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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[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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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Budget Times, College, and Brrrrr….

Things are really starting to roll as the holidays are approaching. The next legislative session is just around the corner, and the Interior Delegation has been meeting with constituent groups of the Fairbanks North Star Borough on their legislative priorities and funding requests.

While Alaska remains one of the only states in the nation to have a positive financial outlook, it is still impossible to fund everything brought before the Legislature. As a resource state, we have to consider the volatile nature of our cash reserves and look into solutions that plan for a sustainable future. This is the advice we give to organizations requesting support from the state, and this is advice the Alaska Legislature should heed itself.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Special Veterans Day Edition

Initially established as “Armistice Day” in 1919 by President Wilson, November 11, was a time to commemorate the signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations, which ended WWI a year prior.

       Today, we recognize this day as Veteran’s Day, in honor of the brave men and women who have served our country. It’s a time to thank these soldiers for an often thankless job, and to reflect on the sacrifice of our fellow Americans to defend the freedoms and rights of our country.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Almost Budget Time; Possible USPS Closing on Bases; APRIL Luncheon

The interim is flying by and my office has been busy preparing for the next ‘budget season.’ Last year, the Fall Forecast was released in late November and I anticipate a similar schedule this year, with the Governor’s Budget planned to be released sometime in early December. Every year my office fields hundreds of requests for projects requesting the aid of the state government. As we review district transportation needs, school construction and community and citizen projects, my priorities will be to improve the quality of life in Fairbanks. I will discuss more over the next few weeks on how to sort through the community needs and wants, while being frugal with our state budget and living within our means. Please feel free to send me your budget suggestions and comments.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Mining and Fishing; Parent University;

A recent local initiative by people of the Bristol Bay community banned development that would have “significant adverse impacts” on the region’s resources. The vote of 280 to 246, was a direct response to a debate about mining and fishing that is sure to be a topic of debate in Juneau this year.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Ice Dogs Champs, Safe Routes, and Seniors

On Friday, I, along with Representative Thompson, had the distinct honor to present a Legislative Citation to the Ice Dogs Hockey Team for winning the NAHL West Championship Title. I saw the 2011 Robertson Cup trophy and can say it is very impressive! Congratulations to all of the players, staff and fans and good luck this season.

A Legislative Citation is a way the Legislature can pay tribute to people and businesses who have achieved a level of distinction in their respective fields, or have made a recognizable impact on their community. If you have an idea of someone or something to honor with a Legislative Citation, please let us know!

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Keeping Heating Costs Low with Tips for Staying Warm and Saving $$

Every year, as we face the downturn of temperatures, we are confronted with the upturn in costs to stay warm. There are several weatherization programs, energy rebates, and loans that are available to residents for purposes of energy efficiency from a new home to appliance rebates. But saving energy and staying warm goes further than programs intended to help relieve the financial burden of our harsh Interior winters. Below are a few suggestions I’ve found have helped keep us warm, and our energy bills consistent.

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