September is Emergency Preparedness Month Are you prepared?

September is Emergency Preparedness Month Are you prepared?


September is National Emergency Preparedness Month…so here’s the question…are you and your family prepared?


That is the sound of an earthquake that I got off one of the FEMA websites.

Natural disasters tend to be big, powerful, and life changing. Sometimes, unfortunately, disasters take lives. Whether it’s an earthquake, a big storm off the Bering Sea, erosion or even a kitchen fire that leaves you out of the house for a few weeks, now is a good time to think ahead and make plans.

Let’s all work together this week as The LegHead Reports focuses on emergency preparedness to take a few minutes each day and get your family thinking about and gathering up all the items you’d need or want to have on hand should a disaster strike.

Even if all you did was grab a piece of paper and a pen or type a few notes on the computer each time you hear one of the programs this week, you’ll be that much farther along and more mentally prepared for The Big One.

Audio from

That snippet comes from but you don’t need to go there as the state’s website includes a lot of great information, including a chart guiding you through assembling your family’s seven-day survival kit.


Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends


Alaska’s Emergency Preparedness Page for Personal and Family Planning  Has all kinds of information. Bookmark it. Read it and get ready!

New 7 Day Supply Kit from Alaska’s Emerg Prep Page.


Senate Passes Fiscal Plan That Taps Permanent Fund

SB26 Keeps PFD at $1,000, limits state spending, takes money for budget out of Permanent Fund earnings


The LegHead Report for Monday March 21, 2017


The Alaska Senate on last week (March 15) passed what it says is a major component of the solution to solving Alaska’s funding woes.

The measure, Senate Bill 26, draws from the Permanent Fund to pay state bills and would continue Permanent Fund Dividend checks at the amount of $1,000.

There’s a cap on state spending, and there’s a limit of the amount that can be drawn from the Permanent Fund.

Senate President Pete Kelly explained the funding plan in a video posted on the Senate Majority’s website… [Listen to mp3 above for more details.]


Related Links and More Information:

Press release from Senate Majority on passage of SB26

Summary of what SB26 does

More budget information from Senate Majority’s website



State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

PHOTO: Chena Ridge from the Division of Forestry’s website. The Alaska Board of Forestry helps manage and determine policy for Alaska’s forest lands.


You don’t need to run for public office to have a real impact on life in Alaska and in the way the state does business.

Why not stick your name in for a state board or commission?

Monday January 6, 2014 Edition of The LegHead Report


RESOURCES: Here are some useful links to help you get info and apply for a board or commission position.

Governor’s Office of Boards and Commission

List of Active Boards and Commissions — includes a ton of info on each board, what they do, who’s on it, etc.

List of Vacancies on Alaska Boards and Commissions–These are the ones to target if you’re ready to take the leap and apply for an open spot.  (Opens as a pdf.)

How to Apply for an Alaska Board or Commission Position


Thursday June 30th is Anniversary of Alaska Statehood Act

June 30, 1958 – Date of Senate passage of Alaska Statehood Act
July 7, 1958 – FDR signs Statehood Act
Jan. 3, 1959 – Alaska becomes 49th state

We're In Alaska Statehood passed by U.S. Senate

This  “We’re In” photo was taken on June 30, 1958 the day the U.S. Senate passed The Alaska Statehood Act.

The famous photo, above, was taken the next day after the paper was flown to Washington, D.C.

The Statehood Act didn’t go into effect immediately–Alaska actually became a state in January 1959.

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Today (June 30) is the anniversary of the day in 1958 when the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act which brought Alaska into the Union. The measure was signed by President Eisenhower on July 7, 1958 and Alaska became the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959.

You’ve probably seen the famous statehood photo. The one of the big two-word headline: “We’re In.” That headline was printed on the cover of the Anchorage paper of that day.

Well, here’s an interesting tidbit you may not know about that photo—the one with the officials holding the newspaper.

While the headline was printed on June 30th, the photo itself was taken on July 1st—in Washington, D.C.

That could be arranged in this day of high speed jets and special courier services. But back in 1958, that was some feat.

Special editions of the historic paper were flown to Washington, D.C. by jet bomber for distribution to Washington officials.

There’s a photo in the Alaska Digital Archives of President Eisenhower and Alaska Territorial Governor Mike Stepovich holding a copy of that paper in Washington, D.C. on July 1st. The day after it was printed in Anchorage.

This week on The LegHead Report we’ll be remembering the signing of the Alaska Statehood Act with stories from our archives about statehood.

And speaking of Archives, the Alaska Digital Archives has a copy of the “We’re In” photo as well as thousands of others. The digital archives also has audio and video covering all periods of Alaska history.

Plan to spend a lot of time there if you go. There is so much to look at and enjoy.

Alaska Digital Archives

Tips for understanding the mumbo jumbo of Alaska budget

Glossary of Budget Terms

Even if you’re not a numbers geek you’ll likely find something interesting and readable about the state’s Fiscal Year 2015 and the 2016 budgets on the Office of Management and Budget’s website.

I’ve had lots of fun reading through them and encourage you to do likewise. Now before you freak out about all that budget mumbo jumbo and those huge dollar amounts, let me remind you of “Maggie’s Rule for Reading Legislative Stuff”.

Go to the site, glance around for something that catches your eye and skim through it. If it’s interesting and makes sense great, you’ve learned something new. If it’s boring or totally incomprehensible, skip it. Don’t feel guilty or dumb or anything, just move on. There are plenty of pages and lots of really cool stuff on the state’s website, so feel free to cherry-pick your reading material.

Speaking of reading material. I found an informative glossary of budget words on the OMB’s website. Let’s look at some of those words.

First of all Office of Management and Budget which is also called OMB. That’s the division within the Governor’s Office that is responsible for preparing the Governor’s budget. That explains why all the budget information and assorted attachments and background info is posted on the OMB website.

Appropriation is a word we hear a lot of as is allocation and they work together. An appropriation is the statutory authorization to spend a specific amount of money for a stated purpose. Funds may not be spent without an appropriation made by law and it’s the Alaska Legislature that makes those laws. I especially like the phrase “a specific amount of money for a stated purpose”.

An allocation is a sub-unity of an appropriation in appropriation bills. In other words, the legislature states this amount of money will be spent on this specific purpose, and the allocation makes guidelines for divvying the money up, but generally doesn’t micromanage.

And finally, one more appropriation related term lapse. Lapse is the expiration of the authorization to spend funds. Used in a sentence…Operating appropriations lapse at the end of the fiscal year unless otherwise specified. In other words spend it or lose it.

These Budget Terms come from a glossary on the OMB’s website where you’ll find info on all kinds of things related to the state’s budget.




Glossary of Alaska Budget Words

A listing of words that you may want to have around when reading the state’s budget. Mostly, the glossary is easy to understand, though there are a few phrases that only an accountant could understand.

Alaska Office of Management and Budget (OMB) page with info on Alaska Operating and Capital Budgets and other budget information