It’s hard to believe that summer is already here! Normally APDC would be thoroughly winding down for the season. But the legislature started out slow and is now working on the first overtime session, so we still have action to follow. The state budgets are about the only thing on their plate at the moment and we’re continuing to support a sustainable operating budget and an adequate capital budget to keep up with our infrastructure needs.
Turning our focus inward, the executive board is currently working on hosting an abbreviated spring summit to review our legislative season and take stock of what we should repeat next year and what we might do better. Although none of the bills we supported this year have been passed and sent to the Governor, they did all see positive movement and will be on the docket when the next regular session starts in January.
Thank you for your continued support and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!
The sun has been out and the snow is largely off the roads and pathways in Anchorage, pulling folks to spend time outside. However, the state legislature is still in full swing in Juneau so we are diligently keeping up with activities there. Two bills of interest to APDC are moving their way through the capitol – HB 61 regarding Commercial Interior Design and HB 148 regarding a new statewide survey coordinate system – but it’s unclear how far they will get with the budget still to be approved and time winding down on the session.
Speaking of the budget, APDC has been invited to testify before the House Ways and Means committee about the need for a fiscal plan and the cost of inaction. The budget occupies three spots on our annual position paper –Alaska needs a sustainable operating budget and that APDC is supportive of revenue generating measures to fund such a budget, Alaska needs to budget about $2.1 billion for capital improvements annually to keep up with our current infrastructure and needs, and that maintenance funding needs to be increased to properly maintain roads and buildings in a useable state. That APDC was invited to testify says a lot about the reputation and name recognition APDC commands in the Capitol. Our board of directors and lobbyist John Walsh should be quite proud of this recognition.
Thank you for your continued support. As always, if you would like to be more involved in our legislative outreach, please contact Colin Maynard (email@example.com), our Legislative Liaison Committee (LLC) Chair, to be included in our bi-weekly LLC meetings during the legislative session.
Drey Antonio, EIT recently joined R&M as a staff engineer, in the firm’s Airport Engineering Group. Drey has a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and holds his EIT certificate. He is originally from Southeast Alaska, and will be assisting the firm in the planning & design of civil engineering projects, with an emphasis in analysis and design for airport and other civil engineering-related work.
To read the full press release from R&M, click the link below.
The legislative session is in full swing in Juneau, and APDC is working hard to keep up with the activity and advance our legislative priorities. While the budget is consuming much of the legislature’s focus, we are also tracking bills relating to temporary licensure, commercial interior design registration, and changes to the Alaska Coordinate System. Click the link below to read through the 2021 Position Paper.
Our annual outreach to the legislature has kicked off and looks quite different from years past. Traditionally a couple dozen folks would travel to Juneau for the “fly-in” for 2 or 3 days of back to back to back meetings with legislators, cramming in our normal work when there was down time. Each day would start with a group meeting to gauge the reception of our positions and discuss strategies moving forward. This year, all of our legislative meetings have been via Zoom, with the meetings spread over several weeks. This makes the logistics simpler but does not have the same energy as the in-person effort. We will have to weigh the trade-offs as we plan for future “fly-ins”. Through our second week, we have met with 29 of the 60 legislators. One advantage of this being a virtual event is it makes participation much easier than the past – reach out to Colin Maynard (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Legislative Liaison Committee Chair, if you would like to participate with this effort.
Congratulations goes out to David Gamez, our new Secretary/Treasurer. David is a civil engineer with Lounsbury and Associates in Anchorage. David is the American Society of Civil Engineers representative on the APDC board and has been active in ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card effort, among many other things. With David’s arrival on the board, Kelsey Davidson will move into the Vice President role, Will Webb is taking on the President responsibilities, and Erica Jensen has moved into the Past President role. This also means Mark Kimerer’s time on the board is ending. I want to thank Mark for his efforts and contributions to improving the operations and governance of APDC during his tenure.