Representative Scott Kawasaki's Jueau Note March 28, 2013
The Permanent Fund, Alaska’s Nest Egg
The Permanent Fund has been accurately described as Alaska’s Nest Egg. It took our limited natural resource of oil and has turned it into a $45 billion fund that provides annual dividends and helps to build schools and hire police officers. The ‘permanent funds’ of all other states combined is still smaller than ours! And legislators must protect the permanent fund for future generations of Alaskans. Less money from oil revenue and massive tax breaks for big oil corporations will put the permanent fund and PFD’s in jeopardy in the future. I hope legislators and the public are wise about how we preserve our Nest Egg for generations of Alaskans yet to come.
Permanent Fund Dividend Deadline
The deadline to file for your Alaskan PFD is this Easter Sunday, March 31st. You can even file online! As fortunate citizens of an owner state full of oil royalty revenues, every Alaskan gets to share in the resources being developed on our North Slope. The Permanent Fund has paid out more money in PFD’s than the revenues that have been put into the fund with prudent management and an eye toward the future. We should be thankful that we have the fund, now -- and hopefully -- in the future.
Pick, Click, Give…NOW!
Alaskans are very giving people. It comes from the long winters, isolation and a generous spirit for our neighbors. One way to help your neighbors is through Pick. Click. Give. PCG is a program that allows us to support your favorite non-profits and charities in every area of the state. It is a simple way to give and is available online as you submit your PFD application.
Oil Tax Giveaway Means Less for Alaskans
I was proud to be a part of the team who worked on reforming oil taxes so Alaskans get a clear and equitable share for our limited natural resources. Oil taxes are a complex issue and finding the perfect balance between an owner state and those who want our resources was very challenging. We must continue to evaluate what works in giving Alaskans their fair share, while incentivizing the new oil development. The proof is in the current operations in Alaska. We have a record number of new companies drilling in Alaska. We have a record level of employment on the North Slope. Next year will be a very positive year for construction on the North Slope. Oil companies are making massive profits from our oil every year and Alaskans benefit too.
The state has a constitutional obligation to use our resources for the maximum benefit of the people. I don’t believe we are doing a good enough job when we are leaving children and vulnerable citizens out in the cold. While oil companies are making record profits in our state, we are exacting budget cuts for education, behavioral health, energy projects and the UAF. This is NOT the kind of Alaska I want to see in the future.
In the final weeks of the session, you will hear much about the people who have been elected to represent you. I urge you take part in the process and stand with me in saying: Production Before Reduction. Please consider calling your legislator and asking them where they stand and how they will vote. It is the most important vote of the year because the potential cost to the treasury means future legislatures will have to spend your savings, cut education and services even more and build less energy projects.
Home Sweet Home
I will be hosting my second and final town hall meeting this weekend. The meeting will be open to all at the Noel Wien Library on Saturday from 11-1pm. We will discuss the final weeks of the legislative session including our work on the budget, bills that are on the move and what to expect when it comes to energy projects that will help Fairbanks. Please join me and send me back with lots of advice for our Interior Delegation members who were not able to travel.
Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,
Alaska State Representative
District 4 - Fairbanks