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February Legislative Update

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It’s time that we protect the PFD. The House is working on the FY 2019 budget. With the likelihood that for the first time in this state’s history state services will be financed through the earnings reserve of the Permanent Fund, it is time that we put our money where our mouth is and protect the Permanent Fund Dividend. That is why I have co-sponsored HJR 23 to amend the Alaska State Constitution to put the dividend into the Constitution. I do not believe that we should finance state government on the backs of the hardworking men and women in this state who rely upon the dividend to make ends meet.

Since Alaska’s fiscal crisis came to a head, the Legislature has cut over $3 billion from the state’s budget. While I believe we need a comprehensive fiscal plan, we also need to find ways to more responsibly manage the state’s finances. This includes a spending cap to put downward pressure on our operating budget. For this reason, I have introduced HB 369, which would impose a state spending cap. I also supported HB 215, which has now passed the House. This would allow the Department of Health and Social Services to collect fees for things they are required to do like certifying and inspecting X-Ray and MRI devises. This bill assures that those who utilize such department services pay for them.

The Military and Veterans Affairs and Judiciary Committees on which I serve are working on HB 307. This bill continues to update the Alaska Code of Military Justice to make sure that it is in line with the U.S. Code of Military Justice. Moreover, I am honored to support HJR 17, which encourages Congress to allow Hmong veterans the right to be buried in national cemeteries. These veterans fought to protect US servicemen during the Vietnam War and deserve the recognition that they are due. I hope to see you at Anchorage Caucus or the Constituent Meeting, but if you can’t make it, please know that I am always available over the phone or via email.

Please stay in touch.

Gabrielle

New Leadership Results in Tangible Cost Savings in the Alaska House of Representatives

Juneau – As lawmakers grapple with how to fill a $3 billion budget gap, the Alaska House Majority Coalition has instituted several cost-saving measures within the Alaska House of Representatives.  The largest such measure is to roll-back the level of staff pay that existed under the previous House Majority Caucus.  The Legislative Affairs Agency anticipates savings of more than $270,000 compared to last year’s staff compensation.

“I believe every Representative needs good staff to be effective, but for too long the previous majority organization refused to make necessary in-house reductions while cutting nearly every other aspect of state services,” said House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage).  “This year, the new majority rolled back staff pay, and as a result, we are projected to save the State of Alaska well over a quarter of a million dollars.”

The House Rules Committee is the committee of jurisdiction for staff hired during the legislative sessions in Juneau.  Staff hired during the interim, between sessions, must be authorized by the Speaker of the House.

“The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition have repeatedly said that all options to help fill our budget gap should be on the table.  We are putting our money where our mouth is by limiting the amount that our very valuable staff can be paid,” said Speaker Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham).  “This was not done to punish anyone, we simply can’t afford to continue the practice of ignoring legislative salaries while reducing resources available for crucial state services.”

Besides limiting staff pay in the Alaska House of Representatives, the Alaska House Majority Coalition has also put in place cost-saving measures on the heavily used legislative cafeteria, limited lawmaker travel, and cut back on the amount and kinds of materials printed by the in-house print shop.  The Coalition has also limited the number of subscriptions for periodicals and other reference materials.

“By no means are we done looking for additional cost savings within the Alaska House of Representatives,” said Rep. LeDoux.  “We will leave no stone unturned as we try and save the people’s money while still ensuring we get the people’s business done.  It must be done as just a small step to overcome the fiscal challenges brought on by the low price of oil and years of legislative inaction.”

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

February’s Legislative Update Available Now

Representative LeDoux’s February newsletter is now available.

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please e-mail rep.gabrielle.ledoux[at]akleg.gov.

Fifty Shades Freed (2018)

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The 30th Legislature Begins With New Leadership

The 30th Alaska State Legislature gaveled in on January 17. Representative LeDoux is honored to serve as House Rules Chair within the new Alaska House Majority Coalition. The coalition brings together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to address Alaska’s fiscal crisis. The coalition has put aside partisan politics in order to represent all Alaskans, regardless of political affiliation or geographic location. Below please enjoy some photos from the first week of session.

Swearing in, alongside Representatives Lora Reinbold, Ivy Spohnholz, and Dan Saddler.

At the signing of the Oaths of Office with staff and the Lieutenant Governor. From left, Anjuli Grantham, Courtney Enright, Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, Rep Gabrielle LeDoux, Lisa Vaught, Greg Smith.

The Judiciary Committee conference room was renamed in memory of the late Representative Max Gruenberg. Rep. Gruenberg served Anchorage for many years and is fondly remembered by his colleagues in the Capitol.

Father Daughter Gala Saturday, September 10th

Father Daughter Gala

Ever After…

The Armed Services YMCA proudly announces our 10th Annual Father Daughter Ball: Ever After! This is a formal ball for active duty, guard, and reserve military fathers and their daughters only (sorry Moms!).

Saturday, September 10, 2016
5:00pm – 8:00pm
National Guard Armory, JBER
Tickets are $20/ father, $10/each daughter
Formal Attire | Dinner Buffet

Tickets are available for purchase from August 1st through September 1st, unless sold out at an earlier date. A limited number of tickets are available for this event, so plan to get your tickets before they sell out! Click here to purchase your tickets online today!

For more information about ticket purchases, please contact our Luke Avenue Welcome Center at 552-9622.

Call for volunteers! Volunteers are needed to assist us with decoration creation, set-up prior to the Gala, and clean-up afterward. For more information or to volunteer, please e-mail our Program Coordinator at programs@akasymca.org.