Rep. Scott Kawasaki

Share on Facebook   April 16, 2017

Day 90 Update on Fiscal Plan & Personal Bills

Dear Neighbors,

Last Day of Session! (Not Really)

Here we are! Easter Day is the last day of the regular session and legislators are preparing for the 30-day extension under the State Constitution. As I’ve said all session, I respect the will of the voters when they passed the initiative in 2006 to establish a 90-day legislative session. Given the time and the reluctance of the Senate to work on a full deficit reduction plan, it looks like we will get what the Senate wanted from thebeginning – Overtime in Juneau!

Majority Coalition Fiscal Plan Passes the House

Rep. Kawasaki met with Dr. Karen Gaborik, Nate Dershin, and Lisa Pierce this week to talk about priorities for the Fairbanks School District.
Rep. Kawasaki met with Dr. Karen Gaborik, Nate Dershin, and Lisa Pierce this week to talk about priorities for the Fairbanks School District.

This week, three major pillars of the Alaska House Majority Coalition’s comprehensive fiscal plan passed the House and are now being considered by the Senate. Those bills are HB 111 to reduce cash subsidies to the oil corporations, SB 26 to restructure the Permanent Fund and guarantee at least $1,250 Dividends into the future, and HB 115to institute a school tax to ensure public education is the state’s top budget priority.

The first of the four pillars, the operating budget, was also sent to the Senate weeks ago, which had responsible, targeted reductions that preserved essential services. In response, the Senate cut $22 million more in UAF funding, $70 million in additional cuts to state education and $6 million in cuts to Pioneers Homes, which would likely result in the closure of at least one home and harm the remaining six.

I am proud to be part of this coalition that acted on its promise: to reduce spending, protect education and public safety, protect the PFD and reduce subsidies to oil companies. Not one of these bills were easy to construct or even support. There is not one piece of this plan that is going to please everyone. But that is what Alaskans have to do in crisis: come together, support each other and find a way out—together.

Rep. Kawasaki speaking on HB 111 this week.
Rep. Kawasaki speaking on HB 111 this week.

I have heard over and over from Alaskans across the state who believe reckless Republican spending, coupled with massive deficits, have put our economy at risk. Now our capital budget is at stake, which is a major generator of jobs and infrastructure, and Alaska is seeing contracts leave the state as our roads, buildings and bridges crumble. Our education services are at stake, the core focus for every government to ensure our future leaders are afforded equal opportunity. Our banking and private industries are at stake, who want to see economic stability first and foremost and continue to ask the legislature to prevent more risks to future bond ratings. Our state’s most vulnerable are at risk of homelessness and bankruptcy. Our personal security is at stake as we risk making dangerous cuts to public safety. Our government accountability is at stake, as the resources to ensure lawmakers and regulators receive proper oversight continue to be cut. Our jobs across the state are at stake: UAA’s Institute of Social & Economic Research found that for every three jobs cut in the public sector, two jobs are cut in the private sector.

Considering all this, it is clear a comprehensive fiscal plan is needed to stabilize each sector of the economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get the job done.

My Bills on the Move

•   HB 11, Retirement Incentives Program: This bill will get its first hearing in House State Affairs Committee on Thursday, April 20 at 3:00pm. It is a creative way to save state money and give agencies and school districts the option to let employees retire up to 3 years early.

•   HB 203, Remote Recreational Cabins: This bill will get its first hearing in House Resources Committeeon Wednesday, April 19, at 1:00pm, and a second hearing for public testimony at the same time on Friday. This bill would create a new way for Alaskans to own a piece of state land for private recreation.

•   HB 127, PFDs for Wrongfully Convicted: This bill is now waiting for a vote on the House Floor. It would make sure PFDs are provided for those whose convictions were vacated or reversed and dismissed. HB 118 would provide compensation and health care services to those same individuals. HB 118 received hearings in House Health & Social Services Committee.

•   HB 204, Move Over Law: This bill will be on the House Floor for a vote tomorrow (Monday). It would ensure our road workers and maintenance crews are safe from speeding traffic. This month we celebrated National Work Zone Awareness Week and we will soon see Alaskans working to maintain our roads.

•   HB 230, Internet Privacy: This bill is currently in the House Labor and Commerce Committee. It would ensure that Alaskans continue to have privacy when using the internet. It would prevent companies from selling your personal information to businesses.

For a full list of bills I sponsor and co-sponsor, click here.

As always, I am available for you anytime and I will continue to update you as the session continues. Remember to follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram throughout 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