Legislative session at halfway mark

by Senator Lyman Hoffman

Hello –

It’s day 60, it’s March Madness and it’s snowing in the Capital city! This week the Senate Finance Committee received an update on the state’s revenue forecast from the Department of Revenue. In addition, the committee took two full days of public testimony on the Governor’s proposed FY22 Operating, Capitol and Mental Health budgets. Thank you to those of you who took the time to let us know of your concerns!

Next week, the committee will be hearing SB 19: Extend Special Education Service Agency; SB 32: College Credits for High School Students; SB 36: University Regents Reporting Requirements. The committee will also hear the final report from the Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping group. And a hearing on SB 56: Extending COVID-19 Disaster Emergency.

We are at the half-way mark for this session and will soon have to make some major decisions. Stay tuned!

Tax Day for 2020 Tax Year

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has extended individuals filing and payment deadline to May 17, 2021. Individuals who need additional time to file beyond the May 17th deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15th by filing FORM 4868.

Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Services (USFS) awarded grant funding to the Alaska Division of Forestry for the federal Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program https://dnr.alaska.gov/olas/. Division of Forestry distributes the money to rural volunteer fire departments that apply for the annual grants. To qualify, fire departments must serve a population of 10,000 or less and be a registered fire department with the Alaska Division of Fire & Life Safety and provide 10% non-federal match funds. Fire departments use the money to purchase PPE, hoses, pumps, and tools used to help fight both structure and wildland fires. Fire departments could apply for up to $5,000 in grant funds. The money received is restricted from use of repair, construction, or purchase of buildings, land acquisition, emergency medical equipment, computers or computer software and other specified items. Further inquiries about the grant program can be fielded by Division of Forestry contact: Sarah Saarloos, 907-301-0971 or via email [email protected] or VFA Grant Manual (alaska.gov)

PFD Application due March 31st. Apply at mypfd.alaska.gov