UFA Update: June 23, 2017

State shutdown averted
A sigh of relief so you can fish with less to worry about. Many news stories came out last night after the budget conference committee agreed, but before the Senate and House had voted to pass the bill, which happened around 10 pm:

Alaska Legislature averts shutdown with nine days to spare
By James Brooks, Morris News Service-Alaska/Juneau Empire, Fri, 06/23/2017 – 9:02am
With nine days to spare, the Alaska Legislature has averted a statewide government shutdown.
At 1:04 p.m. Thursday afternoon, a joint House-Senate conference committee approved a compromise budget that funds state government past July 1 using savings from Alaska’s Constitutional Budget Reserve.
The Senate voted 16-1 just before 9 p.m. to approve the deal, and the House followed suit, 31-8, just after 10 p.m.
“This is very much a compromise budget, and that’s what we’ve been down here working on,” said Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer and House chairman of the conference committee.
“No one got what they fully wanted. We had to concede; they had to concede, and we came up with this compromise package,” said Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel and Senate chairman of the conference committee…
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2017-06-23/alaska-legislature-averts-shutdown-nine-days-spare
&
Legislature passes budget compromise to avert shutdown
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2017/06/22/legislature-passes-budget-compromise-to-avert-shutdown/

In the last week or so, UFA signed onto a group letter last week with Icicle and PSPA member processors, which urged the legislature to decouple the operating budget from other fiscal considerations to avert the looming shutdown. The governor called for the second special session with the operating budget as the only topic, initially.

As this was developing, we UFA was in contact with the commissioner’s office regarding exploring what they might or might not be able to do under a shutdown, and with media to help make clear the jeopardy to fisheries without being partisan or blaming one side or the other:
Looming gov’t shutdown threatens AK’s $500M salmon industry, By Liz Raines, KTVA Anchorage
http://www.ktva.com/looming-govt-shutdown-threatens-aks-500m-salmon-industry-857/

Fishermen watch, wait, work, while Legislature in limbo By Naomi Klouda, Alaska Journal of Commerce
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2017-06-14/fishermen-watch-wait-work-while-legislature-limbo

Department of Fish and Game Press Release – ADF&G Impacts of Potential Government Shutdown
https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2017/06/adfg-impacts-of-potential-government-shutdown/

HB 57 bill text and tracking: http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/30?Root=HB%20%2057

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Compiled by staff of United Fishermen of Alaska
ufa@ufafish.org
PO Box 20229
Juneau AK 99802
(907) 586-2820

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