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Session Office

January 18 - April 15

  • Phone: 907.465.4843

  • State Capitol Room 427
  • Juneau AK, 99801

Interim Office

April 20 - January 15

  • Phone: 907.269.0181

  • 1500 W. Benson Blvd.
  • Anchorage AK, 99503


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In the News

Thinking Twice about LNG

With dividends at stake, it is easy to become desperate, and seek action we would never rationally choose to do
Media Outlet

Democrats loved credits, until they didn't

This is the law the Democrats fought to bring back in 2014 and the one they pine for to this day.
Media Outlet

President Can't See Alaska Forests for the Trees

The handsome tree on the West Lawn was cut, ironically, from a forest that bans timber harvest.
Media Outlet

Fish & Game Changes Draw Protest

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten is defending the recent hire of a former employee of the environmental group Oceana...
Media Outlet

Proposed US Arctic regs threaten economic future

The necessary path forward is clear: rather than finalize the proposed Arctic exploration drilling regulations, DOI must go back to the drawing board...
Media Outlet

Personal Profile


Senator Cathy Giessel

District N, Republican

Place of Birth:

  • Fairbanks, Alaska

Residency in Alaska:

  • Lifetime


  • Registered Nurse
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner


  • Husband- Richard
  • Adult Children-Peter (daughter in law, Taryl), Elisabeth, David 
  • 5 grandchildren


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing -University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Masters of Science in Nursing -University of Alaska Anchorage

Alaska State Senate: 2011-present

  • Natural Resources Committee, chair, 2013-present
  • Education Committee 2015-present
  • Health Committee, vice chair 2015-present
  • Labor & Commerce Committee 2015-present
  • Special Committee on the Arctic, co-chair - 2015-present
  • Community & Regional Affairs Committee, vice chair, 2013-2014
  • State Affairs Committee, vice chair, 2013-2014, member 2011-2012
  • Joint Administrative Regulation Review, vice chair, 2013-2014
  • Joint Legislative Budget & Audit Committee, 2013-present
  • Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, 2013-2014
  • Finance Subcommittee on Health, 2015-present
  • Finance Subcommittee on Department of Environmental Conservation, 2013-present
  • Finance Subcommittee on Department of Natural Resources, 2013-present
  • Finance Subcommittee on Department of Labor & Workforce Development, 2013-2014
  • Finance Subcommittee on the Legislature, 2011-2012
  • Arctic Policy Commission, 2011-2014
  • Labor & Commerce Committee, 2011-2012

Senate Caucus Work:

  • Joint Legislative In-State Gas Caucus
  • Joint Outdoor Heritage Caucus

National Involvement:

  • National Legislative Organizations
  • Energy Council Executive Committee, 2013-present
  • Energy Producing States Coalition, Chair – Present

Pacific Northwest Economic Region

  • Legislative Energy Institute graduate, 2012
  • Arctic Caucus
  • Workforce Committee, co-chair, 2012-2013
  • Delegate (Alternate), 2013

Council of State Governments-WestSave

  • Energy and Environment Committee, 2015-present
  • Canada Relations Committee, 2014-present

Energy Producing State Coalition

  • Member 2011-12, Chair Elect 2013-present

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

  • Member, February 2014 to present

Organizations and Community Involvement:

  • Resource Development Council
  • Alaska Miners Association
  • Alaska Support Industry Alliance
  • Anchorage Chamber of Commerce
  • Pioneers of Alaska
  • National Rifle Association
  • Heritage Christian School Board 1992-1999
  • Community Pregnancy Center Board 2004-2010

Awards and Recognitions:

  • 2015 Legislative Award, Alaska Professional Hunters Association
  • 2013 Legislator of the Year, Alaska Miners Association
  • 2012 Legislator of the Year, Associated Builders and Contractors
  • 2010 Exceptional Leader, National Council of State Boards of Nursing
  • Fellow, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, inducted 2006
  • Anchorage Republican Woman of the Year, 2007

Special Interests:

  • Cross country skiing, biking, hiking, running, shooting, textile crafts, my grandchildren
Personal Legislation

SB 4 ~ Financial Disclosures Required of Public Officials

SB 4 amends the filing date for the Annual Public Official Financial Disclosure which is required by the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC). Currently, the disclosure is due on March 15th of each year. SB 4 changes the due date to May 15th of each year. APOC requires annual financial disclosures from all citizens serving on certain boards and commissions, as well as public officials statewide.

SB 22 ~ Motor Vehicle Registration Tax: Collection Costs

Passage of SB22 would update the collection fee charged by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to various municipalities throughout the State of Alaska for Municipal Motor Vehicle Registration Tax (MVRT). DMV’s percentage fee has not changed since inception in 1993. With increases in motor vehicle rate schedules and efficiencies achieved through the use of technology, the current 8% collection fee is outdated and has resulted in significant overcharges for the cost of service provided to municipalities.

SB 36 ~ Electronic Distribution of Reports/Notices

SB 36 moves the posting of public notices into the modern age by allowing municipalities the option of publishing its notices electronically.

It also mandates that statutorily required reports from state agencies be posted and distributed electronically on the Alaska Online Public Notice System instead of being printed. In this day and age with Alaska being one of the most digitally connected states in the nation, we believe this legislation will increase public awareness of state agency actions and increase access for its citizens.

SB 41 ~ Psychologists & Associate Criminal History Check

Background checks are standard gatekeeping practice for most professions that serve vulnerable populations. Senate Bill 41 would mandate that applicants submit to a background check as a requirement for a license to practice as a psychologist or psychological associate in the state of Alaska.

