February 24, 2023

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

The sun has been streaming into my office in the Capitol this week and I hope you have been enjoying the sunshine in your community, too. It has been another busy week in Juneau with floor sessions, committee meetings, an address by Senator Lisa Murkowski, and the Alaska Municipal League and United Fishermen of Alaska meetings among other events. I spend my mornings in committee meetings and on the House Floor, and the afternoons meeting with constituents, stakeholders and legislators.

This week I attended a combination of budget subcommittee and standing committee meetings, with the legislature prioritizing the budget subcommittee work at this time. As a member of the budget subcommittees for the Departments of Education, Corrections, Public Safety as well as Fish and Game, I have been learning about the budgets of each of these departments. The budget subcommittee work will come to an end the week after next, and at that time each subcommittee will make recommendations to the full House Finance Committee, which will then take up the entire operating budget. If you have any recommendations on changes that should be made to the budgets of these departments, please contact me.  

While standing committee work was limited this week, the House Education Committee did hear an introduction of HB 65, INCREASE BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION on Monday, February 20th. The hearing was the first, of what I hope will be many, hearings on this critical piece of legislation. I will be sure to let you know when there is an opportunity for public testimony on this bill. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me regarding this bill or any other bills we are considering in committee.  

Meeting with constituents and stakeholders continues to be one of the highlights of my time in the legislature. It was an honor to meet with the United Fishermen of Alaska Board to talk about the importance of commercial fishing in my district and hear the concerns of the board members.  I had the privilege of meeting with city and borough officials from across House District 2 who were here for the Alaska Municipal League conference, including officials from the communities of Petersburg, Sitka and Yakutat.  In addition, I enjoyed meeting with constituents who were here with AGE – NET and the Statewide Independent Living Council. 


If you are going to be in Juneau, please call ahead and set up a time to meet with me. You are always welcome to email me at rep.himschoot@akleg.gov, or call my office at (907) 465-3732, with a question, suggestion or concern.  

Senator Murkowski’s Address

On February 22, 2023, the Senate joined the House for a Joint Session for the purpose of hearing from Senator Lisa Murkowski. During her address and in answering questions, Senator Murkowski highlighted some of the critical issues in Southeast Alaska, including rebuilding the Alaska Marine Highway System, and also addressing the lack of childcare and affordable housing among other factors that are making Alaska a difficult place to live for many. In addition, she mentioned some of the key fishery issues in Southeast Alaska, including the threat of the Wild Fish Conservancy lawsuit and the mines along transboundary rivers, just across the border in Canada. I respect Senator Murkowski’s willingness to work across the aisle in Washington DC and I was impressed with her address and call to action. I agree with her, we need to do more to make Alaska livable and make the very best use of the public funds, both federal and state.

Legislative Conduct

I joined my colleagues this week to censure Representative David Eastman for the questions and comments made in a House Judiciary hearing earlier in the week.  During the meeting he asked multiple questions about whether there could be economic benefits to society from the death of an abused child. When a member of the legislature egregiously dishonors the body, the other representatives may choose to “censure” the member for misconduct. In this case I stood against this offensive line of questioning with the 34 of the 35 other representatives present during the floor session. While a censure has no tangible consequences it is how we show we will not tolerate certain behaviors or condone hateful rhetoric. As legislators we need to ask tough questions, but we also need to hold ourselves to the highest moral and ethical standards and we need to show respect and decorum as we conduct our business.  In my mind Representative Eastman’s questions and comments crossed the line and I believe censuring him was the right thing to do.

The 2023 PFD filing season is now open. 

The online PFD application will be available until 11:59 PM on March 31, 2023.

The PFD offices will be open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, except for state holidays. 

The PFD offices will be closed to the public on Thursdays.

History of the Alaska Permanent Fund

During the lunch hour on February 23, 2023, I listened to Deven Mitchell, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation Executive Director, present on the history of the permanent fund. Given the importance of the Alaska Permanent Fund both in terms of funding state government and allowing for the payment of the dividend, I would encourage everyone to watch the educational presentation on the history of the permanent fund. 

What You Can Do

  • If you have a student who will be attending a post secondary program next year, consider completing your FAFSA (Free Application For Federal Student Aid) application as soon as possible. There are numerous resources available on the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education website to help you complete your FAFSA application, including information on signing up for one-on-one assistance and a link to attend live virtual training every Tuesday and Thursday through March, 2023. 

Follow the Legislature and Comment

  • If there is a bill or resolution you want to follow, you can get an email update every time action is taken on the legislation with the Bill Tracking Management Facility.