by Senator Lyman Hoffman
The Legislature is in week four of this session. This week, the Senate Finance Committee continues overviews of various programs, including State Debt and Credit Ratings from the Department of Revenue, update on Labor Contracts from the Department of Administration, and Fiscal Impacts of Opioids from the Departments of Health and Social Services, Public Safety and Corrections. In addition, the committee heard from Dr. Michael Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Education & Early Development regarding his nomination as Successor of the Lieutenant Governor.
Next week, on February 13th, Governor Dunleavy is releasing his amended state operating budget to the Legislature. Once received, all the Senate Finance Subcommittees will delve into the details. You can follow any subcommittee of interest to you on BASIS. Tune in for the details.
State Boards and Commissions
This type of public service is among the most effective ways for Alaskans to participate in, and take ownership of, their own governance. Citizen membership allows Alaskans to provide advice to State agencies on specific issues, provides regulation for industries, ensures consumer protection, and impacts official police. Being appointed to a board or commission allows Alaskans to contribute to the public process and make a positive impact in their communities.
At any given time, approximately 1200 Alaskan are serving on over 135 boards and commissions. Alaska’s boards and commissions relate to nearly every industry and interest, and have varying levels of demands, functions, authority, and involvement. In an average year, the Governor makes approximately 200 to 300 appointments. The majority of these appointments are volunteer positions and are usually eligible for standard travel expenses and per diem for official business.
The appointment process to a board or commission requires applicants to apply for the specific board or commission, describing your interests and experience. Your application will remain active for up to two years. Please note that your application materials are subject to the Alaska Public Records Act. The Office of Boards and Commissions reviews each application prior to the expiration of a seat or term. Applicants may be asked for an in person or telephonic interview. Alaska’s Constitution requires that appointments to some boards and commissions be subject to confirmation by a majority of members on the Legislature. Appointments to certain boards and commissions may designate you as a public official. By law, The legislature requires public officials to disclose personal financial information in order to inform the public of any potential conflicts of interest that may arise due to actions of the board or commission to which they are appointed. Most board and commission appointments are three to four year terms, meeting three to four times a year.
Contact Information on the Office of Boards and Commissions website is located on the top right corner of the website. The More Information tab will help you navigate the application process, also find out current vacancies on boards and commissions https://gov.alaska.gov/services/boards-and-commissions/.