SB 44 ~ Union Exemption Based on Religious Conviction

According to AS.40.220, an employee must pay dues to its union or employee association. However, there are exemptions for employees with proven religious convictions to have their dues donated to a charity chosen by the labor union. Senate Bill 44 makes a simple change to that provision by allowing those employees, not the labor union, choose which charity would receive the donation.

SB 45 ~ Parks & Recreation Service Area Boundaries

Under current law, “service areas” within a municipality are taxed for specific services that are provided in a defined geographical boundary. Over time, populations and residential developments in these areas grow and, as a result, leave “doughnut holes” – properties within the service area that do not pay the tax but still receive the same services.

SB 45 addresses this issue and will provide municipalities with a method for collecting taxes from property owners currently benefiting from services provided by taxes paid from others in the service areas.

SB 53 ~ Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Senate Bill 53 updates Alaska’s 34-year old statutory title from “Advanced Nurse Practitioner” (ANP) and “Nurse Anesthetist” (NA) to now be called “Advanced Practice Registered Nurse” (APRN).

SB 55 ~ Senate Bill 55 Optometry Statute Update

SB 55 modernizes and updates the Alaska Optometry Statute. It moves the continuing education (CE) requirements back into regulation, as desired by the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Continuing education is still required by current statute, but the hours and subjects will be determined by the Board of Optometry, as with other professions. The current regulations require more CE hours than the statute subsection deleted by this bill.

SB 57 ~ CO2 Emission Reduction Implementation Plan

SB 57 protects consumers by requiring DEC to develop a state implementation plan that will not result in increased retail electric costs nor lessen the reliability of Alaska’s energy service. Furthermore SB 57 safeguards electrical generation investments, and preserves competition in the public and private sector of Alaska’s economy.

SB 66 ~ Passenger and Recreational Vehicle Rental Tax

SB 66 seeks to further clarify the rental vehicle tax in accordance with the intent of the original legislation, exempting businesses that operate in construction, resource, and other non-tourism based industries from an overzealous interpretation of the current law.

SB 68 ~ Antlerless Moose Hunts

SB 68 is the beginning of a statewide conversation regarding antlerless moose hunts and the responsibilities of the Department of Fish and Game, the Board of Game and local Advisory Councils in regulating these hunts. There have been ongoing concerns regarding the use of antlerless moose hunts and the philosophy and science behind this management tool.

SB 71 ~ Pharmacists and Immunization

Currently, Alaska pharmacists require oversight by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner to oversee their immunization authority. SB 71 will give already-trained and certified pharmacists authority to immunize Alaska adults and children without having to contract with often hard-to-find doctors/nurse practitioners to oversee their immunization programs.

SB 72 ~ CARE Act

SB 72 seeks to improve post-discharge health outcomes by improving coordination with designated caregivers, providing training to them on discharge tasks, reducing preventable and costly hospital readmissions and enabling older Alaskans to stay in their own homes longer.

SB 104 ~ Persons with Disability Savings Accounts

The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities and their families to set up a special savings account for disability-related expenses. Each state must establish its own ABLE program, much as each state had to establish its own 529 college savings program.

SB 142 ~ Insurance for Anti-Cancer Medication

SB 142 would ensure that both intravenous and orally administered cancer treatments are treated fairly and are equally available to consumers. Patients should not be prohibited from receiving oral cancer treatment due to preferential insurance coverage favoring intravenous forms of treatment. Currently intravenous cancer treatment co-pays are much less expensive than the oral cancer treatments, and are not always the easiest option for patients.

SB 170 ~ DNR Fees for Geological Services

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Geologic Materials Center in Anchorage offers a critical service to promoting our state’s economy and scientific knowledge. The center serves as the main repository for geologic materials from all over Alaska, gathering samples from oil and gas exploration, mining, and infrastructure development. Having all these samples in one location allows scientists, companies, universities and other government agencies access to materials they otherwise would have to find themselves, saving time and money.

SB 175 ~ Pharmacy Benefits Manager

Passage of Senate Bill 175 will establish procedures and guidelines for the auditing of pharmacy records so that all pharmacies are held to the same standards by its auditors. It has been introduced by request of the Alaska Pharmacists Association.

SB 180 ~ Parent-Guardian/Child: Temporary Power of Attorney

Senate Bill 180 seeks to establish an alternative route to placing a child into the foster care system. It allows parents to execute a power of attorney over their minor child for no more than one year to another person in order to prevent the child from needing to enter the foster care system.

SB 181 ~ Free passage on or use of navigable water

Existing Alaska law lists numerous activities that are conducted in a body of water in order to be navigable, such as fishing and trapping, the landing and takeoff of aircraft, and hunting. Though this list appears exhaustive, as Sturgeon v. Frost demonstrates, certain qualified activities were left out. This omission, in turn, created ambiguity, which Senate Bill 181 will address.

SB 201 ~ Out-Of-State Wholesale Drug Distributors

Passage of SB 201 will create a more secure drug supply chain by allowing for licensing and inspection of wholesale drug distributors outside of the state. Currently, Alaska is one of the few remaining states that does not license out-of-state wholesale drug distributors. With laws and regulations varying from state to state, licensing an out-of-state wholesale distributor can prove arduous. With this legislation, Alaska can take action to eliminate wholesalers looking for loopholes in the regulatory system and ensure that out-of-state applicants seeking licensure comply with the same regulations as Alaska wholesalers.