2020 is here! Our trusty legislative committee has APDC well prepared to visit with our legislators on February 5th and 6th. Our fly-in group will include 21 design professionals and four students. Our collective message to legislators and the Governor’s office will consist of the following main points:
- Support for the legislative development of a sustainable budget that includes additional revenue generation that is applied across the breath of the state’s population.
- We’ll recommend a minimum annual capital budget of $2.1 billion, an increase of $700 million from the current funding in order to avoid further closure of maintenance stations, and to ensure that existing infrastructure can be maintained in good repair.
- Support of the State’s need to make budget cuts throughout the U of A system; however, we’ll request that the State explore methods to make the needed cost savings while maintaining education programs for design professionals.
- Support of State funding for K-12 school facility projects to address the needs of all students and educators, particularly for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
- Support for the policy recommendations of the Alaska Seismic Hazard Safety Commission (ASHSC) and specifically support identification and execution of structural seismic retrofit of schools where engineering analysis reveals the necessity.
- We will request that the Travel Budget of the Occupational Licensing Division be increased so that Boards like Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (AELS) can function efficiently and be available to include members who do not live in Anchorage.
In addition to visiting with legislators in their capitol offices, APDC will:
- Host an afterhours social event to connect with them in a less formal and time constrained setting.
- ASCE’s representatives Dan Nichols and David Gamez will lead a lunch and learn event at the capitol showcasing ASCE’s Report Card for Alaska’s Infrastructure.
Many thanks to our volunteers for taking the initiative to visit with our legislators on behalf of APDC and our member organizations. Thanks, also to APDC’s sustaining companies that donated funds to cover the additional costs this year. We look forward to reporting results to you in next month’s news.