I want to hear from you, share your thoughts, voice your opinion. Together we will make a difference.
Click here to visit my Website
Click here to write
me an email
Call me anytime:
Toll-Free (866) 465-2095
State Capitol Bldg. Rm. 426
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 465-3810 fax
716 W. 4th St., Ste. 370
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-0242 fax
EMAIL: Gov. Sean Parnell
Senator Mark Begich,
EMAIL: Sen. Mark Begich
Congressman Don Young,
EMAIL: Rep. Don Young
Senator Lisa Murkowski,
April 18, 2011
Legislature Called Into Special Session
As you may have already heard, the Legislature has been adjourned by the Governor and called into special session beginning today.
I am very disappointed that the Legislature was not able to follow the mandate from the voters to finish our business in 90 days. It is the Legislature’s duty to cooperate to advance Alaska’s interests, and I want to see results through cooperation. I am prepared, however, to stay in Juneau as long as it takes to get the job done and make sure the people’s business is finished.
This highly unusual route to a special session came because of a stand-off between the House and Senate over major legislation, including a $2.9 billion capital budget to fund construction projects around Alaska.
According to the Alaska Constitution, the Legislature is required to simply pass an operating budget before leaving Juneau. While the Alaskan voters limited the session to 90 days in 2006, the Alaska Constitution allows the session to extend to 120 days. If either the House or Senate adjourns and the other body doesn’t, the body remaining in session can call the other back after three days. So, a constitutional procedure was used allowing the Governor to adjourn the Legislature and call a special session.
Make no mistake, the Governor is not a hero here. Part of the reason the House and Senate are at an impasse is because the Governor threatened to veto Senate capital projects if the Senate continued to question conflicting data about the impact of oil taxes before revising the tax structure. The House is playing the Governor’s cards in this hand, by insisting the Senate remove contingency language it inserted into spending bills to protect energy projects from vetoes.
In short, much of the impasse is about insider politics. It is both an insult to the will of Alaskan voters, and a poor show of cooperation needed to find real answers to the challenges facing our state.
This special session is limited to ten bills, many of which have been in debate for weeks and months. While resolutions are close on some, others are highly contentious. The bills at hand are:
· Operating, mental health, capital, and supplemental budgets (HB 108, HB 109, SB 46, SB 76)
· Alaska Performance Scholarships (HB 104)
· Power projects, including Susitna Dam (SB 42)
· Local control over decisions impacting coastal communities (HB 106)
· Funding for schools and vocational education (SB 84)
· Extension of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and other boards and commissions (HB 24, HB 126)
Constitutionally, the special session can only last up to 30 days. I believe it is the Legislature’ s sworn duty to work together, to reach solutions for all Alaskans.
I will continue to work long hours every day and do my best for our families.
Rep. Chris Tuck joins Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Chenault and House Majority Leader Rep. Alan Austerman in a Rules Committee meeting where contentious bills are often hashed out.
Representative Chris Tuck gives Alaskan working men and women a thumbs up for their achievements in growing our great state.
Speaking on the House floor, Representative Chris Tuck makes an impassioned speech in support of vocational education.
Representative Chris Tuck presents his Parents As Teachers Act (HB 49) to the House Finance Committee.
Some Good News!
The Alaska Permanent Fund is worth over $40 billion dollars today. The Permanent Fund, which is created by depositing oil revenues, was created in 1976 by bold leaders who dreamed that our limited natural resource of oil would become a permanent source of government revenues for the future. The Permanent Fund has paid out more money in PFD’s than legislators have ever put into the state savings. While 47 other states are recording deficits in the 100’s of billions, the State of Alaska continues to be in good shape economically. Alaska will continue to that trend into the future with strong, bold leadership.
I continue to focus my work on your behalf on creating solutions. Last week, I was named to the newly formed Fiscal Policy Committee.
This group is tasked with taking just over a year to examine the state's current and future fiscal situation, and make recommendations to ensure a sound fiscal future for Alaska. This is challenge I take very seriously, and I welcome your thoughts on the topic.
I’m here for you, and look forward to hearing from you.
Alaska State Representative
District 29 - Anchorage
New boundaries proposed for state house and senate districts
The Alaska Redistricting Board has come up with its draft plans for what each state House and Senate district could look like for the next decade. You can view the map of the plans by going to http://www.akredistricting.org/. Public comment period is now open. Please visit the web site or call (907) 269-7402 for more information.