Rep. Adam Wool's 
Update from Juneau

 

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Above: Rep. Wool speaking in support of the University of Alaska at the UA Rally on the Capitol steps, February 13th

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans, 
 
Greetings from Juneau. A lot has happened this week, most of it long overdue.

The House finally organized into a majority/minority structure this week by giving Rep. Bryce Edgmon from Dillingham enough votes to become Speaker of the House. He was the speaker for the last two years and I look forward to working with him again as a member of the majority.

There are still some representatives who aren’t sure who they’d like to caucus with so for now the committee assignments have remained unfilled awaiting final numbers. The make-up of the committees depends on the sizes of each caucus and since this may change over the weekend we are putting off most of the assignments. This is a bi-partisan caucus made up of both democrats and republicans. Last year's caucus was bipartisan as well. However, a few more republicans have come over so far.

The other big news is that Gov. Dunleavy finally released his budget this past Wednesday. Shock waves from this budget could be felt all over the state as he announced massive cuts to almost every department and agency. He also proposed to reorganize many departments and their functions which has many people digging deeper to see what all the implications are. The main thrust is that he cut somewhere in the vicinity of $1.8 Billion from last years budget including large cuts to K-12 education, Health and Social Services and the University. These kinds of cuts are unprecedented and in my mind unacceptable. The University for example has a proposed cut of $135M (40%) from last year’s budget which would absolutely devastate that institution. This is by no means a done deal and it is our job here in the House to pass the operating budget that the governor gives us with many modifications or in some cases simply by replacing it with an entirely new budget. That is our job and now that we are organized we can begin that job immediately. Stay posted for updates on our progress.

 I urge people not to take the Gov’s budget at face value, and to remember that this is just the first step. I can assure you this budget will be changed from what you’re seeing at first glance.

 

Winter 2018 Neighborhood Survey results

 

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Thanks to all my constituents who took the time to fill out the Winter 2018 Neighborhood Survey. I heard back from more than 100 of you, either online or through the mail.

By a very thin margin of 51% to 49%, more respondents indicated that they are happy with current State services than not happy. When asked about your top priorities for this session, three issues rose to the top: education, budget/PFD, and public safety.  

When asked what you would like to see the state do to reduce the budget deficit, the response was definite – 59% of respondents want to see a lower PFD and increased state services, and 64% of respondents support more revenue to fill the budget gap (see graph above).  I agree that this is the best path forward for the state, and I will work to support these initiatives this session. Thanks to all who responded to the survey.

 

 

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Above: Rep. Wool meeting with Mike West, State Seismologist, from the Alaska Earthquake Center 

Guests in the Capitol 

Aside from working to organize, I have been kept busy with many visits to my office. Recently, my staff and I have had the pleasure of meeting with University Alumni, the Interior Fire Chiefs, the Interior Alaska Building Association, GVEA, AgeNet, Key Coalition, the Alaska Earthquake Center, and with many others from Fairbanks. I thank everyone for calling, emailing, and even coming down to visit with me.

 

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Above: Rep. Wool meeting with the Interior Fire Chiefs

 

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Above: Rep. Wool speaking at the Alaska Power Association (APA) panel on January 30th

 

Constituent Meeting:
Please join me and Rep. Grier Hopkins on
Sunday, February 24th at 2:30pm - 4:00pm

at the Blue Loon
 

At this meeting, I hope to address your questions and concerns, and to provide an update on what’s been happening in Juneau this session. Please feel free to stop in anytime for this information gathering. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

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Contact me with your questions, concerns, and ideas. You can always reach me at rep.adam.wool@akleg.gov, and while we are in Juneau for the session call us at 907-465-4976. If you are in Juneau, come visit us on the 4th Floor of the State Capitol in Room 412. 

 

 

 

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