Senator Holland on the floor of the Senate during a recent Special Session. 
 

Greetings Neighbors and Friends,

Happy early Halloween! I hope this newsletter finds you in good health and spirits.  Perhaps it’s this time of year that, as children head back to school and the daylight starts getting shorter, I always feel a bit more reflective.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we need to emphasize the importance of honesty, kindness, and hard work. 
 
I have worked hard these past nine months to ensure your voice has been heard in the legislature. Thank you for trusting me.  As Fall brings a season of change to Alaska, I've looked for opportunities to meet with constituents whether in Anchorage or Juneau. I know it is a challenge for Alaskans to travel to Juneau, but it was really great to meet with constituents and travelers from Outside who were able to come to Juneau during my first year in the Senate.  Now that the sessions seem to be coming to an end, a good place to catch me is at the Anchorage LIO office at 1500 West Benson Boulevard, and, just last Sunday, I was available to meet with constituents at the Krispy Kreme on DeBarr.  It will be a sad day when my district no longer has a Krispy Kreme Donut Shop!

The best part of the job is being able to meet with Alaskans and visitors. It's great working together with many of you, and hearing from you is one of my favorite parts of serving.  My door is always open, my cell phone number is 907-351-8277, and I encourage you to reach out and let me listen to your concerns. We have incredible people in our district who have great ideas.

Fourth Special Session Update

 
As you may have heard, we gaveled in for the Governor's 4th Special Session on October 4, 2021, and there were high hopes initially that we could get work done to end the annual squabbling over the Permanent Fund Dividend and to address a few other budget issues. There is still dogged opposition to what many believe is a fair PFD, and, sadly, it looks like very little will get accomplished in this fourth Special Session. 

I hear the complete spectrum of requests and demands regarding the Permanent Fund Dividend.  Some Alaskans are happy with a zero PFD, some think the $500 or $1000 PFD is better, some are willing to compromise with the 50/50 POMV 5% PFD of $2350, some are pushing for the full statutory dividend of $3500 or so, and there are still others who want the full dividend with all back pay.  Currently, the back-pay is around $11,000 to $13,000 per Alaskan. 

Where am I in all this?  During the campaign, I was pretty much just a law-and-order candidate, and I have not swayed from my belief that our laws on the books should be followed, and if we don't like those laws, we should change them.  When the Alaska Legislature does not follow the laws we pass, we are telling Alaskans that we are unstrustworthy and we are telling Alaska businesses that we are unreliable.  We should follow our laws.

I voted for both the statutory PFD ($3500) and the 50/50 POMV ($2300) formulas, and I voted against the $525 PFD that was offered in this year's budget.  I think the Governor did us a favor by vetoing the $525 PFD and giving us a chance to fix it, but, ultimately, if you received the PFD in October, you saw that it was only about $1100.  There was broad support in both the House and the Senate for the compromise 50/50 POMV PFD of $2300, and I did support it because I thought it was a good compromise, and I have seen the projections that it is sustainable.  It would appear that there were probably 45 or 50 of the sixty legislators that supported this $2350 compromise PFD as part of the Fiscal Plan Working Group's proposal... unfortunately, the ten or so legislators that did not support the compromise PFD formula seemed to be concentrated in House and Senate leadership positions where they were able to control the process and prevent any progress.  I could go into detail on how the opponents ran the clock out on us in the Third Special Session, but I've written too much already!  Call me on my cell at 907-351-8277, and I'll fill you in on the details. 

I also support the Governor's plan to protect the Permanent Fund and the PFD through constitutional legislation that has to be approved through a vote of the people.  I know this is opposed by some Alaskans, and I am uncertain as to why.  One thing I do know is that the legislature is quite capable of ignoring statutory law, whereas laws enshrined in the Constitution are much more difficult to ignore.

Fiscal Policy Working Group

Between the Second and Third Special Sessions this year, legislative leaders representing all four caucuses announced the formation of a bicameral, bipartisan Fiscal Policy Working Group. This broad spectrum of legislators came together and hammered out their differences to develop a plan to solve Alaska’s fiscal challenge with a particular focus on a long-term solution for the Permanent Fund, the Permanent Fund Dividend, the Power Cost Equalization Fund, and other issues.  To refresh your memory on what they came up with, please follow this link:

Fiscal Policy Working Group Final Report>>

Alaska Redistricting Board

The new ideal House District size for Alaska (based on the 2020 Census data) was calculated to be 18,335 residents per district for this new redistricting cycle.  District 27, with a 2020 population of 17,836, appears to be 499 residents short of the ideal number, or 2.7% less than ideal, and District 28, with a 2020 population of 18,452, appears to be 117 residents over the ideal number, or 0.8% greater than ideal.

Our District N Senate district will most likely come through the redistricting process with significant changes.  We will most likely lose the District 27 portion as I have not seen a single redistricting proposal that keeps our district intact.  Instead, we will probably have something similar to the District 28 area paired off with an adjacent Representative District from south Anchorage.  The final maps are supposed to be released in November, and I imagine that there will be some litigation involved because history has shown us that redistricting is a very controversial process.  

The best place to find the latest greatest information and the full variety of proposed maps is at the link below:

ALASKA REDISTRICTING BOARD>>
Testing Sites >>    Vaccine Dashboard >>   Vaccine Appointments>>

CONTACT YOUR SENATOR

Contact Info:
Email: sen.roger.holland@akleg.gov

Session Contact
State Capitol Room 115
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: 907-465-4843

Interim Contact
1500 W. Benson Blvd.
Anchorage, AK 99503
Phone: 907-269-0181

Cell/Text 907-351-8277

 

COMMUNITY COUNCILS

Scenic Foothills Community Council    November 4, 6:30 PM

Glen Alps Community Council        November 10, 6 PM

Bear Valley Community Council November 10, 7 PM

Rabbit Creek Community Council    November 11, 7 PM

GBOS Regular Meeting            November 15, 7 PM  Via Microsoft Teams

Hillside Community Council        November 15, 7 PM

Huffman/O'Malley Community Council    November 18, 7 PM

Northeast Community Council        November 18, 7 PM

Basher Community Council        December 09, 7 PM

Turnagain Arm Community Council    December 16, at 7 PM








 
Copyright © 2021 Senator Roger Holland, All rights reserved.


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