March 8, 2024


Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,


Welcome to the 57th edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection! I am excited to be home in Fairbanks this weekend and I look forward to seeing you at one of the two events I will be hosting, or the town hall meeting that I will be participating in with Representative Dibert and Senator Kawasaki. 

 

In this week’s edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I will discuss the upcoming special election in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the close-out of budget subcommittees, public testimony on the operating budget and additional opportunities for public comment, and events going on in our community. Continue reading for more information.

 

REMINDER: Upcoming Carrick Community Events

I am excited to head home this weekend and I will be hosting two constituent events, and attending a town hall with Rep Maxine Dibert, and Senator Scott Kawasaki.

 

  • Saturday, March 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Townhall meeting with Rep Dibert and Senator Kawasaki at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office. I will be attending and available to talk with folks. 

 

 

  • Sunday, March 10 from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at LuLu’s Bread and Bagels. Come join me for another fun Carrick Community Coffee Hour!

 

I hope you are able to make it to one of these events. If you are unavailable this weekend, I will be home at least one more time before the end of the legislative session in May and will have additional opportunities to connect with community members then. You are also always welcome to reach out to my office any time to set up a meeting over the phone about issues that are important to you. Whichever way you choose to connect, I look forward to connecting with you! 

Supporting Education and the Local Ballot Box

Education has been the dominant issue in Juneau and around Alaska this year. The education bill that the legislature passed back in February is still in limbo since the governor threatened to veto it last week. That bill included a $680 per-student increase to the Base Student Allocation which will help our school district address its $28 million budget deficit for the upcoming school year. I sincerely hope that the Governor will let this bill become law to provide direct relief to our students, teachers, and school district as a whole. I also hope that, should the Governor choose to veto this bipartisan and strong piece of compromise legislation, that the members who took part in the effort to get to that compromise will stand by their historic votes and uphold their work by voting for a veto override.

 

Even with the potential signing of SB 140, our school district still has a budget deficit and will need to seek additional funding from the Borough. To that end, on May 7, 2024, there will be a special election in the Fairbanks North Star Borough to increase the tax cap by $10 million to provide additional funds to our school district in order to help the school district address its $28 million budget deficit.

 

Special Municipal Elections have very low voter turnout. With that in mind, here are some important dates for this municipal election. You can find additional information regarding this special election on the Borough’s website

  • Friday April 5: Deadline to register to vote.
  • Saturday April 27 through May 6: Early in person, and absentee in person voting at Shoppers Forum Mall.
  • Tuesday April 30: Deadline to submit absentee by mail ballot application.
  • Tuesday May 7: Election Day! Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

 

I sincerely appreciate the borough stepping up to the plate to address our school district’s budget deficit. As a member of the Alaska State House, and along with my colleagues in the House Minority Coalition, I will continue advocating for necessary increased investment in education at the state level. 


Budget Subcommittees Complete Work

Over the past week, budget subcommittees have been completing their work and presenting their recommendations to the full Finance Committee as they continue crafting the budget for the next year. This year I served on the budget subcommittees for the Department of Revenue, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and the Department of Administration. While the work of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Department of Revenue budgets was fairly straightforward and noncontroversial this year, the Department of Administration had areas for improvement.

 

During the subcommittee process for the Department of Administration, there was heightened scrutiny on the department, especially in relation to the Payroll Division. These are the folks responsible for processing payroll for all state employees and needless to say they are integral. The Payroll Division is understaffed and also critically lacking in resources needed to accomplish the very important job they have. During the subcommittee process, it was my highest priority to help make improvements to the Payroll Division. I am pleased that my amendment to provide funding for basic computer monitors for the payroll division passed 6-2.

 

While this does not solve all the long-standing issues facing the payroll division including high staff turnover, it will help payroll employees more effectively process payroll, much of which is still done with paper timesheets, and which is only very slowly being digitized. I look forward to continue supporting funding needed for necessary improvements to the payroll division throughout the budget process. Without an effective and efficient payroll division, state employees, contractors, and retirees will not receive their paychecks in a timely manner, and that is simply not acceptable.

Rep Carrick participating in a recent blood drive at the Capitol with the Blood Bank of Alaska. In Alaska there is a blood shortage, and in Fairbanks you can donate blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska at 3010 Airport Way


Public Testimony for the Operating Budget

Next week, the House Finance Committee will be taking public testimony on the FY 25 Operating Budget. This is an important opportunity for Alaskans to weigh in on their budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. This is also a great opportunity to testify to the importance of education funding and other strategic long-term investments. There are three testimony opportunities for Interior residents:


  • Tuesday, March 12, 1:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity for folks statewide to testify telephonically.
  • Tuesday, March 12, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This will be an opportunity for folks from rural Interior communities, including Delta, Tok, and Glenallen to go to their Legislative Information Office, or telephonically provide testimony.
  • Thursday, March 14, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This is the opportunity for folks in Fairbanks to go to the Fairbanks LIO, or telephonically provide testimony. 



If you are unable to testify at these times, you can submit written testimony to House.Finance@akleg.gov. The phone number to call to provide testimony is 844-586-9085. However you testify, I hope that you will take this opportunity to share your thoughts and concerns about this year’s budget with the members of the House Finance Committee, and the Legislature at large.   


