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First Session of 30th Alaska State Legislature

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Alaska State Legislature, House District 31
From the Desk of Representative Seaton:

January 23, 2017 Vol. 210


Greetings from Juneau this second week of session.  Committees and finance subcommittees are both quickly digging into their work.  If you are interested in a particular department, I encourage you to follow on akleg.gov and to contact the subcommittee chair.
 
On Wednesday night Governor Walker gave his State of the State address.  I fully agree with him that we have no choice but to act this year on a full fiscal plan that will be  sustainable now and into the future.  Beginning in February, the finance committee will be hearing the governor’s proposals.
 
I was also pleased that the governor called for action on the opioid epidemic sweeping our state.  I served on the Alaska Opioid Policy Task Force which met this summer to discuss multiple sides of this issue and released a set of recommendations last week.  The components identified by the governor, including limiting initial prescriptions and strengthening the prescription drug database, were all issues that were included in my HB 344 from last session.
 
District 31 high schools recently received a set of reusable carbon monoxide detectors from my office.  My hope is these will be loaned out to students that have vehicles to make certain they are not being exposed to a faulty exhaust system.  Low level carbon monoxide exposure can lead to headaches and difficulty focusing.  As the former chair of the Health and Social Services committee, it’s important to me to do all we can to protect the health and wellness of our students!

 
Signing my Oath of Office with Lt. Governor Mallot.
 

 

House Finance Committee

Mon. - Fri. 1:30-3:30pm
 
This week in the House Finance Committee we heard a presentation from the Department of Revenue on the 2016 Fall Revenue Forecast (issued in December 2016) for the current fiscal year and for fiscal year 2018 (starts on July 1, 2017).  The department is projecting an increase of $177.4 million over the current fiscal year to $1.624 billion.  This increase, though slight, is welcome news.
 
The House Finance Committee also heard budget overview presentations from Pat Pitney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Office of the Governor and from David Teal, Director of the Legislative Finance Division.  These presentations gave information from the 30,000 foot-level on the Governor’s proposed budget and fiscal plan.  The Governor’s budget bills have been introduced in the legislature: Operating budget (HB 57), Capital budget (HB 58) and the Mental Health budget (HB 59).  I anticipate that the committee will hear the Governor’s Permanent Fund Protection Act (HB 61) and Motor Fuel Tax (HB 60) in early February.
 
Several of the budget subcommittees will be starting their budget review process next week.  A change this year is that budget subcommittees will be live streamed and archived on akleg.tv.  In addition, the Finance Committee has a very full schedule next week:
 
Monday, January 23, 2017
FY18 Budget Overviews:

  • Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
  • Department of Revenue
  • Judiciary
 
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
FY18 Budget Overviews:
  • Department of Health and Social Services
  • Department of Natural Resources
Presentation: A Sustainable Solution for Alaska Destination Marketing Funding: A Tourism Improvement District Model.  Presenters: Sarah Leonard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), Colleen Stephens, Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises and Past Chair of the ATIA Board of Directors, John Lambeth, President and Chief Executive Officer, CIVITAS
 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Introduction of bills: no amendments or discussion of bills at this time.
  • HB 57-APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS
  • HB 59-APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET

Presentation: Modeling Alaska Fiscal Proposals: Implications of Different Fiscal Assumptions and Choices Over Time.  Presenter: Gunnar Knapp, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)
 
Thursday, January 26, 2017
FY18 Budget Overviews:
  • Department of Education and Early Development
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
 
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Bill:  HB 23-INSURANCE FOR DEPENDENTS. OF DECEASED FIRE/POLICE
 
Friday, January 27, 2017
FY18 Budget Overviews:
  • Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Department of Administration
 

 

I shared information on our House Finance Subcommittee process in last week's press conference.

 

Budget
 
For a summary of how some areas of the Governor’s budget would affect our district please refer to our Dec 22 newsletter or contact Jenny for a copy.  There are more summaries from the Governor’s website at www.omb.alaska.gov
 
CAPSIS:  Reminder to those wishing to enter a capital project into CAPSIS, the system is now open.  The deadline is February 13, but if you would like Jenny to review your request before you submit it, please enter your request into CAPSIS by January 31.   Similar to the last two years, I do not anticipate any available funding for community capital projects entered through the CAPSIS system due to our state’s fiscal deficit and need for a sustainable budget. 

 
Tina and I visited with Gov. Walker at the Legislature Welcome reception.

 

Rep. Paul Seaton

Thanks for signing up for my newsletter and engaging in the public process. I try every week to keep you abreast of issues and bills discussed at the committee level, where YOU have an opportunity to participate.




 

 
Public Testimony Opportunity
Contact the Homer or Kenai LIOs noted below for more information.
 
