Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Monday, April 16, 2007


My Longevity Bonus re-application bill was heard today in the House Judiciary Committee. One of the persons who gave very articulate testimony before the committee was Mr. Ralph Hunt, a ninety year old previous recipient of the Longevity Bonus. One photo shows me with Mr. Hunt, and the other photo shows Mr. Hunt with my staffer Mike Sica testifying before the committee. Following are my prepared remarks to the committee:
Mr. Chair, Members of the Judiciary Committee: I appreciate your hearing HB79 today. I’m going to ask my staffer Mike Sica to present HB79, which is enacting legislation required for reapplication by previous longevity bonus recipients of the program.

But first, I want to assure you that this bill, HB79, is not intended to restore funding for the longevity bonus. Funding is, and should be, within the purview of the Finance Committee, followed by a vote on the House floor – not HB79. The fiscal note to this bill has caused some confusion on the intent of this bill, as may be explained later.

The intent of HB79 is only to make re-application possible for previously qualified bonus recipients, if the bonus is funded once again, as I hope it will be. However, no applications would be issued, unless the governor and the legislature agree to once again fund the bonus program. The purpose of his bill is something like the Boy Scout promise: “Be Prepared.”

One possibility I’d like to prepare for, and which I’d highly recommend, is that we help the thousands of elderly Alaskans live out their days in a decent and dignified manner by funding both the promise-based longevity bonus and the needs-based Senior Assistance Program, but require that seniors choose one, or the other, but not both. That’s something I think we should seriously consider. “Choice” can be a very good thing, when it’s a good choice for seniors. This bill could help pave the way for that choice.

With these thoughts in mind, I would ask that we avoid a debate on perceived merits and demerits of the Longevity Bonus issue itself – or the Senior Assistance Program, which I also support - and concentrate on the re-application process for the Longevity Bonus this bill addresses.

Good News: HB79 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee without object. The next committee of referral is the House Finance Committee. Keep your fingers crossed!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If seniors are given a choose between the Longevity Bonus Program and the Senior Assistance Program and seniors that are in need of assistance choose the Senior Assistance Program, then those that choose the Longevity Bonus are not in need of assistance. The state is being irresponsible with state funds by giving funds to those whom do not have the need while not giving to Non - Seniors that are in need, especially young parents trying to raise their children. Children raised in poverty are much more likely to be less productive member of society. The Longevity Bonus Program needs to be terminated effective immediately.

3:12 PM  

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