As we near the end of January, I can’t help but think of where we were at this time last year. We were making the final plans for our fly in, which normally occurs the first week in February. We had our position statement ready and our fabulous lobbyist, John Walsh, had secured meetings with legislators for our team. What a difference a year makes! I hope to be back in Juneau next year, but until then, we have a solid outreach plan for this crazy year.
We are armed with an experienced team, great leaders in our legislative committee chair (Colin Maynard) and lobbyist, and a tool box of covid safe outreach mechanisms. We are tracking a list of bills (for example, SB17 – Retrofitting Public and Community Facilities), writing op-eds and letters, and beginning one-on-one coordination with key legislative committee members in the Senate (the House has yet to organize). Our early-season outreach has already proven successful with the addition of SB50 (for Land and Water Conservation Funding) and HB61 (Registration for Commercial Interior Designers).
I’m also happy to report that our outreach at home has successfully resulted in the retraction of a solicitation that incorrectly did not include professional services for designing and constructing infrastructure. I’m proud to say that we are a well known, trusted, and respected organization throughout the state of Alaska!
Erica Jensen, PE