Category - Rep. Les Gara

NEWS: Gara Launches Summer Foster Youth Laptop Drive

Today, Rep. Les Gara launched the Summer Foster Youth Laptop Drive designed to pair foster youth with laptop computers donated by generous Alaskans. “Past holiday drives were very successful, so we’re hoping to spread that success throughout the year,” said Rep. Gara, whose office started this effort with foster youth advocate Amanda Metivier two years ago.

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NEWS: It’s Official: Texting While Driving Is Illegal in Alaska

Ban Signed Into Law Today Today, thanks to legislation led by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines), Alaska’s strong anti-texting law is officially back on the books. Last year, a number of judges questioned whether the law at the time covered texting while driving, but the new law is clear—it is illegal to text while driving in Alaska.

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NEWS: Rep. Gara Again Calls for Answers from Port

The state needs to know if Port of Anchorage will keep coming back for more $$ JUNEAU – Today on the House Floor, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) again demanded the Port of Anchorage tell Alaskans whether it’s asking for $350 million as it now claims or $1.2 billion as it has as recently as November 2011. The Port project has been plagued with hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns.

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NEWS: Rep. Gara to Point Out Potential $2+ Billion State Liability for “Private” Knik Arm Bridge Project;

“Until 2 years ago the state and federal officials promised the Knik Bridge would be built with private funds, and operated by a private company. With a new Governor and new mayor in Anchorage, that has changed. Now the state is likely on the hook for upwards of $2 billion or more in liability to the “private” developer when tolls don’t pay for the cost of construction and operation of the project,” said Rep. Gara.

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Rep. Gara Repeats Call That Port Not Keep Returning For More Public Money

JUNEAU - Today Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch.) repeated his call to the Port of Anchorage that it promise not to come back for more public funds if it gets $350 million from the state. The Port project has been plagued with hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns. "This project started out as a $275 million proposal. Then it was $500 million. Then $700 million. Then the former Port Director said it would be $1 billion more for three needed sections. When does it stop? I'm not comfortable putting unlimited funds into a project until I know it's been efficiently designed," said Gara.

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Rep. Les Gara: Governor’s Education Proposal Really $10 million Over Last Year, Not $30 million

Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) released the following statement on the governor’s proposal to give additional one-time funding to Alaska’s schools. "The governor shouldn't suggest a $10 million increase over last year is a $30 million increase. It’s less than 1 percent more than last year's school funding and is roughly one quarter of what schools need just to keep up with inflation. The governor gave all his other departments inflation adjustments for salary and fuel increases, just not for Alaskans’ educational opportunity."

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Democrats to Gov: Stop Touting Existing Oil Industry Commitments as New

Official reports show I-Pad, other promised investment already underway under ACES JUNEAU - Today Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) called on the governor to stop touting existing oil industry commitments as new when he pitches his multi-billion dollar oil tax giveaway. “For the last four to five years, the oil industry has reported to the state that these projects are already in their plans, so how can the governor keep repeating that they are new commitments?” asked Rep. Kawasaki, a member of the House Resources Committee.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Double Standard? Guv Freezes School Funding, but Grants Inflation Increases to Every Other State Agency

While I look for common ground with our Governor - like our efforts to keep pushing to find ways to build a natural gas pipeline (we agree a large diameter line that exports gas, produces low-cost gas, and brings in revenue is smarter than a small in-state line that brings us very high cost natural gas and no revenue) - I do disagree with him on educational policy.

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“The House Majority supports this education based income tax as one part of the solution to grow a stable economy.”

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