Capitol Brief by Senator Bill Wielechowski

Keeping In Touch

Representing Northeast Anchorage Neighborhoods and Elmendorf AFB

January 20, 2016
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Bill Wielechowski

716 W 4th Suite 409
Anchorage, AK 99501
fax  269.0122


State Capitol, Rm 419
Juneau, AK 99801
FAX: 907.465.6615

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

          Yesterday we started the 2016 Legislative session in Juneau. While we face a $3.5 billion deficit due to the huge drop in oil prices, it’s times like these that require us to pull together. While these times are tough, we have faced tough times before and always come out stronger. 

Senator Wielechowski speaking on the Senate Floor
Senator Wielechowski speaking on the Senate Floor

Alaska’s Fiscal Crisis

          With a $3.5 billion deficit, how can we expect to fill the gap? To put some things in perspective, here is a rough estimate of how much some various proposals would raise:

Income Tax: $200-$600 million
Sales Tax: $200-$400 million
Powerball: $8 million
Marijuana tax: $5-20 million
Eliminating the PFD: $1.4 billion
Cutting all deductible oil tax credits: $1.5 billion
Cutting all refundable oil tax credits: $600 million
Increase the Alcohol tax: $40 million
Increase the Cigarette tax: $27 million

          How would you balance the budget? Here’s a link to the Governor’s proposal. I’d like to hear your ideas. My job is to represent you.

Senator Wielechowski joins the Governor and Lt. Governor for a meeting
Senator Wielechowski
 joins the Governor and
Lt. Governor for a meeting

Legislation this Session

          While the fiscal situation will be priority number 1 this session, I’ll continue to focus on growing our economy and fighting for kids, working families, Veterans and Seniors. Here are some of the bills I’m working on:

SB 2 – Allows private employers to give a hiring preference to Veterans
SB 10 – Protects Alaskans from high gasoline prices by giving the Attorney General the tools to investigate why prices are so high and allows for protections if Alaskans are being gouged at the pump
SB 12 – Provides earned sick leave for Alaskans working in the private sector
SB 13 – Prohibits local governments from providing private data about Alaskans to federal agencies, like the NSA, without a warrant
SB 17 – Ensures transparency of public records
SB 25 – Provides protections for victims of sexual assault
SB 59 – Creates a Uniform Code of Military Justice for Alaska National Guard members
SB 96 – Emergency oil tax fix to address the imbalance in our oil tax system, eliminating excessive credits for companies who do not need them.
SB 113 – Allows terminally ill patients the “Right to Try” experimental potentially life-saving drugs and treatments
SB 143 – Puts into statute that legislators may not get paid or expenses if they have not passed a budget on time
SJR 1 – Enshrines the Permanent Fund Dividend in the Alaska Constitution via constitutional amendment
SJR 6 – Urges Congress to amend campaign finance laws to prohibit unlimited independent expenditures by unions and corporations supporting or opposing candidates for elected office
SJR 7 – Supports the construction of an Alaska Native and American Indian Veterans’ memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC
SJR 8 – Urges Congress to provide protections for service members who are the victims of sexual abuse.

You are always welcome to contact me directly with thoughts, ideas and concerns. I am here to represent you!



Bill Wielechowski
Alaska State Senator
District H - Anchorage