Cordova LIO offers access to the legislature

Get up to date information on bills, committee work and more

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, met with area residents on March 11, 2017 at the Cordova Legislative Information Office. From left, Scot Mitchell, chief executive officer of Cordova Community Medical Center, David Otness, Stutes, Mike Smith and Jim Aguiar. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

Alaska’s Legislature reconvened this week in Juneau for the first session of the 31st Alaska Legislature. Cordovans can stay abreast of its actions through the Cordova Legislative Information Office (LIO). Located on the corner of Council Avenue and First Street, the LIO’s primary focus is to assist residents in communicating with legislators.

Since the legislature in Juneau is an expensive plane ride away, it’s good to have a local office equipped to give residents up-to-the-minute information on the status of bills or the particulars of committees and other activities in Juneau.

While the Legislature is in session – usually, from January to April, residents here can easily talk to our representatives there via teleconferenced committee meetings which are held regularly at the LIO. Or, you can get assistance from LIO staff on how to send letters or email messages to your legislators regarding issues of concern to you.

LIO staff can also help you find records or documents from many state agencies. You can get publications like “Alaska’s Constitution: A Citizen’s Guide,” state directories or copies of legislative bills at the office. The LIOs serve as resource centers for all branches of state government as well as some federal government issues (i.e., immigration and social security).

Another important activity at the LIO is assisting with Permanent Fund Dividend applications. These may be completed at the LIO, online through a public computer, or through the paper application process. Staff will help those who are “computer challenged,” and can answer many questions about the new application form and appeal process.

The Cordova LIO is one in a network of 22 non-partisan offices that help inform citizens and facilitate communication between the Legislature and the public. The offices and the  Legislative website provide a wealth of information for Alaskans and bring the Alaska Legislature to your doorstep. Eleven of the 22 LIOs are open seasonally, generally from December to June.

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Our LIO sends an email newsletter weekly on Fridays. It includes a few highlights of the past week’s legislative activities, a schedule of upcoming meetings or teleconferences and a list of links to news articles of interest to our region. If you’re interested in receiving this weekly update, please email [email protected] or call 907-424-5461.

LIO staff can familiarize you with the Alaska Legislature’s website where you can track bills, see the daily calendar and even watch floor sessions and committee meetings. If you’d like to learn more about your government, stop by or call us. We welcome the opportunity to present a short “Introduction to the Alaska Legislature” at organizational meetings or classes. Call Nancy Bird, the Cordova LIO Information Officer, to schedule a presentation or make an appointment at the LIO (phone 907-424-5461)

The Cordova LIO is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Hours may be adjusted and/or extended to provide services during legislative committee teleconferences. The Juneau LIO (1-800-478-4648) is always available to assist you when the Cordova LIO is closed.

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