From Sen. Bill Wielechowski <[email protected]>
Subject Legislative Session Convenes Tues, Jan 16
Date January 11, 2024 9:00 PM
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The latest from Senator Bill Wielechowski January 11, 2024 Senator Bill Wielechowski State Capitol, Rm 103 Juneau, AK 99801 800-550-2435 907-465-2435 [email protected] 1500 W Benson #315 Anchorage, AK 99503 907-269-0120 Contact My Staff Mercedes Colbert Chief of Staff [email protected] David Dunsmore Senior Legislative Aide [email protected] Hunter Lottsfeldt Legislative Aide [email protected] Maxine Laberge Legislative Aide [email protected] Kaleb Callahan Intern [email protected] Contact the Governor Governor Dunleavy's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at [email protected] Visit the state website Track Legislation Visit the Legislature's website Submit a Letter to the Editor The Anchorage Daily News welcomes and publishes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email [email protected]. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to [email protected]. ________________ Dear Friends & Neighbors, I hope you are having a great start to the new year! My Juneau office is open and getting ready for the upcoming session that begins next Tuesday, January 16. This being the second session of the Thirty-Third Legislature, all legislation that was introduced and on the move in 2023 is still able to be considered in 2024. When the regular session ends, the Legislature would adjourn "sine die," meaning all legislation effectively "dies" and would have to be reintroduced in 2025 to start the process all over again. That means this session will be a very busy one as legislators and the governor push their policy priorities - some with time constraints - through the end of this session. It is also important to remember that complicated, substantive policy sometimes takes multiple years and even multiple terms (4 or more years) to pass into law. The "checks and balances" designed in our government can sometimes make it more difficult to pass laws, but the good news is that the committee and two-chamber process requires a thorough review. This E-news is a quick preview of the session ahead. As always, please feel free to contact my office by phone, e-mail or letter, or stop by Capitol Room 103 if you find yourself in Juneau. Legislative Priorities My colleagues and I in the bipartisan Senate Majority are meeting this week to discuss the year's priorities. I anticipate education funding, energy costs and access, and public employee recruitment/retention and pensions to be among our top priorities this year. As the operating budget process has yet to get fully underway, it is not yet clear how much funding we have available for capital budget spending. I am already hearing from our community councils, nonprofits, and other advocates about their projects and priorities. Deadlines have not yet been determined for CAPSIS. In the meantime, please contact my office if you need assistance submitting capital project proposals. My continued position as Senate Rules Chair strives to ensure the general day-to-day business of the Senate runs smoothly, on top of the duty of determining what legislation is calendared on the Senate Floor for a vote. I also continue to sit on Senate State Affairs Committee, Senate Resources Committee, Joint Armed Services Committee, and Legislative Budget & Audit Committees. Additionally, I serve on the subcommittees responsible of the budgets for the departments of Public Safety, Transportation, Natural Resources, and Military & Veterans' Affairs. Here is a snapshot of the personal legislation I am working on this year: SB 99 – Financial Literacy in Schools to help high school students get the introduction they need to be financially prepared in the adult world. This bill already passed the Senate last session and is now in the House for consideration. SB 135 – Alaska Work & Save Program follows a model established in Oregon and Hawaii to make it an option for small businesses to participate in a state-managed system for retirement investment. SB 152 – Community Energy would make solar panels and other renewable energy sources easier to access for Alaska residents through net metering. There are hundreds of other bills that will be heard and moved throughout the legislature. I look forward to working with my fellow legislators and the governor to find common ground and pass legislation that will make Alaska a better place to work, live, play, and raise a family. MLK Day Events On Monday, January 15, the nation will observe Martin Luther King, Jr., Day to reflect on Dr. King's life and legacy of service and fighting for civil rights. In Anchorage, a number of events are going on to observe MLK Day: The Martin Luther King, Jr., Foundation of Alaska will celebrate its 2024 observance on Sun, Jan 14, at West High School from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. On Mon, Jan 15, the Alaska Bar Association will offer free legal services in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Bethel. In Anchorage, the event will be held at the Mountain View Boys & Girls Club from 12 Noon to 4:00 PM. Clients should arrive no later than 3:30 PM for consultations on civil matters, including family law, landlord/tenant issues, labor, estate planning, and more. Click here for more information. Please feel free to reach out to me or my staff anytime if we may be of assistance to you. Warmly, Alaska Senate Majority | Capitol Building, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801 Unsubscribe [email protected] Constant Contact Data Notice Sent by [email protected]
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