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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

DCRA Commissioner email today.

From: Morgan, Deborah M (CED) 
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:41 AM
To: Morgan, Deborah M (CED) <>
Subject: Governor Dunleavy's Budget Announcement
Importance: High


Good morning DCCED Employees,

Thank you for the hard work you do every day on behalf of the people of Alaska.  I appreciate having a few minutes of your time to share with you Governor Dunleavy’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget for our department and his vision for our state.

As we all know, the State continues to face fiscal challenges in the wake of low oil prices. I, along with our budget team and the staff at the Office of Management and Budget, have worked diligently over the last six weeks to align our programs with our core services and identify areas of opportunity for efficiency.

To focus on our priorities, it is critical that state expenditures equal revenue and avoid taking hard-earned money from Alaskans.

When developing our department’s budget, we focused on our core functions: “Economic Growth, Sustainable Energy, Strong Communities and Consumer Protection.”

Specifically, our department will see the following changes effective July 1, 2019:

Primary Structure Change:

Eliminate the Economic Development component within DCCED and transfer to the Governor’s Office to establish a cabinet level focus on statewide Economic efforts

This transfer will elevate the focus of the Alaska Economy to a Governor's level to engage the business community, provide and oversee outreach efforts, and advise the Governor on the economic impacts of policies across all departments.

This change will realign business processes, provide more efficiencies through the coordination and reduce state costs.

The Investment portion of the Division will remain but at a reduced capacity pending the Revolving Loan Fund repeal legislation and the review of the portfolio management. More details on this repeal below.

 Budget Change:

50% department wide travel reduction based on FY2018 actual expenditures

The Administration is taking a critical view of all travel and wants each agency/board/commission to eliminate nonessential travel regardless of the fund source.

In recognition that not all programs will be able to cut their travel in half and still accomplish their mission, we will have the flexibility to set a more accurate travel budget in Management Plan but it will have to be accommodated with other cost savings in the overall reduced budget.

Specific guidance on the current Administration’s travel restriction and approval process is currently under development

$1 million GF reduction within Community & Regional Affairs associated with the realignment of Local Government Support and Services for better efficiencies

We are reviewing all departmental expenditures and practices in efforts to reduce expenditures and dependence on government in accordance with Governor Dunleavy’s efforts. This change will reduce the DCRA budget down to FY2018 actual expenditure levels.  A full review and realignment of processes and prioritization of programming services will assist in meeting this reduction and stay within budget. There are no changes to staffing levels with this reduction at this time.

GF reduction within Community & Regional Affairs eliminating the grant funding for the Alaska Legal Services Corporation in efforts to reduce dependence on government

Fund Changes Include:

Replacing the PCE funding with GF to continue to support the Rural Energy Assistance Program

This will return the Rural Energy Assistance Program to a general funded program and will require this program to compete for general funds in the same fashion as other state funded programs through the legislative process. 

Replaced all general funds within the Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office with Marijuana Licensing receipts for licensing and regulation activities

This funding change will fully support the program thru collected receipts. Receipts are sufficient to support the program 100% and is anticipated to "lapse" approximately $100.0 to $200.0 in FY2019.

These fees will continue to support the consolidated investigator positions through a reimbursable service agreement (RSA) with the Department of Law.

Additionally, the Administration has also considered several longer-term, enterprise-wide initiatives that will positively impact our agency and the state as a whole. These will be carried out through administrative orders (AO) and focus on restructuring programs and administrative processes within state government, thereby improving effectiveness, increasing cost savings, and achieving better alignment between programs and department core services. 

One example of streamlining processes can be seen in the AO to consolidate procurement and human resources across all State agencies. This will standardize and streamline processes that improve efficiencies, provide greater consistency, and result in cost savings. This process will take place over time, allowing agencies to collaborate and care for an effective implementation.

There are also four directives that further support the Governor’s desire to improve services to Alaskans and deliver cost efficiencies across agencies. These include restructuring and directing agencies to investigate, analyze, and review additional opportunities for streamlining processes, reducing costs, and improving service to Alaskans. Examples of these directives include evaluating rural airport systems, the Alaska Marine Highway System, and state-owned property for potential divestment, transfer, or public/private partnership options. For departments with laboratories, they have been asked to evaluate their individual laboratories and explore opportunities for consolidating functions.

Administrative Order:

Consolidating investigator positions from DCCED, DOLWD, DEC and DHSS into the Department of Law will result in efficiencies, reduced costs, and prioritization for life, health, and safety investigations.

