FEBRUARY 1, 2016
Representing District 17:
Midtown, University, and East Anchorage
I Answer to You!
Contact my office:
716 W 4th Ave, Room 412
Anchorage, AK 99501
Click here to write me an email
Click here to visit my website
Write a Letter to the Editor
submit your 175 word letter
to the Alaska Dispatch News via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 258-2157, attn: letters to the editor.
Contact other elected officials
Governor Bill Walker
EMAIL: Gov. Bill Walker
Senator Dan Sullivan
EMAIL: Sen. Dan Sullivan
Senator Lisa Murkowski
EMAIL: Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Congressman Don Young
EMAIL: Rep. Don Young
State of the State & Important Legislation
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are now three weeks into the second session of the 29th Legislature and things are really starting to pick up. Committees are meeting regularly and they are beginning to dig into the Governor’s fiscal plans. The budget is the dominating issue this session and everything that we do will be looked at through that lens. Governor Walker’s plan has much to recommend —it is a good first effort. However, there is much in it that gives me pause. But, it is ultimately just an outline that is likely to change as it makes its way through the legislative process. I would encourage everyone to stay involved and to let your voices be heard!
State of the State
You can watch the full State of the State address here.
Two weeks, Governor Walker came before a joint session of the House and Senate to give his annual State of the State address. In the speech, Governor Walker details the struggles Alaskan’s faced following the 1964 earthquake that wreaked havoc on Alaska’s infrastructure and its people. In that time of need Alaskan’s pulled together and were able to rebound. Now, as Governor Walker says, is a time for Alaskan’s to start pulling together again.
I do applaud the courage and work of the Governor and his team that put together a comprehensive plan that requires tough decisions. As noted, I still have my reservations though about some aspects of the plan, though they may be changed as his fiscal plan progresses. Balancing a budget deficit of this magnitude is going to require sacrifice from all industries and individuals. If it comes to it, we must ensure that everyone pays a fair share.
$700,000,000 in Oil and Gas Tax Credits?
One of the Governor’s budget bills is coming before the House Resources Committee this week. HB 247 is a clean-up bill that will remove certain oil and gas tax credits from the books and restructure how many credits are calculated to ensure that the tax floor cannot be pierced in the future. There is a unique situation in Alaska right now where some of the largest companies in the world are not having to pay taxes due to the low price of oil combined with our generous tax credit structure. That is unacceptable. If this bill is passed it is estimated by the Walker Administration that we will see a positive fiscal impact of $500 million in the first year. The first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 3rd, at 1:00 pm.
I believe that if this bill, or something similar to it, does not pass this legislative session then we, as elected representative of the people, cannot in good conscience ask for Alaskans to carry the load. Alaska has an abundance of natural resources, but that does not mean that we should be so willing to give them away. We must ensure that Alaskans are getting their fair share for our resources before we ask them to pay taxes.
As always, please call or email with any thoughts, ideas, or concerns.
I Answer to You!
Representative Andy Josephson
State Capitol Bldg., Room 430