Liz Snyder

 
 
 
Contact our office:

(907) 465-3438


rep.liz.snyder@akleg.gov


alliana.salanguit@akleg.gov- Chief of Staff, House Health & Social Services Committee Aide
arielle.wiggin@akleg.gov- Constituent relations & House Judiciary
james.holzenberg@akleg.gov- Scheduling, House Labor & Commerce
ashlyn.johnson@akleg.gov- Intern, House Labor & Commerce
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