Dear Neighbors,

The 2021 regular legislative session ended late Wednesday night with the House and Senate still in disagreement over the details of the budgets for the State of Alaska and the size of the 2021 PFD. To give lawmakers more time to reach a deal, Governor Dunleavy called a 30-day Special Session that started this morning. 

I believe there is widespread agreement on the parameters of a sustainable budget for the state of Alaska. However, there are still disagreements among lawmakers on how best to use the earning of the Alaska Permanent Fund. I’m optimistic that the Special Session will give everyone the time to deliberate without the daily distractions that exist during regular sessions.

When he called the special session, Governor Dunleavy limited the agenda to the budgets for the state, the size of the 2021 PFD, and his proposed Constitutional Amendment to change the Permanent Fund. Senate Joint Resolution 6 and House Joint Resolution 7 would put the current five percent POMV draw into the Alaska Constitution and add the Power Cost Equalization Endowment to the corpus of the fund. The resolutions would also split the POMV draw 50/50 between PFDs and state government. Finally, the resolutions would transfer the $17 billion in the Earnings Reserve Account into the corpus of the Permanent Fund. 

In the coming days, every member of the Alaska Legislature will be asked to make some big decisions and take some tough votes. Before that happens, I want to hear from you. If you have thoughts about the budget or the future of the Alaska Permanent Fund, send me an email to Rep.Chris.Tuck@akleg.gov

I’m here to serve you. If you have questions or concerns, please contact my office at (907) 465-2095.

Please be safe,
National Safe Boating Week
As the weather improves, more Alaskans are hitting the water for both work and pleasure.

National Safe Boating Week begins on Saturday. It's a yearly reminder to be safe on the water.

Boating safety tips:

Wear a life jacket. Boaters are required to have one Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard their vessel.

Wear your engine cut off switch link. The new law went into effect on April 1, 2021, requiring recreational boats to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL).

Boat sober! Abstain from using alcohol while underway.

Check all required safety equipment to be sure it is in good working order. Vessel safety checks by the Coast Guard Auxiliary are free.

Check the weather. Be sure to look at the immediate weather forecast as well as the extended forecast; weather can change in Alaska in a matter of hours.

Have multiple forms of communication devices and extra batteries and chargers. Always remember, VHF-FM radio is the primary communications network for the maritime boating community.
New Emergency Broadband Benefit
The Federal Communications Commission has a new program intended to help families afford broadband internet service.

  • Eligible households can get a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service.

  • Eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;

  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;

  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or

  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

Eligible households can enroll online at https://getemergencybroadband.org.
Ready, Set, Go! for Wildfire Preparedness
The Anchorage Fire Department is participating in the national Ready, Set, Go! Program to help prepare for Wildland Fire Season.

READY- Be Ready: Create and maintain defensible space and harden your home against flying embers.

SET- Be Alert. Prepare your family and home ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. Prepare a go kit and make a plan for how to evacuate your home and neighborhood.

GO! - Act Early! Keep yourself informed, get your go kit and leave before the threat reaches your community.