This will reduce the cost of criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions by pooling resources and breaking down inefficient silos.

For example, right now a report of a potential bad actor business would have to go to DCCED to ensure compliance with corporations, business and professional licensing laws and three different units within DOLWD to ensure compliance with workers’ compensation, wage and hour, and unemployment insurance laws. This is neither efficient nor effective.

The investigators will be able to focus on being the experts in how to conduct investigations and gather information because they will be more closely connected to the attorney’s that are the experts in the laws.

Governor’s Legislation: 

Repeal of Quasi Dedicated Funds

This will repeal the quasi dedicated funds within DCCED, including the community assistance fund and the power cost equalization fund, but retains the programs.

The program will remain on the books, but will compete for general funds like any other program through the legislative budget process.

Repeal underutilized Revolving Loan Funds currently operated by the State and exit the area of the economy more appropriately filled by the private sector

This will eliminate the State from competing with the private banking industry and/or making loans to borrowers who do not meet the credit requirements of a private lender.

Repeal of the Marijuana Control Board and Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

The intent is to transfer the authority and responsibilities of the two boards to the commissioner and remove the marijuana control board and the alcoholic beverage control board.

Reducing the regulatory burden in efforts to expand entrepreneurialism

Commissioner may adopt regulations and processes to allow alcohol and marijuana licenses to be processed more akin to that of professional licenses.

This removes the limitations on the selection and appointment process of the director by the Governor.

Professional Licensing and Regulatory Reform

Review of statutes and regulations are being completed to streamline business functions and operations

Encouraging growth within Alaska’s economy by repealing unnecessary regulatory burdens, by not increasing taxes, and by creating stability

Review professional licensing requirements and ensure requirements are in line with industry best practices and modern consumer expectations

Review for potential repeal of statutes and regulations for professions with strong national licensing agencies that could take the place of state licensure

Our budget, along with the budgets of the other agencies, provide the State with a sustainable, predictable, and affordable framework by: eliminating non-essential programs, eliminating duplication across agencies, realigning business process within agencies, unleashing entrepreneurialism, and maximizing our return on assets.

I look forward to our continued work together to find efficiencies in our department and to improve processes for our customers as a team.


Commissioner Anderson

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Why is the FBI so frightened of people learning about Stingray?

Nothing to see here, kids, move on... So says the guy in the suit with white socks and sunglasses.
Far removed from the dingy field offices haunted by Efram Zimbalist, Jr., today's Federal Bureau of Investigation has gone from an agency that kids dreamed of joining to, in approximately their own words, "just another intelligence agency."
Yup, back when yr obd't editor was a kid, being a G-Man was right up there with being an astronaut.
No more, I'm afraid.
Now they are more afraid we'll learn how a Stingray operates and maybe, just maybe, remember to turn off our cell phones before we go somewhere we'd rather not be found.
My advice? Go on eBay and buy a damn "candy bar" phone... one with a removeable battery and no GPS.

PCN 01801X X0107-XE or, "Pejorative My Ass"

The biggest beneficiaries of the unorganized Alaska House of Representatives are Governor Mike Dunleavy and his hired gun temporary (VERY temporary, I'll wager) Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Donna Arduin. This means she only has one Committee to face, SFIN. The House has met with her, but not in a "Regular Order"Finance Committee fashion.That prospect should terrify her.
She's a contract employee, make no mistake. Its just that noone has seen her contract yet.
Although Mike Dunleavy seemingly campaigned on a platform of restoring trust in government, has has already broken that trust by hiring an Outsider to "write a budget" with a supposed $1.2 BILLION reduction. This is the same guy who abandoned his Senate seat and although he was on the Finance Committee for a while never seemed to learn anything about the State Budget.
He and his hatchet wielding (can we quit saying hatchet? She has a blue McCullough with a 24 inch bar) OMB Director (who doesn't deserve  view from her office in the Spam Can) have broken trust with Alaska School Districts with the $20 Million "Supplemental" disappropriation, with some of our States most vulnerable people through the abandonment of API to greedy outside private correctional interests and, coming up Wednesday, with ALL Alaskans as they unveil a budget that will shock, dismay and sicken people around the State.
Enjoy Public Radio? Too bad. Use the Internet.
Your UA Degree will be a collectors item once University of Phoenix takes over.
The already over regulated oil/gold/timber industries will be pleased with the demise of DEC.
Seniors? Let their "communities" take care of them.
Substance abuse? Faith based programs, baby.
Libraries? Museums? That stuff is all on the Internet, right?
Highways? Watch for the orange jumpsuits (and I dont mean DOT guys, either). Plenty of free labor in those jails, and more to come.
Are we at $1.2 billion yet?
Okay, lets sell the Ferries for scrap or bring in a big Norwegian outfit to run them.
We can privatize airports. I'm sure Bechtel Corporation will be happy to take them over. They LOVE privatized infrastructure.
AHFC? Public Housing? Sell it off.Same with the Aerospace Development Corporation. Can you say "Elon Musk"?
And then their the gem of our infrastructure, the The Alaska Railroad. I wonder if she is friends with Warren Buffet?

