From Sen. Bill Wielechowski <[email protected]>
Subject February 6, 2020 CAPITOL BRIEF
Date February 7, 2020 3:51 AM
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February 6, 2020

Bill Wielechowski
State Capitol, Rm 9
Juneau, AK 99801
[email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
1500 W Benson #315
Anchorage, AK 99503
Contact My Staff
Sonja Kawasaki
Chief of Staff
Office: 907-269-0120
[email protected]
Nate Graham
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-269-0120
[email protected]
David Dunsmore
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-269-0120
[email protected]
Alexander Schroeder
Legislative Aide
Office: 907-465-2435
[email protected]
Contact Alaska's Federal Delegation
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Phone: 907-271-3735
Website [[link removed]]
Senator Dan Sullivan
Phone: 907-271-5915
Website [[link removed]]
Representative Don Young
Phone: 907-271-5950
Website [[link removed]]
Contact the Governor
Governor Dunleavy's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him
at [email protected] [[link removed]]
Visit the state website [[link removed]]

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2020 legislative session is underway! I will be back in Anchorage on Saturday,
February 22nd, and I will be hosting an Eastside Meet and Greet with Representatives
Gabrielle LeDoux and Ivy Spohnholz from 4 - 5:30 pm at Ptarmigan Elementary at 888
Edward Street [[link removed]].
I will also be attending the annual Anchorage Caucus public hearing from 10 am
- noon at the Assembly Chambers in the Loussac Library [[link removed]]
on February 22nd. This will be an opportunity to share your thoughts with all the
Anchorage area legislators.

It's always great when my Eastside neighbors have a chance to stop by my office!

Senate Finance Committee
I am serving on the Finance Committee again this year. This committee is responsible
for the state budget and hears all bills that have a financial impact on the state.
Despite significant budget cuts over the last six years, Governor Dunleavy's proposed
budget reflects a $2.6 billion deficit. Gov. Dunleavy proposes to use $1.0 billion
from the Permanent Fund earnings to fill the deficit and take the rest from the
Constitutional Budget Reserve. I will be scrutinizing this budget proposal very
carefully and I am committed to working across the aisle to craft a budget the
protects the vital services and infrastructure Alaskans rely.
I am the chair of two Finance subcommittees and will be overseeing the budget for
the Alaska Court System and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. I will
be working to ensure that our court system has the necessary resources to make sure
cases can be heard in a timely manner and that our veterans and service members
receive the benefits they have earned. I also serve on the subcommittees for the
Department of Public Safety and the University of Alaska. Subcommittees will start
considering departments' budgets next week.

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority met with me to speak about ways to improve our communities.

Supplemental Budget Released

Yesterday Governor Dunleavy released his supplemental budget proposal, requesting
the Legislature add $262 million to this fiscal year's budget. The state fiscal
year starts on July 1 and every year the governor submits a supplemental budget
to address issues that arise in the middle of the fiscal year. The two largest
requests are $110 million as a result of the wildfires last summer and $120 million
in Medicaid funding.

I had a great meeting with the Jack and Jill organization from Anchorage.

Protecting Our Share of Oil Revenue

This session I introduced two pieces of legislation to make sure Alaska gets our
rightful share of our oil resources. Yesterday I introduced SJR 15 [[link removed]]to
request that Congress honor the Alaska Statehood Act and give Alaska the full 90%
of oil revenue from and oil and gas lease sales in the the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge. When Congress voted to open ANWR to oil exploration they allowed the federal
government to keep 50% of the revenue from ANWR even though the Statehood Act guarantees
Alaska 90% of revenue from oil on federal lands in Alaska.

For similar reasons I introduced SB 129 [[link removed]]
to ensure that Alaskans receive the maximum benefit from our oil resources. This
bill would raise an additional $1 billion dollars in revenue per year by eliminating
the per-barrel deductible tax credits, increasing the gross tax on our oil, and
creating transparency. Alaska's Constitution requires Alaskans to receive the maximum
benefit from our natural resources, yet during three of the last five years we have
actually had an effective negative tax rate on oil production. Under this bill
Alaska would remain the most profitable place in the world for the oil industry.
[[link removed]]
Improving Government Accountability

On Friday I will introduce a bill [[link removed]]
to make Alaska's finances more accessible and accountable to the public by allowing
the public to search through every revenue and expenditure transaction that the
state makes online. Alaska consistently is ranked as one of the worst states in
the nation at providing easily accessible financial information to the public and
this bill will help change that.

Glad to have Alexander Schroeder working in my office this session through the University
of Alaska Internship Program. Alexander attended Bartlett High School and is working
on a degree in political science

Saving Money by Repealing an Unnecessary Bureaucracy

Last week the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee heard my bill to save $425,900
per year [[link removed]]
by eliminating the Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission and allow Workers' Compensation
appeals to be considered by the Superior Court. Currently the Commission has two
full-time employees even though they only had 20 new cases filed in 2019. The courts
have testified they can handle these appeals without needing any additional funding
so this bill will save the state $425,900 while preserving Alaskans' rights to have
their appeals heard in court.
As always, please feel free to call or email me anytime with your ideas and concerns.

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Sen. Bill Wielechowski | State Capitol | 4th Avenue & Main Street | Juneau | AK | 99801
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