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February 6, 2017
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Dear Friends & Constituents:

The legislature heard your voices! Bills have been filed in both the Senate and House regarding the PFD.  The Senate has taken the lead in revisions to SB91, known as the "Crime Bill" and budget committee meetings are well underway.  This newsletter will touch on all three issues:  

PFD Legislation
One piece of legislation I'm excited about this year is SB1 & SB2 Image may contain: phonebrought forward by Senator Mike Dunleavy (R-Palmer).   Senate Bills 1 & 2 seek to restore the money that Governor Walker vetoed from your PFD check this year.  This PFD reduction was one of the most detrimental action that could have been done for Alaska's economy.   I am hearing from many constituents as to how it has affected your lives.  I understand that a number of you rely on the PFD to help pay bills, fill your oil/heating tanks, stock your freezers and the like to get you through winters or slow work months.  We will work hard to try and return this money to you to use for your bills or other living necessities and give the economy the boost it needs! I will stand strong on this issue and have signed on as a co-sponsor to HB21 & HB22, the House version of these bills.   
Rep. Sullivan-Leonard
Contact Information


Alaska State Capitol

120 4th St., Room 420
(907) 465-4833
(800) 782-4833
(January - April)

Wasilla LIO
600 E. Railroad Ave., Suite 1
Wasilla, AK  99654
(907) 373-6285
(800) 782-4833
(May-December)

Staff:
Angela Stephl, Chief of Staff
Esther Mielke, Legislative Aide
SB91
 
The Senate has taken the lead in amending SB91, known as “the crime bill”.  Senators Coghill and Micciche held a press conference last week regarding their work with the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission.   My office attended that presser in a show of support and on your behalf.  The Commission has prepared a 14 page recommendation report which you can read
here; this will provide some insight into proposed changes.  
 
When SB91 comes over to the House, I will review all amendments carefully being sure to pay extra attention to: 1) Recommendation 1-2017: Return VCOR to Misdemeanor Status; 2) Recommendation 2-2017: Increase penalties for repeat Theft 4 offenders; 3) Recommendation 5-2017: Enact a 0-90 day presumptive sentencing range for first-time Class C Felonies; and 4) Recommendation 6-2017: Enact an aggravator for Class A Misdemeanors for defendants who have a prior conviction for similar conduct; and 5) Recommendation 12-2017: Clarify who will be assessed by Pre-Trial Services.  I will also review Section 117 of SB 91 which establishes the a pretrial program and the new standards for electronic monitoring under AS 33.30.011.

  
I fully support the Senate in this undertaking and will provide updates to you as we get them.  I am determined to work with our Senators and you to see that we do it right.  
 

HB60 (Motor Fuel Tax)
 
Last week in Transportation, we heard the first of many hearings on the Governor’s Motor Fuel Tax Bill (HB60).  
(Below:  Rep. Neuman and I in House Transportation Committee).


In short, HB60 seeks to increase the motor fuel tax by 200% in two years.  With more than 30,000 Mat-Su commuters, our District will be disproportionately affected. The main bone of contention I have with this proposed bill is that the Transportation Maintenance Fund created through funding by the special highway fuel tax account, special nonpublic highway use account and the special watercraft fuel tax account will not create a dedicated fund.  In other words, the bill does not mandate that the funds be appropriated to be specifically used for maintenance or repair of the roads. The funds would be deposited into the general fund and the legislature could appropriate use from airports to ferries to trails to road or not at all.      

In the end, the drivers/ commuter from the area that pays the most (our Mat-Su) have no guarantee of reaping any benefit.  With jobs being lost, salaries dwindling, benefit responsibility increasing and the reduction in PFD money, I am not sure Alaskans can afford any more.  Public testimony has been scheduled.  If you can't make it into the LIO, send me an email and I will submit it to the record.  If you can't do either of these, the call in number is: (907) 586-9085 and you'll be able to give your live testimony during the meeting.


 
See Alaska Journal, Gas Tax Hike Gets First Hearing, Jan. 31, 2017
See also Michael Dukes Show, Feb. 1, 2017. Listen here
COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS
 
www.cityofwasilla.com/centennial
 
Had a great visit with Mat-Su Senior Services & WASI.  Nice to see people from home!
The Glenn Massay Theatre Welcomes the Young Americans! 
Read all about it
here!
Meet my Staff
Angela Stephl lives in Dist. 7 and joins me as my Chief of Staff.  She will manage the office, communications and oversee Labor & Commerce and Health & Social Services Committees.  She is a Robert Morris College and University of San Diego graduate and worked as a litigation paralegal for law firms in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego and Anchorage; she also brings with her the experience of being a small business owner.  She is married to a 5th generation Alaskan and outside of work, enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing and all that is Alaska! 
 
Esther Mielke of Big Lake is excited to be in Juneau working for her fifth session. She grew up in the Mat-Su and still calls it home. In 2014 she completed her B.A. in Political Science and dabbled in legal studies for a time. Esther will handle scheduling, legislative research and the Transportation Committee.  When she's not working, Esther enjoys playing various musical instruments, shooting, drinking coffee and tea, helping at her church, and celebrating Christmas year round with her family. 
In closing, please know that  I am hard at work with my fellow #18Strong Alaska House Republicans here in Juneau working on your priorities.  You can visit us on Facebook and me on on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by clicking one of the links below.  
 
As always, you may contact me or my office for any assistance you may need.

Sincerely,

 
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard
(District 7, Greater Wasilla Area)

 
Copyright © 2016 Representative Colleen Sullivan Leonard, All rights reserved.

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Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard · Alaska State Capitol · Room 420 · Juneau, AK 99801 · USA

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