Representative Carrick and her staff Stuart Relay presenting House Bill 8 to the House State Affairs Committee.
Faculty Regent Bill Gets a First Hearing
My bill (HB 9) to add a faculty member to the Board of Regents had its first hearing early Monday morning before the House Education Committee. I anticipate that there will be public testimony on the bill at the next hearing which has yet to be scheduled- but we hope to have the bill heard again as early as next week. You can watch the hearing here- PROVIDE HYPERLINK.
Prior to introducing this bill, I had carried this legislation as a staff member to my predecessor, Representative Adam Wool. I believe that having a faculty member on the Board of Regents will provide some much-needed balance and perspective to the guidance of our world-class University system, much like the current student regent position does now. Like the student regent position, the faculty regent would serve for a two-year term, and would be subject to appointment by the Governor and confirmation by the Legislature. In working to get support letters together for this year’s re-introduction of the legislation, we received 384 signatures of support from faculty members in the UA system in just under 72 hours. We are proud to help represent the faculty, staff, and students at the University and will do our best to keep this legislation moving ahead.
Food Security in Fairbanks
Back in December, the Legislature became aware of a major backlog in processing applications within the state Division of Public Assistance, particularly for the state SNAP program that provides food for families and individuals in need. This backlog was due to several factors including far outdated technology, workforce shortages, and a large volume of applications being received at once. This has created a “perfect storm” that is currently being addressed by both the Department and the Legislature.
This administrative crisis with public assistance has brought attention to food security challenges and additional pressures on organizations like the Bread Line, the Food Bank, and other agencies that help get meals to those in need. If you can, please consider donating or volunteering for these and other organizations to help us get back on track. If you need assistance or if someone you know is waiting to have their application for heating or food assistance processed, please have them contact my office as soon as possible.
And on another note, also related to food- the Fairbanks Senior Center administers the Meals on Wheels program for seniors in our community and will soon be changing their operations. The Annex is set to close on February 27 and move to a drive-thru style delivery out their front door. Times are from 11:30am to 12:30pm Monday through Friday. The Senior Center is located at 1424 Moore Street. For assistance, please call (907)452-1735.