Senator Dennis Egan's Newsletter
Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau

       State Capitol, Room 417
       Juneau, AK 99801-1182

       (907) 465-4947
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Volume 9: Issue 2 February 10, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I didn’t do it! With all the stuff about fake news, can you believe a friend of mine spread a phony old rumor about me and got quoted in the newspaper!? When I was a kid in the Governor’s House, I got in my share of trouble. But I NEVER set the place on fire!

Criminal Justice Cleanup Bills:

Last year the historic criminal justice reform bill was passed as a bipartisan effort. Senators John Coghill and Johnny Ellis were instrumental in changing our approach to how we use jail in ways that will both make Alaskans safer, and save money. But it wasn’t perfect. After a few months of seeing SB 91 in action, there are some changes that need to happen. We are listening very carefully to law enforcement, prosecutors, and communities to make sure we improve things. Two bills got introduced this week: one to fix technical stuff, the other to look at some policy fixes.

Our History is Safe and Comes Alive!

Patricia Relay (l) and Jane Lindsey stopped by to catch me up on the state of Alaska museums. Patricia is with the Valdez Museum and Jane is at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum!

Transportation Committee
The Senate Transportation committee voted to move the governor’s fuel tax on to the Finance Committee this week. I signed “no recommendation” after hearing from a number of key industries and from ordinary Alaskans. Several big questions remain but one thing is certain: the increased fuel tax in the bill doesn’t get close to balancing the budget. It doesn’t even raise enough to match all the federal transportation dollars! Still, despite the lowest fuel tax in the country, Alaska fuel prices are among the highest. I’ll watch this one carefully as it moves forward.

The Fund is Permanent. The Checks?
I also sit on the State Affairs Committee. We’ve been very busy listening to proposals about the Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund Dividend. I don’t think there’s a way out of our fiscal crisis without using some earnings, but I’m also determined to keep paying a dividend to Alaskans into the future. In the last two weeks we’ve heard bills to put the dividend in the constitution, spend a little from the earnings, and spend a lot from the earnings. This is one of the biggest parts of any fiscal plan we might pass this year. Thanks to everyone who’s sent me your thoughts. If you haven’t yet, I want to hear from you!

Professional Fire Fighters

Paul Hamby stopped by the office on behalf of the professional fire fighters. We talked about health care, retirement issues, and the risks our public safety workers take every day. Thanks for your work!

Kudos from Juneau

Thanks to these community members for
helping make Southeast
a great place to live!

Fast! – Johanna Griggs of the Juneau Ski Club took first place in both the U-16 and overall in the second Giant Slalom race in Anchorage this week. She was so impressive they used her picture in the news article.

Go Girls Go! – This past weekend the Lady Crimson Bears beat our good buddies from Soldotna. My buddy Sen. Micciche wanted to put a few bucks on the game. If the Lady Crimson Bears keep playing this well, I’ll need to set up a trust fund for my winnings!

Job Well Done – Matt Lillard has done an amazing job running Eaglecrest Ski Area. He cut costs, increased customers, and made a lot of smart investments that will pay off for years. He and his family are moving to the East Coast, and Juneau is going to miss them!

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.

[signed] Dennis Egan

Dennis Egan
Alaska State Senator
District Q

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