State Capitol, Room 501
|January 16, 2015
Dear Friends and Neighbors, On Tuesday, January 20, the legislature gavels in for the start of the 29th Legislature. The Governor delivers the State of the State address at 7pm on January 21, and the State of the Budget address at 7pm on January 22. Both will be broadcast live on KTOO – 360 North, Channel 18.The Juneau Welcome Reception will be held prior to the State of the Budget at 5pm on January 22, at Centennial Hall. I hope that you can attend to welcome legislators, staff, and families to our great city.
Affordable Housing Update
Juneau Access Update
PFD filing is open
Legislature’s new website
My office is your office
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Four bills released today on PFD allowable absences, anti-discrimination, the House of Wickersham, and sport fishing licensing
For immediate release January 9, 2015
Juneau, Alaska – Four new bills inspired by Juneau residents were released today as part of a package of legislation that came out before the legislative session begins on January 20, 2015.
Introduced by Juneau Representative Cathy Muñoz, the measures would allow for an additional 120-day allowable absence for unforeseen medical emergencies, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, designate the House of Wickersham as the official residence of the lieutenant governor, and reinstate the sport fishing licensing program.
“These are all based on ideas that constituents have brought to me over the past year,” Muñoz said. “Each one is designed to provide a benefit to the public such as allowing those with unforeseen medical emergencies to still qualify for the Permanent Fund Dividend, reinstating safeguards for sport fishing guides and operators, maintaining the historical integrity of the House of Wickersham and designating it as the official residence of the lieutenant governor, and recognizing for all Alaskans the same civil rights regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. My constituents asked for help to address these issues, and these bills aim to do just that.”
The measures are among pre-filed legislation that came out today and will be formally introduced in the House on the first day of the session.
What follows are brief summaries of each bill.
House Bill 10 – Sponsored by Representative Muñoz
House Bill 10 will allow people to qualify for a Permanent Fund Dividend if they have been away from the state for 120 days in addition to any absence claimed for an unplanned medical emergency. This provision only applies if the 120-day absence occurs prior to the unplanned medical emergency.
House Bill 25 – Sponsored by Representatives Muñoz and Kito III
House Bill 25 designates the House of Wickersham as the official residence of the lieutenant governor. The house will serve as the living quarters as well as a place to conduct official and ceremonial duties. Additionally, it will be available to the Alaska Historical Commission, managed to maintain its historical integrity, and available for public tours and events.
House Bill 41 – Sponsored by Representative Elect Tilton and Representative Muñoz
House Bill 41 reinstates the sport fishing guide program that ended on December 31, 2014. Created by the legislature in 2004, it has proven to be beneficial to both the sport fishing industry and resource managers. Reinstating it ensures certain industry standard safety requirements will continue to be met. HB 41 differs from the past program in only one aspect: it proposes to double the fee structure over the next three years. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game now spends $380,000 to $400,000 annually to administer the program. With licensing revenues approximately half of that, HB 41 attempts to make it run at no cost to the state.
House Bill 42 – Sponsored by Representatives Muñoz and Nageak
House Bill 42 will add discriminating against sexual orientation and gender identity or expression to the list of prohibited discriminatory practices. Currently, the opportunity to obtain employment, credit and financing, public accommodations, housing accommodations and other property without discrimination does not cover sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as a civil right. HB 42 will ensure that all Alaskans are awarded the same civil liberties.
All prefiled bills can be found here.
I am proud to announce that Kalibo Mayor William Lachica and a delegation from the Municipality of Kalibo are in Juneau to formalize the Sister City relationship between our two communities. Many of Juneau’s Filipino community members come from the Province of Aklan and have family members living in or near Kalibo.
In 2012, at the invitation of Vice Governor Billie Calizo-Quimpo, I was a part of Alaska’s first official trade visit to the Philippines. As a result of that trade mission there were three desired goals; to establish a Sister City relationship between Juneau and Kalibo, increase the Alaska seafood export markets in the Philippines, and create ties between the University of Alaska –Southeast and Aklan State University – Kalibo.
The community of Juneau is invited to help us welcome the delegation for the official signing ceremony tomorrow Saturday, November 1, at 3:30pm in the Juneau Assembly Chambers. Please join us in formalizing this Sister City relationship.
Richard Peterson, president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Governor Sean Parnell, Cathy, and Jason Wilson, Central Council Village Public Safety Officer program director, at the August 25, 2014, signing ceremony at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in Juneau. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor.
Juneau – Governor Sean Parnell and the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska signed a first-of-its-kind memorandum of agreement August 25, 2014, in Juneau, signifying a new era of better communication and collaboration on education, workforce training, jobs, economic development, public safety, and energy. Central Council and the state have appointed liaisons who will communicate with each other on these topics and more.
Central Council President Richard Peterson noted that 2014 already has been an historic year for Alaska Natives with the passage last April of bills officially recognizing indigenous languages and designating November 14 as Dr. Walter Soboleff Day.
Governor Parnell cited the Village Public Safety Officer program as an example of successful collaboration between the state and non-profit organizations like Tlingit-Haida Central Council.
For more about the agreement, go to KTOO and the Juneau Empire. For more about Village Public Safety Officers in Southeast Alaska, see this story by KTOO. Central Council has posted a 33-minute video of the event. To see it, go here.