Rep. Scott Kawasaki

Share on Facebook   September 25, 2017

9/28 Senior Benefits & 10/23 Special Session Updates

Dear Neighbors,

Senior Benefits Program Statewide Listening Session

Rep. Kawasaki speaking at Golden Towers last week in Fairbanks
Rep. Kawasaki speaking at Golden Towers last week in Fairbanks

This year I introduced HB 236, which would extend the Senior Benefits Program to the year 2022. Without action, modest monthly cash assistance to low-income seniors would end in June of 2018. Learn more about the bill and the program online here under the documents tab.

This Thursday, Sept. 28 from 2pm to 5pm, the House Health & Social Services Subcommittee on Senior Benefits is hosting a statewide listening session to hear from the public about how this important program helps seniors. It is also an opportunity to suggest any changes to make it more efficient.

To learn more information about how to participate, click here or call my office at 456-7423.

Fourth Special Session and Recap on Last Week’s Town Hall

Reps Kawasaki & Wool Honor the West Valley Track Team During Spirit Day
Reps Kawasaki & Wool Honor the West Valley Track Team During Spirit Day

During my town hall meeting last Wednesday, some important issues discussed included rising crime rates and the upcoming October special session. Neighbors and families shared concerns about burglaries and thefts and the impact of budget cuts to public safety over prior years. We also discussed the need for the state to reduce the deficit and help stabilize the economy.

Given the cuts to public safety in 2015-2016, neighbors agreed that some form of new revenue is needed to stabilize our budget. Rising crime rates are a direct result of budget cuts to troopers and less support to local police departments. While this year saw a relatively more stable budget for public safety, one thing is clear: our state has depended on volatile oil revenue too long, and we’re now experiencing firsthand what happens when we let public safety, education and other essential services rise and fall with oil prices.

Friday, the Governor formally announced the Fourth Special Session of 2017, to be convened in Juneau on October 23. The agenda includes SB54, which would correct some unintended consequences of SB91 and strengthen sentencing for certain crimes like Class C Felonies and Classes A and B Misdemeanors. It would also give more sentencing discretion to judges. I look forward to working with colleagues who wish to reform the legislation that passed a little more than one year ago.

Rep. Kawasaki’s Town Hall on Sept. 20
Rep. Kawasaki’s Town Hall on Sept. 20

On October 5, before the special session begins, I will be chairing hearings for the House Finance Subcommittees on the Depts. Of Public Safety and Corrections. The intention is to hear the impact of proposed budget cuts and how earlier cuts impact their ability to enforce the law and recruit and retain law enforcement, as well as the status of correctional facilities and rehabilitation.

The second item on the Governor’s Fourth Special Session agenda is a “capped hybrid head tax” that would impose a flat 1.5 percent tax on wages earned in the state, including those of non-residents. It would be capped at $2,200 per person that would pay and guarantee a PFD of $1100. Implemented in 2019, it is estimated to raise up to $325 million in revenue for the state in 2020.

As I consider the details of this bill, it is important to hear from you and learn how it could impact your household. More information can be found online here (the Governor’s statement about the bill is on page 9) and please feel free to call my office or email me anytime.

Don’t Forget to Vote in the Local Election!

Early voting already started for the local elections in the Fairbanks North Star Borough! You can vote at the Fairbanks or North Pole City Halls or the Borough Building, 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Election Day is October 3, when polls are open until 8pm. Click here for more information about where to vote and what’s on the ballot.

Click here to learn about this week’s public forums for local candidates.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me any time via email, phone, Twitter or Facebook at the information listed below.

Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,


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.
Phone: (907) 465-3466
FAX: (907) 465-2937
State Capitol Building
Juneau, AK 99801

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:

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

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