Capitol Report: Millions budgeted for District P infrastructure projects

Senator Gary Stevens in Cordova on Friday, April 12, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Hello from Juneau. The gavel fell on the second session of the 32nd Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, May 18, after a flurry of activity on adjournment day. Among the final hours’ business was passage of the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and numerous bills, including some of my personal legislation.

FY ’23 budget

$16.2 billion budget includes $8.4 billion in state funds, with the remainder coming from federal and fee-funded programs. One of the budget’s biggest components is the estimated $2.1 billion for this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend, which should be about $3,200 per recipient this year. The budget also includes funds for state agencies, the Alaska Marine Highway System, public education, and the University of Alaska.

There are also millions of dollars budgeted for key infrastructure projects around the state, including several Senate District P projects.

These include:

  • $27 million for the Kodiak Airport Rehabilitation Project
  • $19.4 million for the Cordova Airport Rescue and Firefighting Building Project.
  • $15 million for the City of Kodiak’s Fire Station Replacement Project
  • $14.2 million for Homer Airport Improvements
  • $7.3 million in Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) funds for the Aluttiq Museum in Kodiak
  • $5.9 million in EVOS funds for Cordova’s Prince William Sound Science Center and Technology Institute Facilities Replacement
  • $4.7 million for the Otmeloi Way Reconstruction Project in Kodiak
  • $4.4 million for the Old Harbor Community Center Project
  • $3 million for the Cordova South Harbor Rebuild Project
  • $1.9 million for the Cordova Airport Rescue and Firefighting Broom, Pavement Markings and Crack Seal Project
  • $1.4 million for the Ouzinkie Internet Café Project
  • $750,000 for the Homer Harbor Project.

I am grateful for assistance from our district’s community leaders during the capital budget process. Their advocacy helped me and our district’s House members, Representatives Stutes and Vance as we worked with the finance committee chairs on the budget.

The budget goes next to the governor for consideration. As you may know, he has line-item veto authority so funding reductions are possible.

Personal legislation updates


I am pleased to report success on several of my personal bills.

SB 20 passed the legislature on session’s final day and heads next to the governor’s office for consideration. The bill will allow Alaska teacher certification reciprocity to relocating educators. This would only happen if the teacher’s certification were in good standing in their former state.

I believe SB 20 will give Alaska’s school districts an additional means of addressing teaching shortages. It will also allow incoming teachers an opportunity to receive Alaska-specific education training after being hired rather than beforehand.

SB 33 goes next to the governor after passing the legislature on May 2. If signed into law, it will continue the state’s salmon and herring product development tax credit while also adding similar tax credits for value-added processing in the pollock and cod industries.

I sponsored the original legislation creating the Alaska Salmon Product Development Tax Credit in 2003. It has been credited as being a major reason for the increase in the commercial value of Alaska salmon over the years.

SB 34 passed the legislature on the final day of session. The bill is designed to give tribes an opportunity to operate public schools through education compacts with the state. SB 34 had wide support throughout the legislative process. It, too, awaits the governor’s consideration.

SB 45 also made it through the legislature on adjournment day. The bill will align state law with federal law by bringing the minimum age to sell or possess tobacco and electronic smoking products (ESPs) from 19 to 21. SB 45 also adds ESPs to the existing wholesale tax structure for other products. The bill goes next to the governor for attention.

Other bills passing late in the session were SB 71, allows the state to sell a special license plate for the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and SB 186 to extend the state Board of Examiners in Optometry to June 30, 2028. These bills also await action from the governor.

You can find more information on my legislation, as well as bills and resolutions introduced by other legislators online at

What’s ahead

The governor has indicated he will not be calling a special session this year, so barring any changes in that, our legislative work is finished for the year. After COVID-19 curtailed travel in 2020, and multiple special sessions filled the calendar last year, I am looking forward to seeing you in person through our Senate district this interim.

In the meantime, as always, please let us know if we may be of assistance to you with state issues that arise.

E-mail me at:

You can call me in Kodiak at 907-486-4925 or statewide tollfree at 1-800-821-4925 or 907-465-4925.

Thank you for reading this edition of the Capitol Report. Please keep in touch.