From Senator Jesse Kiehl <[email protected]>
Subject Welcome to the Real Deal With Kiehl!
Date January 18, 2022 2:28 AM
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New Year, New Session, New-sletter New Year, New Session, New-sletter January 17, 2022 Dear Friends and Neighbors, I hope you and your loved ones had a happy, healthy New Years. As we dive into 2022, the regular legislative session is upon us. The Capitol is filling up and things are bustling. What to expect? Read on! Special thanks to everyone who called in to our virtual town hall Wednesday night. If you didn’t get the chance, please give me a ring or come by the office. The Daily Mosquito Misinformation parading as rumor is nothing new. For a time, US military personnel in Iraq spent so much time swatting down phony stories they started putting out a weekly e-mail called "The Baghdad Mosquito." I mention it because I keep hearing bunkum about the Capitol being closed to the public. Or that proof of vaccination will be required tomorrow to enter the public galleries. Or that Juneau has closed all the hotels. Or... Here's the truth: The Alaska State Capitol is open to the public. For COVID safety, everyone must wear a mask. Legislators may take them off within their own offices. Legislators and staff must get a COVID test every fourth day. Juneau is open to visitors. The city requires masks indoors and limits capacity for some events. So while there won't be any 500-people-in-one-room conventions this session, Alaskans can come to the Capitol and talk with legislators face-to-face. (Or at least mask-to-mask.) What’s coming down the pipeline? Session convenes tomorrow. As always, the budget will be key. It determines not just what happens this year, but also our financial future for years (or decades) to come. With temporarily higher oil prices and a lot of federal help, there's some cash on hand. We'll have to be careful not to blow through it all in one go. I'm afraid it may be just enough money to delay the point of fiscal crisis by a year. That will make it tough to implement the new revenues Alaska needs for the long term. There's a lot of federal funding for infrastructure this year, too. Alaska has huge major maintenance needs, and new opportunities, too. And since we couldn't spend the federal infrastructure dough on services even if we wanted to, you can look for us to put a lot of time into where and how we invest it. I also expect a lot of conversation about election law. That ought to include fixing our campaign finance limits after a federal court threw out Alaska's voter-passed rules. Beyond those, there's usually an issue or two that catches the legislature by surprise. I'd love to get your predictions. What should I be ready for? Thursday morning I got to volunteer at Juneau-Douglas High School Kalé. Fishy At Best The Board of Fish has a long, proud tradition of meeting in each region of the state to look at issues that affect the fisheries there. The board delayed its Southeast finfish meeting, scheduled for Ketchikan. The concern for public health is important. But then they rescheduled the meeting for Anchorage. Last I checked, Anchorage isn’t in Southeast. The board gave a litany of reasons for moving the meeting, almost none of which withstand scrutiny. I've asked. It's one thing to make a bad decision. Giving bogus reasons is unacceptable. Remember last year, when the governor tried to consolidate all the commercial fishing regions at the Department of Fish & Game into a single statewide entity run from Anchorage? I'm starting to see an ugly pattern. Southeast Alaska fishing families deserve the same hearing before the board as every part of the state. All my best, Did someone forward you this newsletter? Did you fall into it through the series of tubes? Want more? SUBSCRIBE Events & Happenings Around District Q Juneau Murder Mysteries Retired journalists present true crime stories with a Southeast Alaska flair. The first of three is Jan. 22. Juneau Platypus Con It’s all fun and games at this board game and card game convention, starting Jan. 28. Skagway Teen Night Every Friday is teen night at the Skagway library. Last week was making chocolate from scratch. Check out next week’s! Haines River Talk Come listen to seven speakers share seven minute stories. (Or sign up to tell one!) The fun begins on Jan. 20. Is there an event in our district I should know about? Please call or email! Snail Mail? Alaska State Capitol Room 419 Juneau, AK 99801 Call: 800 550 4947 907 465 4947 Email Me! ‌ ‌ ‌ Contact My Staff, the people who power the work: Edric Carrillo 907 465 6419 [email protected] Cathy Schlingheyde 907 465 6827 [email protected] Senator Jesse Kiehl | Alaska State Capitol, Rm. 419, 4th Avenue & Main Street, Juneau, AK 99801 Unsubscribe [email protected] Update Profile | Constant Contact Data Notice Sent by [email protected]
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