|Volume 8: Issue 1
||February 5th, 2016
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Off to a Fast Start
Everyone is back in the Capitol and we are glad to report lots of activity as the third week of session wraps up.
It’s always good to catch up and hear about the legislative needs of constituents. I enjoy talking with folks and getting updates from old friends and the many sectors of our economy and communities.
Steve Allwine and Tim Toth with the Auto Dealers
Representatives of the Alaska Truckers Association
Former Attorney General and constituent Norm Gorsuch
Glad to hear from you!
Rep. Kito, Rep. Muñoz, and I met with constituents at the new Mendenhall Public Library in a town hall-style meeting last weekend. Wow! Turnout was great! I really appreciated each and every comment and shared concern. I am proud to be part of our region’s leadership. We all know the importance of the fiscal situation and other vital issues we are facing. I look forward to working with colleagues from across our state to come up with solutions. The Capitol stays busy, but there’s no better use of time than getting your ideas and support! Keep them coming!
Governor Walker Releases Ferry Study
Governor Bill Walker and the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities released a report on February 4, describing the economic impacts of the Alaska Marine Highway System. The report, prepared by the Juneau-based McDowell Group, found the state-run ferry system generates a return of more than $2 to the state for every $1 invested. “The ferry system provides a critical link for many communities,” Governor Bill Walker said. “But I was surprised to learn just how widespread the economic impacts are, accounting for 1,700 Alaska jobs and more than $100 million in wages and benefits. You can read the report here: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/doc/reports/econ_15.pdf
I’m on three budget subcommittees again this year, for the Departments of Fish & Game, Transportation & Public Facilities, and Administration. The subcommittee chairs started much earlier than usual this year. That’s good, because we have a lot of work to do. We’re starting with intensive looks at how the state runs airports, manages technology, and the never-ending fights about the best way to count fish.
The Division of Insurance put a big freeze on the insurance company Moda when it ran into major financial problems, and the state got worried about it paying people’s claims. People are asking me what to do now if they have a Moda health insurance plan? What happens?
Alaskans with Moda policies can still access health care. The State of Alaska will ensure claims get paid and consumers are protected.
If Moda handles your dental plan for state employee or retiree coverage, you’ll be fine. Moda just runs the state plans, which still have money. If you have coverage through a private sector job or you bought the policy yourself, keep paying your premiums, getting health care, and submitting your claims. Watch your mail for notices about the next steps.
Alaska Chamber Urges Fiscal Solution
A lot of visitors stop by during session to give us advice on how to address Alaska’s budget woes – and the importance of doing it sooner, rather than later. Members of the State Chamber of Commerce discussed the impacts to Alaska business.
Cory Baggen, Chris Miller, Sen. Egan, and Mike Satre
|Kudos from Juneau
Thanks to these community members for
helping make Southeast a great place to live!
- Vera Starbard - Big kudos to all those who put together the wonderful play “Our Voices Will Be Heard,” which is in its last weekend of performance at Perseverance Theatre. Thanks to Vera for writing this powerful, unique and necessary work of art.
- Department of Labor Rapid Response Team – This dedicated group of state employees pulled out all the stops to help Wal-Mart employees find new jobs after the Juneau store announced its closing, holding a special job fair and reaching out. We all appreciate their service to our fellow Alaskans.
Thanks for reading Legislative Corner. I hope you'll always feel welcome to contact my office, just call, write, or use one of the links in this newsletter.
Alaska State Senator
Web Site: http://alaskasenatedems.com/egan/
Click here to like Sen. Egan on Facebook!