Rep. Guttenberg’s Legislative Report: Upcoming Constituent Meeting

Please join Senator Joe Thomas, Representative Bob Miller and me for a constituent meeting.

Date: Sunday, February 19th, 2012
Time: 1pm to 3pm
Location: West Valley High School Library,
3800 Geist Road

Many issues going on in Juneau directly affect the Interior. As members of the House Democrats, we have stood up against the Governor’s tax giveaway.

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Rep. Petersen’s Report from the Capitol: Pizza Party and Anchorage Caucus February 18th

Making Sure Alaskans Have a Voice in Alaskan Fisheries; Committee Passes Waste-to-Energy Resolution

Neighborhood Pizza Party, Anchorage Caucus Meeting a Week from Saturday

It’s been a pretty busy week in the Legislature. I wanted to make sure to remind you of two opportunities to make your voice heard next Saturday, February 18. I will be hosting a free neighborhood pizza party and legislative update from 2:30 to 4 pm at the Boys and Girls Club Northeast Community Center at the corner of Muldoon and Debarr.

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Berta’s Briefings from Rep. Gardner: Update on Cell Phones and Driving

It’s the second year of the two-year legislative session and this is the time that bills start flying or dying. Many people have contacted me to tell me how they feel about using cell phones while driving.

It is an issue about which Anchorage residents have many different opinions. Some people believe that using a cell phone while driving should be completely banned, while others believe the government should stay out of regulating personal behavior. Still, others believe that hands-free devices are one solution to permit safer use of a phone while on the road.

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What, oil companies might not be telling the truth?

Dermot Cole, the columnist for the Fairbanks News-Miner, has been doing a bang-up job writing about how poorly the state is doing in extracting information from the oil companies and releasing it to the public.

If that sounds like a discussion that would put you to sleep so fast you’d get a concussion when your head hit the table, here are a couple of things to consider.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Double Standard? Guv Freezes School Funding, but Grants Inflation Increases to Every Other State Agency

While I look for common ground with our Governor – like our efforts to keep pushing to find ways to build a natural gas pipeline (we agree a large diameter line that exports gas, produces low-cost gas, and brings in revenue is smarter than a small in-state line that brings us very high cost natural gas and no revenue) – I do disagree with him on educational policy.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Military Closures, What’s Movin, and Energy

The Alaska State Legislature is in full motion, and I have been hard at work standing up for issues that are important to Fairbanks and the Interior. It is not always an easy battle, but with the help and cooperation of the Interior Delegation, I am encouraged by the dialogue with the rest of the Legislature.

While we have been busy in Juneau advocating for Interior issues, we know Fairbanks is facing some tough news. Last week we received word of the Department of Defense’s plans to relocate the Eielson Air Force squadron to Anchorage and retire four C-130 transport aircraft at Elmendorf.

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Rep. Bob Miller’s Newsletter: Cook Inlet Gas; Parents and Teachers; Other Legislation;

Hello from Juneau! The 2012 Legislative Session is in full swing, and here is a brief rundown of some of the work I have been doing for you.

Last week, I introduced HB 308, a bill which will restart the process of developing a gas line from Cook Inlet to Fairbanks and the Interior. While we work to create a gas distribution system throughout Fairbanks, this would be the cheapest and quickest way to get us the gas and energy savings we need.

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Newsletter from Rep. Holmes: Fairness for Local Property Tax Payers; Internship Opportunity!

You have probably heard about the recent controversy surrounding property tax exemptions for teachers and employees of religious organizations. Representative Berta Gardner and I feel this situation is unfair to other taxpayers, and have introduced House Bill 305, the Property Tax Fairness Act, to fix it.

In 2006, the Legislature significantly broadened the definition of religious property by including exemptions for the residence of “an educator in a private religious or parochial school.” This legislation also expanded the definition of “minister” and broadened the ordination standard for ministers. It also made these tax exemptions mandatory for all Alaska municipalities.

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