Democrats Propose Student Loan Relief; Measure to cut interest rates for Alaskans who put their training to work in Alaska

JUNEAU – Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) announced that they have pre-filed a bill to reduce the cost of student loans for Alaskans who put their training to work in Alaska.

“For Alaska to be competitive, we need to make sure our workforce gets the training it needs and that our students put their skills to work in Alaska,” said Rep. Guttenberg. “This bill makes it easier for Alaskans to stay here or return to help build our state.”

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Monday, Noon: Gara To Tell Anchorage Chamber Guv’s Oil Giveaway Must Give Way To Better Plan That Will Work.

On Monday Rep. Les Gara will present to an audience that hasn’t heard the other side of the story on Governor Parnell’s oil tax bill: That it gives away billions, with no tangible benefit to Alaskans. The presentation at the Chamber’s Make it Monday forum will be at noon at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage.

“Last time we lowered taxes on oil companies, we had declining production, companies took their profits out of state, and we had 40% less investment and 40% percent fewer jobs. The Governor’s plan is more of the same corporate welfare. Rather than tell companies they can take his $1.8 billion in tax reductions out of state, which his plan allows, we should allow tax credits only if companies spend in Alaska on new exploration and new production,” said Gara, whose HB 231 includes those provisions.

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2nd Annual Holiday Laptops for Foster Youth Drive – Improving One Life At A Time

(ANCHORAGE) – Today Rep. Les Gara is launching the second annual Laptops for Foster youth Holiday Drive. Over the past year this drive has resulted in over 60 matches for youth who use laptops for school, to transport pictures of their families and friends, and to lead a life that more closely resembles those of their peers outside of foster care.

“We hope the holiday spirit will cause generous Alaskans to keep this success going into a second year,” said Rep. Gara, whose office started this effort with foster youth advocate Amanda Metivier last December.

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Interior Delegation to Host Holiday Open House to Hear from Public

Interior Delegation Chairman Representative Bob Miller, along with the rest of the Interior Delegation, will host a holiday Open House for the public. The Open House is scheduled for Monday, December 19th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Offices (Fairbanks LIO), 3rd Floor, 1292 Sadler Way across from the Home Depot.

“This will be a great opportunity for the people of Fairbanks to meet with the whole Interior Delegation before we head down to Juneau in January,” said Miller. “As legislators, we want to hear from you directly to know what’s on your mind.”

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Rep. Kawasaki Judges Regional Constitutional Civics Competition

(Fairbanks, AK) – Rep. Scott Kawasaki will join 17 other local business professionals, lawyers and community representatives and one hundred local high school students at the annual We the People regional competition Friday, December 9th at the Fairbanks School District Offices.

“It’s great to see young citizens take an interest in the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” said Kawasaki. “This is a way for students to learn and actualize the importance of these documents in our daily lives.”

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Democrats Encouraged by Strong Interest in Alaska Oil Lease Sales; Robust bidding shows Alaska has much to offer new oil and gas producers

Today, House Minority Whip Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage), Representative Chis Tuck (D-Anchorage), and Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) released the following statements after the state’s successful oil and gas lease sale this morning brought great interest from new and independent oil producers.

“The success of these sales is another positive sign that Alaska’s doing a lot right when it comes to developing our tremendous oil and gas resources,” said Rep. Gardner. “These new leases, new access to the west, and the record level of exploration expected on the Slope this season will go a long way toward generating jobs for Alaskans and oil for the pipeline.”

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Democrats Welcome Agreement on New NPR-A Oil Development – Agreement between federal agencies and ConocoPhillips means more exploration, jobs

Representative Berta Gardner • Representative Bob Miller • Representative Les Gara • Representative Pete Petersen

Today, Alaska House Democrats welcomed news that federal agencies have reached an agreement in principle with ConocoPhillips that could allow the company to go forward with its plans for a major new development in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). ConocoPhillips first applied for its permit to expand the Alpine field into the NPR-A over a year ago.

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[HB238] Kawasaki Introduces Bill to Protect Kids from Toxic Toys

Legislation to create a toxic toys consumer watch list for parents

Fairbanks – Representative Scott Kawasaki introduced legislation aimed at protecting children’s health from unnecessary and dangerous chemicals in everyday consumer and child products. The bill requires Alaska to adopt and publish a watch list of priority chemicals of high concern, requires manufacturers to disclose the toxic chemicals they add to products and authorizes the state to require safer alternatives.

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