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

       State Capitol, Room 417
       Juneau, AK 99801-1182

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Volume 8: Issue 6 March 13th, 2016

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Budget Week

Thank you to everyone who took time to testify to the House and Senate Finance Committees this week.  It’s been a heck of a session so far, focused on cuts that – often as not – went too far.  The Senate got the House budget on Friday, saw it on the floor Saturday, and we’ll debate amendments to the Senate version on Monday.  A lot of the cuts are survivable, but others are just bad government for Alaska.

What hasn’t happened yet is figuring out a way to pay for the budget we eventually pass.  Right now, the only option is digging deep into our savings, but those won’t last long.  We still need to do serious work on revenues this year.

8th Graders from Floyd Dryden Middle School

The League of Women Voters is bringing every 8th grader in Juneau through the Capitol this session.  It’s an impressive effort, but even more impressive are these students and their teachers.  They just finished studying the U.S. Constitution, and they came well prepared!

The League of Women Voters is bringing every 8th grader in Juneau through the Capitol this session.

8th Graders from Floyd Dryden Middle School

Capitol Reconstruction

Spring is in the air, and that means construction season is here.  I met with the Capitol Renovation team this week to review the mobilization plan for this season’s work on the Capitol.  If the legislature can complete its work in time we should be done on time and on budget this construction season.

Welcome Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

District 16 in Anchorage didn’t spend long without a representative in the House.  The governor had three highly qualified choices and this week he appointed Ivy Spohnholz. Welcome the legislature, and thank you for joining the work here in Alaska’s Capitol.  You picked a heck of a first session to get started!

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz

Medicaid and Opioid Reform

Good news on two very good pieces of legislation this week. The first was SB 23, to make saving lives easier when someone overdoses on heroin.  I cosponsored Sen. Ellis’ bill in the senate, and this week it passed the House. Governor Walker plans to sign it into law on Monday!

The other highlight of this week was Medicaid reform. I cosponsored this one, too, and the Senate passed it unanimously on Friday.  It represents a lot of collaborative work in the Senate and with the Governor.  And it’s going to save a lot of money!  Smart steps like getting more people to use primary care instead of the emergency room and more telemedicine to reduce travel costs make sense for both patients and the budget.

I can see Russia from Here!

Lt. Governor Mallott takes a look while Ron Clarke with the Department of Military & Veterans Affairs tells the history behind this spotting scope owned the Army National Guard.  This is the actual scope from the Federal Scout Readiness Center in Little Diomede.  The soldiers who crewed this scope for many years kept watch over Big Diomede, Russia.

Lt. Gov. Mallott, former Sen. Albert Kookesh, and Ron Clarke.
Lt. Gov. Mallott, former Sen. Albert Kookesh, and Ron Clarke.

The green building is the Federal Scout Readiness Center in Little Diomede. Russia’s Big Diomede is in the distance past the Blackhawk helicopter.
The green building is the Federal Scout Readiness Center in Little Diomede. Russia’s Big Diomede is in the distance past the Blackhawk helicopter.

Kudos from Juneau

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

Women of Distinction – AWARE honored four remarkable Women of Distinction last weekend.  Marie Darlin, Justine Muench, Missouri Smyth, and Kristi West have each done more for our region than I’ll ever manage.  Rep. Sam Kito and I got to present them a citation at the banquet.

Rep. Sam Kito and I got to present them a citation at the banquet.

Top Tech  The Alaska Society for Technology and Education’s Student of the Year award went to Haines senior Autumn Gross.  Autumn does a remarkable amount of computer work for the Haines Borough School District, and helps train their teachers on technology.  Usually the education goes in the other direction, but I guess that’s how you get to be Student of the Year. Kudos, Autumn!

Success! – I was honored to speak yesterday at the “Success Inside and Out” event at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Huge kudos to the department and a whole bunch of volunteers who made it happen.  Almost every inmate gets out of prison, and when the community reaches out to help them find jobs, housing and services, they’re a lot less likely to end up back in.  The beauty of this event is that the community reaches in to the prison to start reaching out!  I got to highlight Marcos, a friend of mine who is making a success of himself while he’s still under supervision!

Two Home Teams Play Away – The Region V championship game in boys’ 4A basketball was a Juneau vs. Juneau title match.  I just want to applaud Juneau’s two high school basketball teams for making it all the way in Sitka.  Juneau-Douglas beat Thunder Mountain at the end of what must have been a great tournament.

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.

Sincerely,
[signed] Dennis Egan

Dennis Egan
Alaska State Senator
District Q

Web Site: http://alaskasenatedems.com/egan/
Email: Sen.Dennis.Egan@akleg.gov

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