Rep. Scott Kawasaki

Share on Facebook   July 18, 2017

Oil Taxes, Capital Budget and Great Fairbanks Events

Dear Neighbors,

Legislature Eliminates Cash Subsidies to Oil Companies

Rep. Kawasaki serving as Speaker of the House
Rep. Kawasaki serving as Speaker of the House

Late last Saturday night, the House and Senate formed a compromise on HB 111 to eliminate cash credits to oil companies. The House passed the bill by a vote of 33-6 and Senate passed it 18-0. After weeks of negotiating, the bill is estimated to save the state about $200 million per year by ending the cash subsidies retroactively to July 1, 2017 over 10 years. With some limitations, companies can instead claim tax deductions when they start producing oil.

The bill also creates an interim working group to continue examining the oil tax system. Essential government services like quality education, public safety and infrastructure shouldn’t go up and down with volatile oil price and production. With yet another downgrade in the state’s credit, Alaska cannot afford to peg the budget on unpredictable revenue. Alaska got into this fiscal crisis by giving too much away without enough revenue coming in due to failures of previous leadership. As part of a comprehensive fiscal plan to diversify our state’s revenue, I’m hopeful we can come together on a more sustainable oil tax regime that creates fiscal stability for all sectors of the economy.

Capital Budget Expected This Month

While the House and Senate both passed a capital budget earlier this year, there are still a few things to work out to ensure the state can leverage more than $1 billion in federal funds and keep Alaskans working on infrastructure projects. One thing I’d like to see in particular is to reverse the Senate’s move to drain $288 million from the Statutory Budget Reserve to pay cash subsidies during a fiscal crisis. The capital budget is expected to pass before the end of July, but we won’t go back to Juneau until a deal is finalized so legislators can’t claim per diem before members finalize a deal.

Welcome Ft. Wainwright Garrison Commander Fisher and U.S. Army Alaska Commander O’Neil

Rep. Kawasaki greets U.S. Army Alaska Commander MG O’Neil in Fairbanks
Rep. Kawasaki greets U.S. Army Alaska
Commander MG O’Neil in Fairbanks

This week I attended the Ft. Wainwright Garrison Change of Command ceremony. It was a great event highlighting the service and sacrifice of our soldiers to protect and defend our nation. The Garrison Commander has great responsibility in overseeing the Army facility’s day-to-day operations of housing, security, events and much more. In fact, for the 4th year in a row, Ft. Wainwright received the national Army Community of Excellence Award, a great testament to the quality experience soldiers have at Ft. Wainwright. Please join me in thanking Colonel Sean Williams and his family for their service and extending welcome to Colonel Sean Fisher and his family to our community.

I also met with the new U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) Commander, Major General Mark O’Neil. As Co-Chair of the Joint Armed Services Committee, I work with each military commander serving in Alaska to learn about their missions and ensure our men and women are having a great experience while they call Alaska home. I look forward to meeting with MG O’Neil again in the future and hearing what’s next for soldiers based in Alaska, one of the most strategically important locations in the world.

This Week in Fairbanks: Golden Days, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics and UAF Alumni Week

There are many great events going on this week to celebrate Golden Days, the annual community-wide celebration of the founding of Fairbanks. Click here for more info from the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce. Events are going on now through July 23.

This week is the 56th annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics! A great event to showcase skills of strength, agility and endurance, WEIO preserves and celebrates athletic and cultural traditions of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. Games start tomorrow (July 19) and continue through Saturday, taking place at the Carlson Center. Click here for more info.

It’s also UAF Alumni Week through Sunday. You can click here for many great events welcoming alumni in town and to commemorate UAF’s 100th Birthday. As a proud graduate of UAF, I’m honored to present the 100th anniversary citation this Thursday from 6-8pm at the UAF Alumni Welcome Picnic at the Georgeson Botanical Garden on campus at 6pm. Hope to see you there!

Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,

[SIGNED]

Representative Scott Kawasaki
Alaska State Representative
City of Fairbanks

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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