TheThe Dunleavy/Babcock temporary OMB Director took umbrage at questioning during a recent meeting with House members.
As reported in the Alaska Ledger (and as Seen on Television), the exchange kinda went like this:

 " Rep. Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) took up the charge.
“You do understand that these monies — the $20 million — were planned for by each of the individual districts in their budgets?  You do understand that?” he asked.
Ortiz said that, with this approach, districts won’t even be able to budget until the end of the fiscal year.
“That just doesn’t work for districts throughout the state.  Do you understand that?” he pressed.
“Representative, I’d appreciate it if you discontinue asking me if I understand things.  It’s a little pejorative,” responded Arduin, her patience gone. "

Well, as I have Tweeted (@markspringer) for the stupendous amount she is being payed for what is essentially a "short call" she should smile and take it like a big kid.
She doesn't work for the Alaskan People, but our Legislators do.
Their representation is described in this article in the Alaska Ledger by Craig Tuten. And that was just the beginning.

Here are a few questions I'd love to hear House Finance ask, once they are organized:
     1. Who do you consider that you are working for?
     2. Did you go through SOA New Employee Orientation?
     3. Name three or four Alaska Census Districts
     4. Who approves your timesheet?
     5. Did you negotiate your employment terms with SOA? If so, with whom?
     6. Who are the taxpayers in Alaska?
     7. Do you agree with the notion that 'taxes are the price we pay for civilization?
     8. What is your precise relationship with GEO Group?
     9. Do you or have you discussed your budget development with any individuals or parties outside of Alaska since you have come to work here?
    10. Describe your academic credentials for the People of Alaska.
    11. Describe your experience in government budgeting, its long term implications for your previous clients, and project the long term implications of your work here on our State.
   12. Do your employment terms require you to provide support to Commissioners when they come before us to defend the budget you are writing?
   13. Have you had any discussions with any Commissioner during this budget development process?
   14. Describe your personal philosophy on taxation in general.
   15. Do you understand Governor Walter Hickel's concept of Alaska as an "Owner State"?
   16. Do you expect or have you been promised to be able to collect the full amount of your "salary" upon your departure from Alaska, whether its on Valentines Day or in a year?

   She has no idea of the buzz saw she will face once HER budget is released. I don't think she is going to stick around. Dunleavy hired her "to do a job" and once the budget hits the table she is out of here.

Make no mistake, She is a philosophical water carrier for a very extremist view of how government should work.  She isnt even a theoretician. She's a lackey for people most of us have never heard of. And that should terrify everyone in this State. Beta Testing has already taken place in Kansas, Florida and a number of other Republican states.

Alaskans need to draw a line in the sand, Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
The State of Alaska is not a business to be merged, acquired and diposed of.
Shareholder value is not a concept to apply to public services.
GEO Group, Warren Buffet, Boone Pickens and all their ilk can just STAY THE FUCK OUT.
And Donna, catch a plane. Leave us alone to deal with our own problems.
Thanks for ripping us off, though. Good move.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Ring Out the Old...

Well, well, look who's back...
I mean, it's not like I've been silent on any stage, as my few followers on Twitter may have noticed.
And my nephew in Hooper Bay calls me to tell me "Uncle Mark, I saw you on TV with all your dope buddies..."
I had an Elder walk up to me in Swansons Store the other day and ask me "are you the one I always see on KTVA?"
Yes, that's me.
Hello 2019 and good riddance to 2018.
I've had worse, much worse years, but this one is top 3 for a lot of reasons.
Guess I'd better make a few resolutions:
       Get a haircut
        Get a job
         Get out of debt
        Write stuff longer than however many characters Twitter lets me post these days.
          Write stuff that's interesting to read.
            Write the start of a book or two that I'm pretty sure I still have in Me.
So, folks, watch this space!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump to Tribes: Drop Dead

Yesterdays Executive Order by the President, gleefully witnessed by the Alaska Congressional Delegation, represents yet another insult by Donald J. Trump directed at Native Americans and Alaska Natives. He was on a roll yesterday, with a stroke of the pen  (c)  To further streamline existing regulatory authorities, Executive Order 13754 of December 9, 2016 (Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience), is hereby revoked. 
The Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience area was established to protect one of the most biologically significant and productive subsistence use areas in the United States, the Eastern Bering Sea, coastal areas of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and Norton Sound and their drainages. The map shown does not depict all the villages in the area.
In his second round of hostility to Native Americans (and the United States Senate) he spoke before the NRA Leadership Forum in Atlanta and uttered the following:
"Only one candidate in the General Election came to speak to you, and that candidate is now the President of the United States, standing before you again.  (Applause.)  I have a feeling that in the next election you’re going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time.  You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, no, sir, no thank you -- no, ma’am.  Perhaps ma’am.  It may be Pocahontas, remember that.  (Laughter and applause.)  And she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you."  

So there you go, a twofer for America's collective case of the DT's....

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Been a week now...

And Mike Pence STILL hasn't signed the paperwork to move the transition forward. Lets guess. The Donald (Thats President-Elect The Donald to you, punk) believes that ANY agreement can be changed, to his benefit.
Really, P-ETD? Really?
Four thousand appointments to make and a week burned up already.
The sad thing is that some would call all this transition watching "Inside Baseball." Well, let me tell ANYONE saying THAT where they can put their baseball bat.
Transition management is absofuckinglutely essential to making things run on the 20th of January.
Oh yeah- is there even an inagural committee yet? Inquiring minds wanna know.

A little relaxation after a tough week...

Sadly, not produced by Notorious A.K.A...

Monday, November 14, 2016

"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one ..."

Those were the words that sprang to J. Robert Oppenheimer's mind as he watched the Trinity Test.
What words will spring to Donald J. Trump's mind when he is presented with the ability to, singlehandedly, order the launch and detonation of United States nuclear weapons?
Will it occur to him the truly godlike power he has been handed? Or will he treat it cavalierly, bandying it in the same sentence as words like beautiful and fantastic?
Will he, via twitter, put the world on notice of his power and might - not on behalf of us as a nation, but on behalf of Donald J. Trump? How will the world respond to such bullying, and will he have ANY tempering mechanism in his office?
Let us sincerely hope that, rather than getting a heady feeling when he is handed a sealed authentication card, about the size of a pack of baseball card bubblegum by a high ranking military officer in the presence of all his Military Aides and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he will reflect on Oppenheimers thoughts, of Vishnu declaring, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

Give THIS some thought.

Shoutout to Pro Libertate for the link to these important few minutes of Election Night analysis:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Some thoughts on the implications of the President-Elect and his possible agendas

Early on, as his nomination seemed more secure,  and afterward, some speculated (perhaps based on a hint or two) that Donald J. Trump, even if elected, might choose not to accept Office.
It will be telling to look closely at his eyes as he is asked by a black-robed Chief Justice or, and don't say you didn't read it here first, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, as he is asked "Are you prepared to take the Oath of Office."
He is soon to receive what I call the Gray Hair Briefings, and if there is no noticeable change in either his demeanor nor appearance afterwards then we will be able to assume he either cares not or is excruciatingly emotionless. Either way, God help us!
He apparently wants to be the first "Commuter President." Does he have any idea what the cost of THAT would be? And I am quite certain the Secret Service is already in a fright about the elevator trips between the Penthouse and the office on 28. Believe you me, the Secret Service is only happy on sea level or at 40,000 feet. So, we will see how Trump responds to security concerns. Reince, you have your work cut out for you.
Hectoring. Remember that word? No, then look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls. It's synonym is "Trumpish Tweeting." Another "Impossible Mission" for the new Chief of Staff. If we can assume that national command centers and intelligence apparatus will have @realDonaldTrump up on their big screens 24/7, how long till it gets @realHacked with less than gentle missives directed towards administration's not half as touchy as his?
Rally's...  And who will pay?  Certainly not the RNC, nor the USG. So maybe they won't happen unless he discovers (shhhh!) Google Hangouts or Skype. Leave it to Bannon to devise a clever, on demand way for PT (yes, let's call him that) to be a virtual presence in all our bedrooms since he only gets online at night...
Secretary of the Interior. We all know it's gonna be TWWWSTLIJ, until she quits in her first week. Hopefully, though, before Old Man Lucas gets the job she will OK the Izembek Road.
OK, enough for tonight. Peace, Out.