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

       State Capitol, Room 417
       Juneau, AK 99801-1182

       (907) 465-4947
       (907) 465-2108 Fax

 
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Volume 8: Issue 10 April 9th, 2016

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Hold On. Here We Go.

24-Hour Rule

Now that the conference committee on the budget has been appointed, committees only need to give the public a day’s notice of bills.  That means things get going pretty fast and furious. Keep a close eye on the issues as we enter the last week of the 90-day session. 

Senate Special Committee on Energy

Sen. Egan and Sen. Bishop taking testimony on tax incentives for renewable energy. I voted for the bill (SB 193) on the floor today.
Sen. Egan and Sen. Bishop taking testimony on tax incentives for renewable energy. I voted for the bill (SB 193) on the floor today.

A Bad Idea Comes Back

The House State Affairs committee moved ahead the bill to change Daylight Saving Time this week.  I voted against SB 6 last year.  The committee substitute still proposes to eliminate DST but it does so only if the U.S. Department of Transportation puts the entire state on Pacific Standard Time along with Yukon, Washington, Oregon, and California. I hate the possibility of eliminating DST and being out of sync with 47 other states for half the year.  That said, I like the idea of Juneau going back to our natural time zone.  But my biggest complaint is that we should focus on our fiscal issues, not on making things tougher on businesses and more confusing for tourists.

Senate Says Yes to Guns on Campus

SB174 Vote Count

This was another bad idea.  I voted to support the University of Alaska Regents on their very reasonable weapons policy. That meant voting ‘no’ on SB 174, which allows almost unlimited carrying of weapons on UA campuses.  It lets the regents restrict random shooting in the air, but not much else.  I don’t say this very often, but I’m with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who pointed out the constitutional right to bear arms is subject to some rational restrictions, including school campuses.

Criminal Justice Reform Bill

SB 91 is a major criminal justice reform bill that passed the Senate today.  The big focus is on keeping nonviolent people in jobs instead of jail.  It moves away from “tough on” crime and switches Alaska to “effective against” crime. I co-sponsored it because it will do a better job protecting public safety.  The side benefit is, it will do a lot to control costs. Alaska will save $380 million in the next 10 years.  We’ll reinvest nearly $90 million of that into services that keep people from committing new crimes.  That means fewer victims in our communities, and a much longer time before we need to build a new prison. (Remember the last one cost $250 million to build, plus $43 million per year to operate!)

Special Session Planning

It’s starting to look like we may need a special session again this year.  Since we went to the 90-day session, these have become way too routine.  In the past few years, when the Capitol building is getting repaired, Juneau always comes through to deliver the space and services needed to hold whatever special sessions the Governor may call.  I want to thank all the volunteers, professionals, businesses, and residents who always come through and make me very proud to represent the capital city! 

I Got to Throw The Switch for 1-gigabit Internet

Ignore the corporate logos – I got to visit with Warren Russell, but it was even better to see the Mariner Moose! I’m his biggest fan!
Ignore the corporate logos – I got to visit with Warren Russell, but it was even better to see the Mariner Moose! I’m his biggest fan!

Kudos from Juneau

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

Back where it belongs – The Juneau Sister Cities Committee put on this year’s Rainforest Classic Hockey Tournament at Treadwell Ice Arena.  It’s a friendly competition between Juneau and Whitehorse teams.  The Juneau Old Timers won after a three year losing streak, which makes some of us feel a lot friendlier.

I thought I was busy – The 42nd Alaska Folk Festival is going on and it’s amazing.  That’s thanks to all the volunteers, especially the board members who are really active running the whole thing.  What blows me away is the board chair, Erin Hanson, who is also organizing her wedding next month!  I have no idea when she has time to do her job.

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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