Special Session Wrap-up November 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,HB 3001 photo

With a unanimous vote, the House has passed SB 3001 and the special session has adjourned. The bill presented by the Governor Walker enables the purchase of TransCanada’s interest in the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (AKLNG) project. Over the past couple weeks many hours have been spent carefully listening and asking difficult questions which developed a clear record supporting the buy-out.

SB 138 passed in 2014 creating the framework for the State of Alaska to participate in the development of the AKLNG project as an equal partner with Conoco/Phillips, BP and Exxon. The vision is a market driven approach, with the partners working together on an integrated project at all points in the value chain. There are four aspects to AKLNG: the gas, the gas treatment plant, the pipeline, and the liquefaction plant.

Going forward, it is important to retain the fundamental principles of the AKLNG partnership, and I am encouraged that the Administration supports this goal. There are still considerable hurdles, but I am confident we are on track to achieving this monumental goal.

With passage of SB 3001, the state will now have a full 25% share in the project, full voting rights, and the ability to generate greater returns once the project is built. The next few years will be critical to our success. We need bi-partisan budget solutions and we will need to show courage and common purpose.

Click the link below to watch.


Thank you for the honor to represent you. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if I can be of assistance to you. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!


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House Transportation Committee chairwoman Shelley Hughes leads a group of legislators and local Juneau residents on an overview of the proposed Juneau Access project. Pictured here at Glacier Highway terminus 10/31/15

Fiscal Sustainability Town Hall Meeting

September 30, 2015
Centennial Hall
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, September 30th there will be a town hall meeting to discuss the current fiscal situation in Alaska. Panel presentations will include members of Juneau’s legislative delegation, the Administration, and the private sector.

Childcare will be available.

For a copy of the recent survey results click here.


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Fiscal Climate Survey

Friends and Neighbors,

On September 30, 2015, there will be a public forum at Centennial Hall to discuss revenue
options for the State. In anticipation of that event, I would appreciate your feedback on options the Administration may present to the Legislature. Below is a link to a quick survey.

Fiscal Climate Survey


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End of Special Session

The legislature has passed HB 2001 which funds the FY16 operating budget. The $5 billion spending plan represents a 9% reduction over FY15 spending. This was a bipartisan effort and I am proud of the work that was accomplished. As chairwoman for the budgets of Department of Environmental Conservation and the Alaska Court System, my work on this budget began last fall. In the face of reduced revenue, my goal from the start has been to avoid disproportionate cuts to our region and to work across party lines to ensure essential services are maintained. Public education, AMHS, and honoring the contractual commitments to our state employees have been some of my top priorities.

House members voting in favor of the budget were Representatives Chenault, Claman, Colver, Edgmon, Foster, Gara, Gattis, Gruenberg, Herron, Hughes, Johnson, Keller, Kreiss-Tomkins, LeDoux, Lynn, Millett, Muñoz, Nageak, Neuman, Olson, Ortiz, Pruitt, Saddler, Seaton, Stutes, Talerico, Tarr, Thompson, Tilton, Vazquez, Wilson, and Wool.

Those voting against the budget were Representatives Drummond, Guttenberg, Josephson, Kawasaki, Kito, Reinbold, and Tuck.

While these last few weeks (and months) have been difficult, I am grateful for the bipartisan work that lead to the final agreement.  Here is a breakdown of the provisions of HB 2001 that led to the final agreement:

Education Funding
$2 million for Pre-K grants
$5,880 to Fully Fund the Base Student Allocation
$700,000 for Parents As Teachers Program

Cost of Living Adjustment
$30.2 million for the 2.5% COLA for Covered and Non-covered Employees

Health and Social Services
$2.5 million for Office of Children Services Front-line Social Workers
$2.8 million for Public Assistance/Senior Benefits

Ferry System
$1.75 million for Alaska Marine Highway System Vessel Operations

Public Broadcasting
$250,000 for Public Broadcasting – Radio

$5 million for University of Alaska Statewide Services

Executive Branch-wide
$29.8 million Unallocated Reduction – All Departments
Intent language that states the unallocated reduction results in a minimum number of layoffs and geared toward finding internal agency and department efficiencies.

Alaska Safe Children’s Act
HB 44 – the Alaska Safe Children’s Act – directs public school districts in Alaska to offer K-12 students age appropriate sexual assault awareness and prevention curricula. In addition, a section mandating teen dating violence education in grades 7-12 was included. The section is inspired by the work of the family of Brianna Moore a young woman who was killed in Anchorage last year. Curricula would be developed by a task force and implemented by June 30, 2017. Parents will be able to opt their children out of the training. The bill also requires all teachers and school volunteers who work with students four hours a week or more to receive training in recognizing the signs of childhood sexual abuse.

Yesterday, Representative Millett, sponsor of HB 44, honored the life of Bree Moore and the commitment of her parents to give young people the necessary tools to break away from violent relationships. I had the opportunity to meet with Butch and Cindy Moore, the parents of Bree.

I am happy to be on my way back home to Juneau, and if you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance please contact me at 465-3744 or swing by my office, room 501, in the Capitol.

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