Representative Scott Kawasaki's Juneau Note 3/20/13
My priorities are no secret. Keep Education strong with adequate funding; continue working to advance the Economy through smart policy and good projects that create jobs; and always work towards sustainable and affordable Energy solutions. Education funding in the House operating budget left gaping holes in our curriculum and support of Pre-K to UA. My call continues that the Senate restore this funding as part of their operating budget.
S.O.S. – Save Our Schools
On Monday, March 25, Alaska’s Democratic Legislators invite you to participate in a public hearing defending our public schools. Several pieces of legislation that weaken Alaska’s public school system are before the Legislature, some you are most likely aware of. This public hearing is to collectively sound off in defense for a commitment to public schools, say No to Vouchers, and stand up for Pre-K education. It’s a simple cry: if we invest in Alaskans through education, we grow a better generation. Please join in with your concerns, wishes, and ideas for how to help Alaska’s public schools open doors and create opportunities for our children and future leaders. The poster is online for you to print, distribute, and electronically share far and wide!
Your voice is so important, and I will continue working hard in corresponding with you about the most contentious bills. If you have a particular interest or bill to track, the Bill Tracking Management Facility or BTMF is the resource for you. With a simple sign-up, you will be notified when each bill advances. In the meantime, it is my goal to keep you informed on public testimony opportunities and the latest news.
The next opportunity to testify for or against the operating budget is this Friday in Senate Finance. Fairbanks will share time with the Mat-Su beginning at 1:30pm. Testimony will be limited to 3 minutes.
Oil and Gas Taxes
The latest news, of course, is the much anticipated oil tax bill, this year SB 21. Today the Senate has been debating it on the floor; the House is scheduling committee meetings for the end of the week. This bill is at the crux of every debate we have heard this session (and frankly every session). It should be, as over 90% of the state’s budget is tied to the success of our natural resource development. Let’s not lose sight of the goal: Production before Reduction!
Last year, we wanted a commitment. Say “yes” to producing more oil in Alaska and we’ll say “yes” to meaningful tax reform. This year, we’re still marching to the same tune, and have put forth an alternative bill that meets the Governor’s Four Guiding Principles for tax reform, AND keeps Alaskans as the profit bearers.
I remain committed to reviewing a tax structure that works for Alaskans first. Again, this cannot be done effectively without your help and voice, and I will keep you abreast of the steadfast movement of this legislation. Stay tuned for some exciting opportunities to stand up against The Giveaway. In the meantime, please contact my office for any of your needs, questions, concerns, and compliments.
Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,
Alaska State Representative
District 4 – Fairbanks
p.s. I may be getting older, but I’m still hip! Social media is a great way to stay informed on the day-to-day events of the Legislature. I encourage lively dialogue on my Facebook and Twitter pages and welcome you to stay in touch using this savvy 21st century technology.