Category - Press

Rep. Gara: Parnell Pumps Money Into All Agencies – Except Education

Proposed budget flat funds education, covers inflation increases for all other agencies This year Governor Sean Parnell proposes to fund K-12 students at the same level as they were funded two years ago, yet his budget includes increases for every other state agency other than education. “Freezing school funding to 2010 levels, without recognizing costs have gone up with inflation, translates into a major education cut. The proof’s in the pudding. It is causing schools across the state to plan for layoffs and the end of courses and summer school. The bottom line is that the Governor has granted state employees and bureaucrats inflation increases – just not kids,” said Rep. Les Gara.

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Rep. Miller Introduces Bill to Help Parents Attend Parent-Teacher Conferences

No one should have to choose between their job and their kid’s education JUNEAU – Today, Representative Bob Miller (D-Fairbanks) introduced legislation to make it easier for parents to attend parent-teacher conferences so they can stay involved in their children’s education. The bill (HB 315) would allow parents to take up to four hours a year of unpaid leave to attend parent-teacher conferences without having to worry about losing their job. “No one should have to choose between keeping their job and getting involved in their children’s education,” said Rep. Miller. “The more we can help parents get involved and stay involved, the more likely their children are to succeed in school and in life.”

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Committee Passes Waste-to-Energy Resolution

Turning local garbage into energy could be common sense solution for Alaska communities JUNEAU – Today, the House Special Committee on Energy passed a resolution urging support for turning garbage into energy for Alaskan communities. According to the resolution (HCR 10), waste-to-energy technologies using municipal solid waste have been successfully used around the world and in at least 24 states in the United States to produce energy and reduce landfills.

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Interior Delegation Sends Letter Opposing Potential Alaska Military Base Closures

Today, the Interior Delegation sent a letter to the United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta expressing support for keeping Alaska’s military bases open and fully operational. The letter is in response to Secretary Panetta’s announcement of two more rounds of potential base closures through the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. “The military bases in Interior Alaska are of unique importance to our communities and our nation. It is absolutely imperative they are kept open and maintained at a strong capacity,” said Interior Delegation Chair Representative Bob Miller (D-Fairbanks).

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Democrats Push for Hearing on Oil Tax Credit Accountability

"Alaskans need to know what we got for our four billion dollar North Slope investment" JUNEAU – Today, House Democratic Whip Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) called for a hearing on two bills designed to provide Alaskans more information on the State's North Slope investments. The bills will help Alaskans know if our massive investments are meeting our twin goals of more oil in the pipeline and more jobs for Alaskans. Recent testimony puts the state’s investment at over $4 billion over the last five years.

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Rep. Gara to State: Permit Cannot Ignore Destruction of Salmon Stream

Gara calls on state to scrap flawed ruling that salmon and trout stream can be "rebuilt" Today, Representative Les Gara called on the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to reverse its ruling that concluded the proposed Chuitna coal project is consistent with the state’s "Unsuitable Lands" law. "Their proposal states they will completely remove at least 11 miles of wild salmon spawning and rearing habitat for a period of 25 years; digging down at least 300 feet below the streambed, thereby destroying not only the streambed but also the underlying functions that support a salmon stream and permanently impacting the water quality for all downstream reaches of the Chuitna," said Rep. Gara, an avid fisherman and fishing writer.

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Democrats’ Bill to Extend Voting by Mail Passes Committee

Bill would make it easier for seniors, rural Alaskans and people with disabilities to vote JUNEAU – Representative Max Gruenberg's bill to make voting by mail easier passed the House State Affairs Committee today. The bill would allow all Alaskans the same right as military and overseas voters whose applications to vote by mail remain effective for two general elections (up to four years). "Participating in our democracy is a right of citizenship," said Rep. Gruenberg (D-Anchorage), "and it should not be made difficult or inconvenient. Reducing the paperwork to vote by mail makes it easier for Alaskans to vote, especially those who have a hard time getting to their polling place."

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Rep. Miller Calls for Facts on Getting Cook Inlet Gas to Fairbanks

If gas is there, it could be the cheapest, fastest way to lower Fairbanks energy costs JUNEAU – Today, Representative Bob Miller (D-Fairbanks) introduced legislation (HB 308) to study the potential for meeting Fairbanks and Interior energy needs by building a small-diameter natural gas pipeline from Cook Inlet to Fairbanks. “If there’s as much gas there as some think, a small pipeline from Cook Inlet to Fairbanks could be the cheapest, fastest long-term solution for lowing energy costs in Fairbanks,” said Rep. Miller. “But we won’t know unless we do our homework first.”

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“The House Majority supports this education based income tax as one part of the solution to grow a stable economy.”

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