Legislative Update: Representative Sarah Vance

Mar 9, 2020

District 31 Representative Sarah Vance of Homer
Credit Rep. Vance

District 31 Representative Sarah Vance of Homer, called from Juneau on Thursday afternoon.

She spoke with KBBI’s Kathleen Gustafson for this Legislative Update.

Rep. Vance:
This has been a full week. We passed the budget and everything.

KBBI:
Do you want to start with the budget?

Vance:
So we passed the  operating budget, which was unprecedented 43 days - out of the house. It's now on its way to the Senate. It was just above the governor's ask.

KBBI:
That includes the hundred thousand dollar spending for house bill two 75 abandoned vehicle?

Vance:
That funding is separate from my bill - requests for a funding path out of a house finance committee. As a separate ask because there's already an abandoned vehicle fund in statutes. My bill regarding abandoned vehicles will increase the fine to be able to put money back into that fund and also reduce it from a criminal charge down to a traffic violation so that we're not putting a criminal penalty on abandoning your vehicles.

KBBI:
And you had a hearing today on a bill, you sponsored house bill  HB233  http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Text/31?Hsid=HB0233A displaying documents on an electronic device. So can you explain?

Vance:
 Any state required document, whether that's a fishing license, insurance, you know, permit, anything that the state says that is required by law and they allow to be viewed electronically. Law enforcement officers only have permission to view that the individual has to give them consent to view anything else on their device. They have to have probable cause or a warrant. And that gets a hearing today, Thursday.

KBBI:
The next thing I want to ask you about is, well, we talked a little bit about the budget. When you said unprecedented, how many days was it? It was 43 days.

Vance:
Now that's out of the house. That's not, the entire body session has only been accomplished within 90 days. Only two other times.

KBBI:
I was reading about Senate Joint Resolution 13.
http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Text/31?Hsid=SJR013A
It's an amendment to the state constitution. What it would do is put up to a vote of the people, an amendment to the state constitution, so it cannot be interpreted as giving someone the right to abortion.

Vance:
That is a Senate bill. It isn't - that was done separately. That was not in coordination with mine, although it does compliment the Heartbeat Bill. http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Text/31?Hsid=HB0302A
But that was, you know, done in the, in the Senate. So it was not, you know, in coordination with the house.

KBBI:
It's a joint resolution. That means it's on its way to you if they pass it.

You heard from Chief Medical Officer for the State of Alaska, Dr. Anne Zinc yesterday.
I shared the link to the website that people can access to get more information on the coronavirus.

Vance:
There were several things that stood out to me that I was unaware of before. It's been a widespread disease. It's global, so that's why we are preparing for it. But people can recover well from this. So it's being prepared and taking care of yourself, much like with the flu. But it does affect the senior populations, the worst. We need to be conscientious of our elders at this time and making sure that we're, if we're sick, we're not going to visit grandma. We're going to wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands, and take the normal precautions of spreading germs that we do with any other flu.

KBBI:
What's coming up in the next week for you?

Vance:
I have now taken on an additional committee.

KBBI:
That's the seat that Representative Eastman lost.

Vance:
Yes, I was appointed to the judiciary committee and that meets three times a week in addition to my other three committees. So I now have four committees, state affairs, tribal affairs, fisheries, and now judiciary. Because that just was voted upon by the body this morning. I will have to be versing myself on all the bills that we will be hearing in that committee as well because I began tomorrow.

KBBI:
I want to thank you for your time.

Vance:
Thank you for that. We touched on a lot of topics just to encourage people to follow along on akleg.gov. Stay informed because there's a lot of things happening and moving right now. This is a very fast paced session and I don't want people to be unaware. So I'm trying to update on my Facebook and on radio and  newsletter as much as possible so that people can be going along in this process with us.