Rep. Scott Kawasaki

Share on Facebook   March 24, 2017

Public Testimony on Oil Subsidies and Fiscal Plan

Dear Neighbors,

Rep. Kawasaki speaking with Lt. Gen. Wilsbach, Commander of U.S. Air Force Alaska Command
Rep. Kawasaki speaking with Lt. Gen. Wilsbach, Commander of U.S. Air Force Alaska Command

Day 66 of 90

It’s now Day 66 of the 90 day session. Despite delays on the budget process I discussed last week, the legislature continues to move forward in an effort to protect our economy and avoid any more special sessions. The House Majority believes we should respect timeline and get done on time with a balanced budget and significant deficit reduction plans.

HB 111: Coalition Priority to Reduce Oil Company Subsidies

This week, my colleagues and I on the House Finance Committeeare considering HB 111, which cut subsidies to oil and gas corporations. While incentivizing production and job creation is important to Alaska, so is making necessary changes during a fiscal crisis. Legislators are faced with tough choices at every turn and asking oil companies to pay their fair share is just one of many steps we can take to improve our fiscal situation.

Cashable oil tax credits are the single, largest growth item in government spending in the last ten years, from $55 million in 2007 to $961 million in obligated credits today. That’s a 1,647% increase in just 10 years! By comparison, state support for education has been cut more than 7% and public safety cut 9 % cut since FY2015. We must rethink our priorities as we face a $3-billion budget deficit. We must place priorities on our children, public safety and healthy communities.

On Saturday, March 24, you can sign up to testify on HB 111 at your local LIO from 10:00am to 2:15pm. You can also email the House Finance Committee at housefinance@akleg.gov.

On the Subject of Cuts…

Last week, I gave you an update on the budget I supported. Now it’s up to the Senate to take their turn to demonstrate their priorities. In the first round of the budget process on the Senate side, a 16.5% cut to education was proposed. The Senate has also proposed an additional $16-million reduction to UAF.

The Senate Majority’s own survey showed that 63% of Alaskans do not fully support more cuts to education, while 65% support reducing oil subsidies.

Remember, just because public testimony on the budget is closed, it doesn’t mean you can’t call or write your legislators to remind them about your priorities. The budget process is still going on in the Senate and you’re an important part of it.

Fiscal Plan in House Finance Committee

Next week, you have yet another opportunity to add your voice to the process on HB 115, which combines revenue from the earnings reserve account and establishes a modest, progressive income tax to create a stable and balanced revenue stream for the state.  The bill would create one of the lowest income taxes in the nation. Under this plan, a single person who makes $50,000 a year would owe $867 in exchange for essential state services and can use the PFD toward any owed taxes.

You can voice your comments and concerns to the House Finance Committee about the bill on Wednesday, March 29, by visiting or calling your local Legislative Information Office (LIO) at the assigned times below:
·         1:00-4:30pm: Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau and OffNet (communities with no local LIO)
·         5:30-8:00pm: All other LIOs, OffNet

You can also email your testimony to housefinance@akleg.gov.

Rep. Kawasaki and Fairbanks 4-H Club Students
Rep. Kawasaki and Fairbanks 4-H Club Students

CORRECTION: March 27 Public Testimony Opportunity for Pre-K!

The House Education Committee will hear public testimony onHB 52 on Monday, March 27 at 8:00am. Note the date change! This bill would provide voluntary, statewide, universal pre-kindergarten to children ages 3-5 years. For every dollar investment in early education, the state could save $7 in the long-term by reducing costs for corrections, courts and substance abuse treatment and public assistance programs.

You can call your local LIO to testify or email your testimony directly to me at rep.scott.kawasaki@akleg.gov.

REMINDER: Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, April 1, 1-3pm at the Borough Assembly Chambers

No Foolin, I am hosting a town hall meeting at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Chambers on Saturday, April 1 from 1-3pm. Bring your comments, questions and concerns as your participation is essential to the legislative process. Lunch will be provided. Hope to see you there!

As always, I am available for you anytime. Remember to follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagramthroughout session and beyond.

Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,

[SIGNED]

Representative Scott Kawasaki
Alaska State Representative
City of Fairbanks

P.S. Follow me on TwitterFacebook Or Instagram.

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 Building
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 or Email

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

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