Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: It feels like déjà vu around here…

Rep. Wool Newsletter

I’m writing you from Juneau again, and it feels like déjà vu – we’re here past our 90 day limit again. In many ways I’m not surprised, as we’re talking about a lot of major issues this year: restructuring the Permanent Fund, income or sales taxes, reforming our oil tax credits, making significant changes to our Medicaid program, and an overhaul of our crime laws. I hoped we could finish in 90 days, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I am committed to staying as long as it takes to craft a real solution, because we cannot afford to kick the can down the road another year. My goal has always been to support a long term, comprehensive fiscal solution, and I spoke about that at a press conference earlier this month.

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Join Me for Pad Thai and Politics on Sunday!

Rep. Wool Newsletter

It’s that time of year again! I will be back home in Fairbanks this weekend and I want to see you and hear your ideas about the budget, education, and other important issues facing the Legislature. On Sunday (March 20), I will be holding my second annual Pad Thai and Politics lunch from 1 to 3 PM at Lemongrass Thai Cuisine (388 Old Chena Pump Rd) in Chena Pump Plaza. We had a great time last year, and this year should be even better! I will be providing Thai food, and I hope you will bring your ideas and concerns (and of course your appetite!).

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Testify on the Budget Tomorrow!

Rep. Wool Newsletter

I was disappointed that on Wednesday, my colleagues, with the exception of Rep. Andy Josephson, on the University budget subcommittee voted for devastating cuts to the University of Alaska budget. These cuts could cost hundreds of jobs and have a drastic effect on our economy. I supported an amendment from my colleague Rep. Josephson to bring funding back to the governor’s requested level and I introduced amendments to restore funding for research, the Museum of the North, and the University Fire Department. Unfortunately Rep. Josephson and I were outvoted on all these amendments. I also spoke about how in tough economic times, it’s especially important to make sure we are supporting our University.

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Join me on Saturday!

Rep. Wool Newsletter

I will be back home in Fairbanks this weekend and I want to see you at the community meeting I will be holding with my colleague Rep. Scott Kawasaki Saturday February 13 at the Gulliver’s Books, 2nd Story Café (3525 College Road) from 1 to 3 pm. This will be a fun and informal opportunity to discuss the budget, the governor’s proposed fiscal plan, and the other issues that are important to you. Scott and I will provide lunch, and I hope you will bring your questions and ideas.

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Fighting to Lower Health Insurance Costs

Rep. Wool Newsletter

I was working on this week’s enewsletter about my bill to lower health insurance costs by reforming the rate review process, and then news broke yesterday afternoon that makes this bill even more important. Yesterday, the Division of Insurance announced it was cancelling Moda Health’s ability to sell or renew health insurance plans in Alaska. This leaves Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield as the only company selling individual health insurance, and now that one provider has a monopoly it is more important than ever that we a strong rate review process to protect Alaskans from unfair prices.

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Thank you Fairbanks for sending your thoughts on the budget!

Rep. Wool Newsletter

Thank you for filling out my 2015 State Budget Survey. I received over 200 responses, and I appreciate each of you taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns about our state budget. It was clear from many of your responses that you understand there are no easy answers to solving the budget shortfall, and it will require a combination of cuts and new revenues. I enjoyed reading all your comments and ideas, and appreciate that you took the time to share them with me. As I begin the legislative session, it helps me to know what your priorities are.

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