Thursday:
11:30am House Arctic Policy, Economic Development & Tourism
  HJR5: Endorsing ANWR Leasing; Related Issues (PUBLIC TESTIMONY WILL BE TAKEN)
 
Saturday:
10am Senate State Affairs
  SB1: Approp: 2016 PFD Supplemental Payment (PUBLIC TESTIMONY WILL BE TAKEN) 3 minute Time Limit
  SB2: 2016 PFD Supplemental Payment  (PUBLIC TESTIMONY WILL BE TAKEN) 3 minute Time Limit
 
Public testimony (when scheduled) can be given in person at your LIO or call (907) 465-4648 prior to the meeting for a phone option.  Written Comments are best addressed to the chair of the committee where the bill is being heard.


 
Dept. of Military & Veterans' Affairs Commissioner Laurel Hummel asked me to sign a bottle of vitamin D for her.
 
 
Following Bills & Committees

Access bills and committee schedules through the Legislature’s BASIS home page.  Get automatic alerts when a bill is scheduled for hearing or public testimony by signing up for “Track Bills in BTMF”.  Most committee hearings are broadcast on Gavel-to-Gavel at www.360north or through the Live Now tab on the BASIS home page. 
 
NEW!  "Chat with Legislative Information Staff
Monday-Friday between 8:30am and 4pm you will find a new chat interface in the lower right corner of AKLeg.gov. The LIO staff can help answer questions about finding things on the website, answer questions relating to tracking legislation and help you get in touch with your legislator. Let us know how we can help you!
 
Legislative Information Offices (LIO)Our Homer and Kenai LIOs are a great resource for tracking bills and participating in hearings.
 
Homer: Amber Corey 235-7878, 270 West Pioneer Avenue
Kenai: Mary Bea Byrne 283-2030, 145 Main St Loop, Suite 217
 
POMs Email is the preferred method of communication for our office.  POMS is currently operational but may experience a delay in reaching our office.  If needed, contact your local LIO office who can email us your comments.


 
I had a chance to meet Board of Fisheries candidate Melissa Berns from Old Harbor last week.
 
 
Bits & Pieces

Homer Fish and Game advisory Committee Meeting
The Committee will meet Tuesday, February 7th at 6 pm at the NERRS building on Kachemak Drive.  Agenda will include completing comments on BOF UCI proposals and any other business that may come before the committee.
 
BP Teachers of Excellence Nominations
Help BP Teachers of Excellence continue recognizing outstanding teachers across Alaska by nominating your favorite teacher. Contact Tara Stevens at 1-888-530-8962 or 1-907-564-4001 or www.bpteachers.com.
 
Medicaid Behavioral Health Services Regulation Changes
The Department of Health & Social Services proposes to change regulations on the Medicaid behavioral health services payment rates. For more information e-mail triptaa.surve@alaska.gov or go to http://hss.alaska.gov
 
Constituent Fare Deals to Juneau on Alaska Airlines
Members of Alaska Airlines Club 49 should have received your Constituent Fare code by email this month providing 30% off 3 or 7 day advance fares to Juneau.  For more info contact: 1-800-252-7522.
 
State Dept. Newsletters
You can sign up for email list serves for various state newsletters and alerts:  http://list.state.ak.us/


 
I'm grateful for the talented and knowledgeable staff I have on my team this year. From left to right: Arnold Liebelt, Tom Spitzfaden, Joan Brown, Taneeka Hansen and Jenny Martin.

 


Contact Us

If you would like to speak to me regarding a specific issue, it is helpful to first get in touch with the member of my staff handling related issues. 

Homer: May-December
270 W. Pioneer Ave., Homer AK 99603
907-235-2921 or 1-800-665-2689; Fax: 907-235-4008

Juneau: January-April
State Capitol – 120 4th St., Juneau, AK 99801
New location: Room 505
907-465-2689 or 1-800-665-2689; fax: 907-465-3472

Kenai: 907-283-9170 (will transfer automatically to Homer or Juneau)

Rep. Paul Seaton Rep.Paul.Seaton@akleg.gov
Note: we will have a new Majority Coalition website soon!  The new link will be provided in future newsletters.

Jenny Martin Jenny.Martin@akleg.gov
Constituent issues and questions, General Capital & Operating Budget information,CAPSIS requests, Personal Legislation

Taneeka Hansen Taneeka.Hansen@akleg.gov
Legislation & Sustainable Fiscal Plans in House Finance, Personal Legislation
 
Joan Brown Joan.Brown@akleg.gov
Operating Budget, Finance Subcommittees
 
Arnold Liebelt Arnold.Liebelt@akleg.gov
Operating Budget, Finance Subcommittees

Tom Spitzfaden  Tom.Spitzfaden@akleg.gov
Intern

 
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Rep. Seaton's Session Contact Information:
 

Mailing Address:
State Capitol - 120 4th Street,
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Phone: (907) 465-2689
Toll-free: 1-800-665-2689
Fax: (907) 465-3472
email: Rep.Paul.Seaton@akleg.gov


 

 
Newsletter Archives

For past newsletters:
Jan 16, 2017 Newsletter
Dec 22 Transition Newsletter

 
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