Capitol Brief by Senator Bill Wielechowski

Keeping In Touch

Representing Muldoon, Russian Jack, JBER, Reflection Lake,
University Area, College Gate, Nunaka Valley, Wonder Park

January 20, 2017
 
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Senator
Bill Wielechowski

1500 W Benson #228
Anchorage, AK 99503
907.269.0120
FAX: 907.269.0122

sen.bill.wielechowski@
akleg.gov

State Capitol, Rm 7
Juneau, AK 99801
800.550.2435
907.465.2435
FAX: 907.465.6615

Contact the Governor
Governor Walker's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at gov.alaska.gov

Visit the state website
www.state.ak.us
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Tuesday marked the beginning of Alaska’s 30th legislative session and once again, Alaska continues to face a multibillion dollar deficit. We need to come together as Alaskans to solve this problem. There are 15 new legislators and a new House coalition who is working past partisan politics to solve the pressing issues facing our great state.

 My family joined me for my oath of office, it is always nice to have them
visit me at the Capitol

Alaska’s Fiscal Crisis

While more cuts are necessary, everyone now agrees that Alaska’s budget crisis cannot be solved by cutting alone. We must collaborate to create a solution that doesn’t compromise the future of our state. I talked with thousands of you while going door-to-door last year and heard how important the Permanent Fund Dividend is. I also heard how many of you were concerned about our oil tax structure that has us receiving $89 million in production taxes while paying out $1.3 billion in oil tax credits. That’s why I will be working on fixing our oil tax structure while protecting your PFD. A state constitutional amendment will ensure that your PFD is secure, which is why I have proposed it every year for the past 5 years.

As legislators, we need to work together and across all party lines to fix the budget. We have been sent to Juneau to fix the crisis, and I believe that we ought not to get paid for special sessions unless we pass a state budget. This is why I filed a bill that cuts off legislators’ pay and per diem after the voter-mandated 90th day of session - until a budget is passed.

New House Majority

The Alaska House of Representatives will be controlled by a bipartisan coalition of Democrats, Independents and Republicans. With a new majority, the priority of the House will be solving the budget deficit. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate. I believe that government is most effective when we set our differences aside in order to solve this problem that effects every Alaskan.

My New colleague’s in the senate:
Sen. Egan, Sen. Wielechowski, Sen. Gardner, Sen. Begich, Sen. Olson

Legislation this session

The budget is my first priority this session, and I will also focus on expanding our economy and taking care of our veterans and seniors. I am filing several bills this session that may be of interest to you. These bills would:

  • Enshrine the PFD in the Alaska Constitution via constitutional amendment
     
  • Put into statute that legislators may not get paid or charge expenses if they have not passed a budget on time
     
  • Prohibit local governments from providing private data about Alaskans to federal agencies, like the NSA, without a warrant
     
  • Urge Congress to amend campaign finance laws to prohibit unlimited independent expenditures by unions and corporations supporting or opposing candidates for elected
     
  • Allow terminally ill patients the “Right to Try” experimental potentially life-saving drugs and treatments
     
  • Reform legislative ethics by addressing voting in instances of conflicts of interest
     
  • Ban toxic, flame retardant material commonly found in household furniture
     
  • Provide earned sick leave for Alaskans working in the private sector

I always appreciate hearing your ideas and suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Warmly,

[signed]

Bill Wielechowski
Alaska State Senator
District H - Anchorage

http://senatorbill.org