Rep. Scott Kawasaki
Rep. Scott Kawasaki

January 16, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Back to Work in Juneau!

Floor discussionThe Twenty-Ninth Alaska State Legislature begins on Tuesday and the halls are filled with legislators and staff ready to work for the best interest of all Alaskans. My position on the Finance Committee will be critical for Fairbanks as we discuss how to cut the budget while maintaining vital government services. The governor has already announced that several large scale projects, including the Susitna-Watana Dam and Juneau Access Road, will be halted until further notice. I fully support Governor Walker and believe we should be tightening our belt and understanding our financial priorities. Although I may be farther away, please feel free to contact me by phone (456-7423) or by email. If you happen to find yourself in Juneau over the next 90 days, swing by room 418 in the Capitol Building and I’d love to hear from you. Here are some of the issues we will be addressing over the next 90 days:

Education and Energy

Visiting members of the communityDuring the interim, I talked to thousands of Fairbanksans and their top two priorities were clear: energy and education. These have long been my top two priorities as well and I will continue to work on them during the 2015 legislative session. I am encouraged by Governor Walker’s intention to declare a state of emergency for the energy crisis here in the Interior. This is the positive leadership we’ve been desperately needing and I will work with the administration to bring energy cost relief to you.

Additionally, this summer you may have noticed some of the infrastructure work being done to prepare Fairbanks for the arrival of natural gas. Delivery pipes have been buried across the city for when the natural gas trucking project begins delivering gas to the Interior. The current projection for gas arrival is near the end of 2016. I will keep you updated as I hear more regarding this critical issue.

Classroom speechEducation is vitally important to the future of Fairbanks and Alaska. Last year, I was able to help secure funding to ensure that UAF can maintain its heat and power abilities by building a new power plant. This year, we will focus on preserving university programs and continuing to improve our K-12 public education system. This will be a stiff challenge given the budget scenario, but I’m confident that education will remain one of the top legislative and administrative priorities.

Marijuana

On November 4, Alaskans legalized the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 years of age or older. Now we are tasked with the regulation of marijuana and placing in statute some of the finer details of implementation such as what levels of THC count for DUI laws. This and many other questions will no doubt come up during this session as we look to implement the voters’ will while also maintaining the public safety of all Alaskans.

Medicaid Expansion

Governor Walker campaigned on the promise of expanding Medicaid coverage to nearly 40,000 Alaskans who are currently unable to pay for their own health insurance. The costs will be covered by the federal government for the first three years then the state will be expected to cover 10% moving forward. While we are facing budget deficits and it’s hard to justify an increase in spending, I believe this is one of the areas where it’s vital that we spend money upfront to prevent much larger costs in the future. From my time working at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, it was evident that preventative medicine can save a tremendous amount of money. I believe in smart spending today in order to save more money in the future.

As always, please feel free to contact me if there’s any way I can be of service to you, your family or your friends.

Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,

[SIGNED]

Representative Scott Kawasaki
Alaska State Representative
City of Fairbanks

As your Representative,
I am here to listen and help. Contact me anytime.

Rep.Scott.Kawasaki@akleg.gov
 
www.RepScottKawasaki.com
 
IN JUNEAU:
Phone: (907) 465-3466
FAX: (907) 465-2937
State Capitol Rm #405
Juneau, AK 99801

IN FAIRBANKS:
Phone: (907) 456-7423
1292 Sadler Way
(AlaskaUSA Credit Building)
Fairbanks, AK 99701
 
Toll Free: (866) 465-3466

Voice your opinions!
Here are some ways to let your voice be heard regarding issues important to you.

Write a Letter to the Editor - submit up to a 350 word letter to the Fairbanks News Miner via their website:
http://newsminer.com

Contact the Governor
Governor Walker's Fairbanks office may be reached at 451-2920, or e-mail him. You can also visit the state website at alaska.gov

Contact your
Congressional Delegation

Senator Dan Sullivan
Fairbanks Office:
101 12th Avenue, # 328
Fairbanks, AK 99701
(907) 456-0261
Email

Congressman Don Young
100 Cushman St., #307
Key Bank Building
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
(907) 456-0210
Email

Senator Lisa Murkowski
Fairbanks Office:
101 12th Avenue, # 329
Fairbanks, AK 99701
907-456-0233
Email

QR code - link to my website

If you do not wish to receive future emails from Representative Scott Kawasaki, click here.