For the 2013 session, I’m on four committees. I’m on three Standing Committees: Transportation, Resources, and Education.
Chair of Transportation - I call the meetings, select the speakers or bills to be addressed, and have the ability to decide which bills pass out of committee. Our transportation infrastructure in Southeast is always at the forefront of my mind. As we hear bills, I always consider how they affect District 33, and I’m in a position to hold the bills if they impact us negatively.
Vice-Chair of Resources – Membership on this committee provides me with an understanding of a broad range of issues that can directly benefit you. Alaska’s resources include Fisheries, Coastal & Ocean Management, Mining, Oil & Gas, State Parks, Land & Water, Forestry and Agriculture. With the state’s economy being around 90% resource-based, the issues debated in this committee can have serious implications for the future development of our state. Having the opportunity to weigh-in during committee, before bills show up on the House floor – is tremendously important.
Education – We deal with bills that can change education policy. Education has been a passion of mine and it’s the reason that I first got involved in politics. I believe that we are making progress, but there is still a long way to go. I’m pleased to see the increase in the application of the cost differential that means more dollars to small remote school districts, but I’m always looking for more ways to improve the situation in small school districts like the ones in my district
Legislative Council - A Joint Committee that includes senior members from both the House and Senate. It deals with the administrative functions – or the business side of running the legislature. We are one of the few committees that meet year round.
I also serve on three House Finance Subcommittees. The House Finance Committee sets up subcommittees that look in detail into each major state department. I have been assigned to work on Corrections, Education & Early Development and Transportation & Public Facilities. In these subcommittees, we examine department budgets in detail and make recommendations to the Finance Committee on changes we feel will improve the state’s operating budget.
I’ve also been appointed by the Speaker of the House, Mike Chenault, to several Non-Legislative Boards, Commissions and Associations, including:
- Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER)
- Western Legislative Forestry Task Force
- Transportation Committee with National Conference of State Legislators
- Transportation Task Force with Council of State Governments
- Transportation & Trade Committee with Council of State Governments-West
- Education Committee with Council of State Governments – West