Hello again. With the adjournment of the 30th Alaska Legislature in mid-May and no special sessions on the horizon, it is great to be home instead of in Juneau, as we were not through our work until early summer last year. Since adjournment, I have had the opportunity to talk to many of you about the 2018 session and what’s ahead for 2019. I appreciate hearing from you, and I look forward to seeing you around the Senate district during the remainder of the interim.
SB 15 status
As you may recall, this past session the legislature passed Senate Bill 15, which I sponsored. The bill prohibits the possession, sale and exchange of electronic smoking devices, including their component liquid or vapor products, to anyone under 19. Although a date has not yet been announced, I anticipate the bill will be signed into law by the governor this summer. Provisions of SB 15 are due to take effect on January 1, 2019.
Primary Election information
Alaska’s Primary Election takes place Tuesday, August 21. The deadline to register to vote or update your registration is 30 days prior to that, Sunday, July 22. You can do this through the Division of Elections website at http://www.elections.alaska.gov/. The website also has information on absentee voting and voting by mail.
There are candidates for several federal and state offices on the ballot this year. I encourage you to make your choices known on election day.
Pink salmon fishing relief
Like many, I have been watching with great concern stories coming in from throughout our state of low salmon returns, and cutbacks to many fisheries. The impact of commercial fishing in our coastal communities is enormous, and we hope for a turnaround in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the federal government is announcing Alaska will receive over $56 million in disaster relief for economic assistance for those affected by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery failure. State and federal officials are still working on the distribution details for this funding.
Serving the state
Several District P residents are currently serving Alaska as members of various state boards and commissions that consider a wide range of issues. If you have the interest, I encourage you to lend your time and energy to Alaska through service on one of these panels.
You can find out more at http://gov.alaska.gov/Walker/services/boards-commissions/boards-commissions-process.html, or contact the governor’s office at (907) 465-3500.
The deadline for 2018 Permanent Fund Dividend applicants to update or withdraw direct deposit information and/or change mailing addresses is Friday, August 31. Should you wish to do so, please mail the required information to:
Alaska Department of Revenue
Permanent Fund Dividend Division
P.O. Box 110462
Juneau, AK 99811-0462
If you are unsure of your application status, you can access that information on the PFD Division website at https://myinfo.pfd.dor.alaska.gov/home.
This year’s PFD is $1,600. It will be distributed in early autumn.
Here to help
Senate District P’s offices are open throughout the interim. Please give us a call if we can be of assistance to you with issues involving the State of Alaska.
- You can reach the Capitol office in Juneau at (907) 465-4925 or toll free at 1-800-821-4925.
- My Homer office can be reached at (907) 235-0690.
- You can contact the Kodiak office at (907) 486-4925.
- E-mail me at Sen.Gary.Stevens@akleg.gov
My interim address is:
Senator Gary Stevens
305 Center Ave, STE 1
Kodiak, AK 99615
Help with the federal government
Should you need help with federal government matters, I advise you to contact the members of Alaska’s Congressional Delegation.
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s Anchorage office can be reached at (877) 829-6030.
- Sen. Dan Sullivan’s Anchorage Office can be reached at (907) 271-5915.
- Rep. Don Young’s Anchorage office can be reached at (866) 990-5979.
Thank you for reading this month’s column, and thanks again to our local media for their assistance in sharing this information.