Legislative Update - Alaska House of Representatives: Friday, April 23, 2021

Apr 23, 2021

The Alaska State Capitol Building in Juneau
Credit APRN

District 31 Representative Sarah Vance's office has not responded to repeated attempts to schedule a Legislative Update with KBBI. This report is taken from KTOO's live coverage of the Alaska House of Representatives on Gavel Alaska.
and from the Alaska State Legislature website.


In the Alaska House of Representatives this week, House Bill  169  passed. The bill seeks to fund the State's school districts before the rest of the budget is complete. 

HB 169 will also determine education funding over two years, instead of year to year, funding K-12 education in Alaska through June 30, 2023.

Funding schools for two years and ahead of the budget will mean that school districts can operate without issuing yearly layoff notices to teachers and other staff. District 31 Representative Sarah Vance of Homer voted against the bill, which passed, 25 to 14.

  The legislature also took up House Bill 3 this week, which defines what the State can and cannot do during a disaster declaration. The Bill officially defines a disaster,l isting extreme weather events, fires, riot, environmental damage,  infrastructure or equipment failure or a credible threat of imminent attack.            
  Representative David Eastman of Wasilla attempted to amend the bill to say the proclamation of a disaster emergency may not remain in effect longer than 30 days unless extended by the legislature.  The amendment failed 30 to 6, with Representative Vance voting in favor of giving only the legislature the power to extend a disasater declaration bweyond 30 days..

  Eastman also proposed an amendment adding that the State may not require an individual to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Representative Vance voted for the amendment which failed 30 to 6.
HB 3 did ultimately pass the House 33 to 3, with Representative Vance voting yes to pass .
 
 House Joint Referendum 14 passed this week. It is the SAFE Banking Act, related to allowing legitimate cannibus business access to financial services. The referendum passed 37 to 3 with Representative Vance voting in favor of bringing legal, cannabis-related commerce into the banking system in Alaska. 


 And in the House Judiciary Committee this week, the committee passed HB 66 through to the State Affairs Committee. The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader, Representative Chris Tuck of Anchorage, addresses election issues,  access to absentee ballots and same day voter registration. Representative Vance of Homer is a member of the House Judiciary. She voted against the bill, along with Representative Eastman and Representative Chris Kurka of Wasilla. The bill passed out of committee, 4 to 3. 

 District 31 Representative Sarah Vance of Homer has announced that she will host a Virtual Town Hall meeting and take questions from constituents on Wednesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. Vance will hold the meeting on Microsoft Teams and has posted a link to register for the meeting on her facebook page. If you plan to attend the meeting, follow the link and register before the time of the meeting. Microsoft Teams requires some set-up.