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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Special Session Update

Throughout the budget negotiations I have advocated support for a compromise with the House Minority Democrats which includes full funding to the base student allocation and honoring the contracts with our state employees.

Part of the compromise suggested by Governor Walker is an unallocated cut to the state budget of $29.8 million. It is important that we find consensus on HB 2001 because the alternative, HB 2002, at this point does not include these budget items.

In absence of support for HB 2001, a proposal to move $4.9 billion from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account into the principal of the Permanent Fund, will be on the table. The money would be deposited and invested in the corpus of the fund. This option would prefund the inflation proofing of the Permanent Fund for the next 5 years. According to the Chief Financial Officer, this transfer would not impact Permanent Fund Dividends and would allow the Legislature to access the Constitutional Budget Reserve by a simple majority vote.

My preference continues to be a negotiated agreement with the Minority. We will find a solution to fully fund the budget and I continue to push for a solution that gets us there.



State Capitol, Room 501
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
(907) 465-3744 (Office)
(907) 465-2273 (Fax)

Write me an email

Bonnie Gruening

Terry Harvey

Crystal Koeneman

Maily Miramontes
UAS Intern

20150327_MunozPresenting HB 146 on the House Floor

Alaska Legislature

Senate Finance Committee Members


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March 27, 2015

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With 23 days to go, things are moving quickly. The Senate is closing out the operating budget and has revised some of the House’s budget numbers. We are analyzing the changes and the effects on our community. Beginning Monday, March 30, the Senate Finance Committee will hear public testimony from Juneau from 1:30-3pm.

Personal Legislation
HB 146 passed the House of Representatives this morning! This bill will give municipalities the option to provide an incentive to develop land for housing by exempting, for up to five years, a property tax increase associated with subdivision of property into three or more parcels. The Affordable Housing Commission and the Southeast Alaska Homebuilder’s Association brought this issue to our attention.

 HB 41 in House Finance had a hearing this week and will be brought back up on Wednesday for committee discussion. HB 41 re-establishes the sport fishing guide and operator licenses which sunsetted on December 31, 2014.

HB 143 will be heard in House Finance on Tuesday. This bill authorizes the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to consider issuance of bond financing for a hydroelectric project at Sweetheart Lake. The project would benefit Juneau with increased energy capacity and the delivery of hydropower to the Kensington Gold Mine.

HB 158 establishes an environmental fee of one cent a gallon on refined fuel sold, transferred, or used in the state. The revenue generated by this surcharge would help to fund oil spill prevention and clean-up. The bill will receive a second hearing next Wednesday in House Finance.

Coffee with Cathy!
Coffee, tea, pastries, and cookies will be provided. The constituent meeting will take place this Sunday, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm, in the Nugget Mall community room across from Hearthside Books. Hope to see you there!


As always, please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns.

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Cathy Muñoz
Alaska State Representative
District 34