Dimitri For Congress

My name is Dimitri Shein and I am running for Congress as a Democrat against Don Young. I’m an inventor, a business owner, and a father. I grew up in Anchorage from the age of 12. I attended West Anchorage High where I met my wife Melissa in gym class. I graduated from UAA with an accounting degree and worked as a CPA with rural communities across our state.

I started an ecommerce company that manufactures and sells products that I invent and design. I have been fortunate to follow my dream of building an international company from an idea that started here in Alaska.

In 2016 our family grew from two children to six when we adopted four daughters. The events surrounding the adoption brought home the challenges Alaska is facing in the current economic environment. We need new ideas and solutions in government.

I entered the race for Congress because I am tired of watching establishment politicians run on the platform of “I am not Don Young,” while at the same time offering no new ideas that benefit the next generation of Alaskans.

NOW is the time…

…to stand together for the truth because that is what our country needs. We can win this election by having the courage to talk about the solutions to problems like our overcrowded public schools, Alaska’s dependence on the oil industry, and the high cost of healthcare. Help us win and stand up for: Public Education, Renewable Energy, Medicare for All.

Dimitri Shein for Congress
Anchorage, AK

House Passes Early K-12 Funding, Moving Closer to On-Time Budgets

House Finance Co-Chair Paul Seaton’s bill to early-fund Education separate from the Operating Budget passed the House on Thursday evening in a 33 to 3 vote.

HB 287, which is co-sponsored by the entire Alaska House Majority Coalition, also included a provision requiring a separate vote to take the funding from the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR). Unfortunately, this provision, which required three quarters of the House to vote in favor, failed to pass, with 20 voting in favor and 16 opposed.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where I’m sure the funding source will continue to be debated. The CBR funding is not automatically replaced with General Funds. For funding to be restored, the Senate will need to add it to the bill. They could either use the CBR, or they could identify another fund source. From our House Majority Coalition’s perspective, funding the bill with the CBR is better than using another alternative, the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account (ERA), since it’s beneficial to keep the ERA funds invested in ways that yield higher returns than CBR investments.

Without Senate action, K-12 Education and student transportation costs are $1.2 billion short of full funding.

In the meantime, with the bill’s passage in the House, we are moving closer to getting our budget work done on time, which is a major goal for many lawmakers this session.

Strong Yes Vote on House Floor for Bill to Continue Assistance to Our Elders

On the same evening that the House passed the Education bill, we also gave a thumbs up to extending the Senior Benefits program to 2022.

For most lawmakers, including me, this program is a fundamental obligation we owe to Alaska’s seniors, who spent their lives helping to transform Alaska into a great state.

Introduced by House Majority Coalition member Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks), HB 236 helps low-income elders afford their most basic necessities, such as prescription medications, groceries, utility bills, and rent.

Not surprisingly, support in the House for HB 236 was strong, with the bill passing 35 to 1.

HB 267—a Tool for Local-Government Revenues—Making Progress

On Thursday, my bill that will allow municipalities access to information the state collects on hunting and sport fishing activities in their localities, successfully moved from the House Community & Regional Affairs Committee.

Access to this information is important to municipalities—such as HD 37’s Lake & Peninsula Borough—that levy modest taxes on professional guiding operations within their boundaries. The munis would only be allowed access to the hunting and fishing records if it is for the purpose of verifying taxes payable to them. The better compliance with the local taxes that this bill encourages may yield tens of thousands in increased revenues for some local governments.

Municipal officials would be required to keep all such information strictly confidential. This is important to guides, many of whom closely guard their “hot spots” for successful hunting and fishing. They can rest assured that local officials would face Class A Misdemeanor charges if they were to fail to keep the records secret.

In recent years the fiscal crisis has forced the state to push greater costs to local governments. The revenues our communities raise on their own are becoming more and more important. The least the state can do is provide a tool like this that helps them make sure they are receiving the fees required under their local ordinances.

HB 267’s next stop is House Resources, where it is scheduled to be heard on Friday, the 16th, at 1:00 p.m.

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon
Juneau, AK