Public Testimony NEEDED on Truck Weights Legislation

On Thursday, March 14 at 1:30 p.m. the Senate Transportation Committee will be hearing the companion bill to HB 305, my public safety bill establishing a vehicle weight limit. SB 218, sponsored by my Fairbanks colleague Senator Scott Kawasaki is identical to HB 305. There is likely to be heavy hitting opposition testimony to this bill since there is already strong opposition to the bill from some in the mining and trucking industry. This is therefore an important opportunity for folks concerned about the increase of heavy vehicle traffic on our public highways to testify on the importance of this legislation.

 

You can testify in person at the Fairbanks LIO in the Global Credit Union Building across from Home Depot, Walmart, and Fred's East. If you are unable to testify in person, you can call 844-586-9085, or email written testimony to Senate.Transportation@akleg.gov. If you submit written testimony, please copy myself at Rep.Ashley.Carrick@akleg.gov and Senator Kawasaki at Sen.Scott.Kawasaki@akleg.gov on your email to the committee. If you need help testifying, or any additional information on this legislation, please feel free to contact my office!

Rep Carrick speaking on the House Floor earlier this week


More Opportunities for Public Comment and

Upcoming Events in our Community!

Public Comment on Fort Greely Nuclear Power Plant Removal

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will be hosting a series of in-person and virtual public meetings to share their path forward with stakeholders and local communities regarding the dismantling and decommissioning of the nuclear power plant at Fort Greely. The first meetings will be held in Fort Greely, Delta Junction, and Fairbanks, and virtual meeting information will be posted on their website upon availability.

 

The Public Meeting in Fairbanks will be on March 26 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel Fairbanks (95 10th Ave, Fairbanks). Meetings will include an open-house information poster session from 6-7 p.m., followed by a public meeting and question-and-answer session. For more information, please contact email CENAB-SM1A@usace.army.mil or visit their website.

 

Interior Gas Utility Open House

Interested in natural gas? The Interior Gas Utility will hold an open house on March 20 from 3pm – 6pm at their headquarters at 2525 Phillips Field Road. This is an opportunity for folks to find out about how to convert their home or business to natural gas. Attendees can meet with contractors to help with installation questions, suppliers to talk about available equipment, and lenders to help bridge the gap between grant coverage and full conversion cost. The IGU team will also be there to help guide people through the process. For more information, please email Katie Yarrow at kyarrow@interiorgas.com or contact her by phone at 907-452-7111.

 

UA Giving Day

Giving Day is a 49-hour period of fundraising to support University of Alaska scholarships, research and academic programs. The event begins on March 26 at noon and you can find more information on their website.

 

Fairbanks North Star Borough Community Assistance Program

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly recently approved participation in the FY25 Community Assistance Program for Unincorporated Communities through Resolution 2023-24. They would like to encourage more participation in this grant program. Active 501(c)(3) organizations that are in good standing with the State of Alaska Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing Division and that reside in or substantially deliver services to one or more of the following FNSB unincorporated communities: Chena Hot Springs, Ester, Ester Dome, Fox, Goldstream, Haystack/Chatanika, Moose Creek, North Pole Community, Ptarmigan Heights, Salcha, and Two Rivers/Pleasant Valley, are eligible to participate. For more information on eligibility and program requirements, please view the PDF fillable application.  Completed applications can be delivered in person to FNSB at 907 Terminal Street, Fairbanks, AK 99701 or sent in electronically to financegrants@fnsb.gov. For questions about the program or additional assistance, please call FNSB’s Financial Services at 907-459-1376. The deadline to submit the application in-person is 5pm on Friday, March 29th or electronically by 11:59pm on March 31, 2024.

 

My Staff and I Are Here for You!

As always, feel free to reach out to my office any time by calling 907-452-6084, emailing Rep.Ashley.Carrick@akleg.gov, or by following me @RepCarrick on social media. If you know of anyone who would like to sign up for an emailed edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, please pass along this link to sign up online, or email me to be added to the list. Again, your comments are always appreciated. Please let us know if there are any specific topics in which you may be interested!



Best wishes,

Representative Ashley Carrick

Proudly Serving House District 35 -- West Fairbanks


Rep.Ashley.Carrick@akleg.gov

907-452-6084


1292 Sadler Way, Ste 324, Fairbanks, AK 99701

*Global Credit Union building (formerly Alaska USA Credit Union), across from Home Depot, Walmart, and Fred Meyer east.

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Contact my Staff

Stuart Relay

Chief of Staff


stuart.relay@akleg.gov

907-452-6084

Cherie Bowman

Legislative Aide


cherie.bowman@akleg.gov

907-452-6084


Contact the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office


1292 Sadler Way Ste 308

Fairbanks, AK 99701


Office: 907-452-4448

Fax: 907-456-3346


LIO.Fairbanks@akleg.gov


Contact the Governor's Fairbanks Office


675 7th Ave, Ste. H5

Fairbanks, AK 99701-4596


907-451-2920


gov.alaska.gov


Contact your Congressional Delegation

Congresswoman Mary Peltola

Anchorage Office:

121 W Fireweed Ln, Ste. 260

Anchorage, AK 99503


Phone: 907-921-6575


Email


Website:

Peltola.House.Gov

Senator Lisa Murkowski

Fairbanks Office:

250 Cushman Ave, Suite 2D

Fairbanks, AK 99701


Phone: (907) 456-0233

Fax: (877) 857-0322


Email


Website: Murkowski.Senate.Gov

Senator Dan Sullivan

Fairbanks Office:

101 12th Ave., Ste. 328

Fairbanks, AK 99701


Phone: (907) 456-0261

Fax: (907) 451-7290


Email


Website: Sullivan.Senate.Gov