On Tuesday, District 38 Representative Zach Fansler gave his annual update on the legislative session. Usually the local representatives of both houses update the Bethel City Council, but Senator Lyman Hoffman was unable to attend.
Fansler is now on a village tour throughout the region following the end of a special session.
“There is, as you know, undoubtedly, that we are dealing with and have dealt with, and that is the budget,” Fansler said. “Unfortunately, it saddens me to say that Alaska remains in a state of recession right now.”
He touched on the House’s four-tier budget that was passed, then moved on to other major highlights during the past year that included changes to the state’s criminal code.
“We did adopt SB-54 with some changes between October and November, and that was some adjustments to the major crime bill SB-91 that was set into place back in 2016,” said Fansler.
Fansler also pointed to several accomplishments, including a bill that recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day as the second Monday of every October, and a bill renewing funding for vocational programs and schools statewide.
Council members asked Fansler to advocate for more jobs, lower energy costs, and ways to fight the growing adverse effects of alcohol in Bethel and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta villages.
The state legislative session begins again on January 16, 2018.
Listen to the full address: