Fourth special legislative session begins Oct. 23 

Commentary By Senator Gary Stevens For The Cordova Times

Greetings from Kodiak. It has been great to be home after the extended legislative session and special sessions needed this year to finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 budget and pass legislation eliminating the state’s oil and gas tax credit program. Being home has allowed me the opportunity to hear from many District P residents in person on the many issues our state faces. I value your input and, as always, look forward to hearing from you throughout the year.

Fourth special session in October

The governor will be calling the Legislature into a fourth special session starting Monday, Oct. 23 in Juneau. An official proclamation outlining the agenda will be released later this month. Details are not yet available. We are expecting the debate to focus on a long term fiscal plan, likely a tax proposal. Potentially, we may be asked to consider a plan to utilize some of the Permanent Fund’s earnings to pay for state government operations while also ensuring the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) program in the future.

By law, the governor is required to give the Legislature 30 days’ notice of a special session. We hope to have details on what will be proposed before the 30-day deadline so we can begin preparations for the Juneau meetings.

Committee hearings on the proposal will be announced as soon as possible. Please check with the Legislative Information Offices near you for details on how to offer input during committee public comment periods.

The Cordova LIO can be reached at (907) 424-5461.

The Homer LIO can be reached at (907) 235-7878.

The Kenai LIO can be reached at (907) 283-2030.

The Kodiak LIO can be reached at (907) 486-8116.

PFD Distribution Coming Soon

The PFD amount for this year is set at $1,100, with distribution to begin Thursday, Oct. 5.

If you have you received notice from the Permeant Fund Dividend Division requesting additional information, please respond to the division with the requested items as soon as possible to avoid delaying the division’s review process, or risk a denial for not replying in a timely manner.

You can check your PFD eligibility status online at https://myinfo.pfd.dor.alaska.gov/.

Winter ferry schedule available

The Alaska Marine Highway System’s (AMHS) winter schedule has been released. The schedule covers travel between October 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018. You can get more information on the AMHS website at FerryAlaska.com, by phone at 1-800-642-0066, or at ferry terminals around the state.

Municipal elections

Voters throughout our senate district and Alaska will head to the polls on Tuesday, Oct. 3 to cast ballots for candidates seeing seats on school boards, city councils, borough assemblies and other municipal offices. I encourage you to vote in your local elections, which are so important in helping shape your community’s and school district’s future, and I commend the many candidates for their willingness to serve in public office.

As you may recall, voters last November approved a ballot measure that automatically registers eligible Alaskans who had not previously registered to vote when they file for the PFD unless they decided to opt-out. If you were not affected by the automatic registration process, you can also register to vote or change your voter information online, by mail, or in-person at your nearest LIO, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and many other government offices.

You can find more information online at: http://elections.alaska.gov/Core/voterregistration.php, or by phone at (866) 948-8683.

Serving the state

Several District P residents are currently serving Alaska as members of various boards and commissions that deal with wide range of issues. Currently, vacancies exist on several of these panels. You can find out more about the boards and the appointment process at http://gov.alaska.gov/Walker/services/boards-commissions/boards-commissions-process.html, or contact the governor’s office at (907) 465-3500.

Help with state agencies

My staff is available to assist you with matters involving state government throughout the year. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

The phone number for our Kodiak office is 486-4925.

Call us in the Capitol building toll free at 1-800-821-4925.

E-mail any time at sen.gary.stevens@akleg.gov

My interim address is:

Senator Gary Stevens

305 Center Ave, Suite 1

Kodiak, AK 99615

Help with the federal government

The members of Alaska’s Congressional Delegation have in-state offices to help you with matters involving the federal government and its many agencies.

You can reach Congressman Don Young’s Anchorage office at (907) 271-5978, or toll free at (866) 990-5979.

Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Anchorage office can be reached at (907) 271-3735, or toll free at (877) 829-6030.

Contact Senator Dan Sullivan’s office in Anchorage can be reached at (907) 271-5915.

Thanks to District P’s media for allowing me to share this information with you, and to you for reading this edition of the Interim Report. Please keep in touch.