Note from Rep. Gara: Legislature Week One: Hard Work Ahead; Waterlogged Clothes All Week.

The Legislative Session started Tuesday. As far as I can tell, I have two major jobs right now. They are to:

1. Work hard to put you, your families, and neighbors first;
2. Figure out how to walk five blocks in horizontal Juneau rain without collecting three pounds of rainwater on my clothes. It’s not a good look.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Tuesday Oil Testimony, A Billion or Two in Knik Bridge Liability and, Yes, Foster Care Bill

Dear Neighbors,

I’m sorry for not bugging you with one of these newsletters in a while – work has been crazy, and I’ve been battling to fix what I think is the worst piece of legislation this state has seen in a long time – an oil tax bill that will create fiscal cliff, cause $2 billion per year in annual deficits, and result in a loss of jobs through ripple effects across the state. The bill, at $120 a barrel, gives away roughly $1.5 – $2 billion in state revenue per year.

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NEWS: Rep. Gara to Point Out Potential $2+ Billion State Liability for “Private” Knik Arm Bridge Project;

“Until 2 years ago the state and federal officials promised the Knik Bridge would be built with private funds, and operated by a private company. With a new Governor and new mayor in Anchorage, that has changed. Now the state is likely on the hook for upwards of $2 billion or more in liability to the “private” developer when tolls don’t pay for the cost of construction and operation of the project,” said Rep. Gara.

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Note from Rep. Les Gara: Now You Don’t See It, Now You Do – Big Knik Bridge $ubsidy

The state’s no longer on the hook to guarantee to cover all financial losses for the private contractor who will build and operate the proposed Knik Arm Bridge. Oh wait. News flash! Yes it will.

Two years ago the promoters of the Knik Arm Bridge promised this billion dollar project would be built, paid for, and operated by a private contractor, which would recoup its costs with tolls. Then the Mayor of Anchorage and Governor changed their minds. Now they want state money to subsidize the private contractor. Then, a funny thing happened on my way to work last Friday. Well, it happened at work.

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Note from Rep. Gara: State Bungling: Killing Salmon for Chinese Coal. Knik Boondoggle? More Corporate Influence Growing & Some Good News

Can you say “Boondoggle?” Can you say “Dead Wild Salmon” or “Corporate Influence in Alaska politics”? Well, you might have to learn, or start speaking out. On the bright side, we can all say “Support our Troops” – and at the end of this newsletter you’ll see a great volunteer opportunity to do just that.

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