March 22, 2024


Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,

 

Welcome to the 59th edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection! Tuesday was the vernal equinox and in Juneau we kicked off spring with beautiful sunny weather. Spring weather and seeing the rapid return of light is always a delight across Alaska and in Fairbanks, and I hope you have a chance to get out and enjoy the warm weather and longer days of a Fairbanks spring.

 

In last weeks edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I discussed Governor Dunleavy’s veto of Senate Bill 140, the compromise omnibus education bill that the legislature passed at the end of February. On Monday, the Legislature met in joint session to override Governor Dunleavy’s veto of SB 140, the compromise omnibus education bill that included the largest increase to the Base Student Allocation in State History of $680 per student. I proudly voted to override this veto, but unfortunately, we were ONE vote short of overriding the veto. This is truly disappointing, but the fight continues. Along with my colleagues in the House Minority Coalition, for the remainder of this legislative session, I will continue advocating for a meaningful increase to education funding by either passing a permanent increase to the BSA or at a minimum passing a one-time increase in the budget to support our schools for another year. I have discussed SB 140 in previous editions of the Carrick Capitol Connection and for a detailed analysis of what was included in SB140, you can read an edition from the end of February.   

 

In this week’s edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I will discuss my bill, HB 17 that passed the House today, a recent Mobile Home Town Hall that discussed the rights of mobile home owners, a recent hearing on my PFD reform bill, and events going in our community. Continue reading for more information! 

Thank you to all the folks who were in the Capitol on Monday during the SB 140 veto override session


Protecting Access to Contraceptives with HB 17

I have discussed House Bill 17 extensively in previous editions of the Carrick Capitol Connection, but this week there is good news to share! As a reminder, this is my bill to require insurance coverage of a 12-month supply of birth control dispensed at one time. After nearly a year sitting in the House Rules Committee waiting to be calendared, this week HB 17 was considered on the House Floor. On Wednesday, HB 17 went through the gauntlet with 17 amendments proposed but remained largely unchanged after hearing 10 of these amendments on the Floor. On Thursday, the House passed HB 17 with a vote of 29-11, and today it passed its final hurdle with a procedural reconsideration vote by the same margin and will now be advance to the Senate.

 

This is a monumental policy and political achievement, and I would like to thank my colleagues for coming together and passing this important bill for Alaskan Women. Alaska is a remote place, and Alaska women, especially those living in rural Alaska, face many obstacles in accessing prescription contraceptives. Removing the barrier that many Alaskans face with their valid 12-month prescription at the pharmacy counter and mandating coverage of a 12-month supply of birth control gives Alaskan women the freedom to live their lives, to avoid unintended pregnancy that increase abortion rates in our state, and have the decisions made in private between a provider and their patient be upheld when reaching the pharmacy counter. This is especially important for women working in the oil and gas industry, going to college, in the fishing industry, and for those who live in rural Alaska, and many members on all sides of the aisle spoke to these benefits.

 

At this time, the bill is being advanced to the Senate, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to hopefully get this bill passed by the end of session. You can read an article published by the Alaska Beacon about the passage of HB 17 here.  

Rep Carrick on the House Floor during consideration of HB 17. Photo credit: James Brooks, Alaska Beacon


Promoting Alaska’s Economic Future with HB 266

Recently, the House Ways and Means Committee considered my Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) formula reform bill, HB 266. I discussed this bill in a Carrick Capitol Connection back at the beginning of session. As a recap, this is my bill that would change the formula for the dividend by repealing the unsustainable 1982 PFD formula and replacing it with a formula that designates all discretionary revenue from royalties on natural resource development to the dividend. This has multiple benefits including decoupling volatile royalty revenue from our annual budgeting process and providing for greater budgetary stability while giving Alaskans a direct stake in our resource development. The latter point helps fulfill Governor Hammonds original vision of the Dividend as Alaskans ownership share of our resources.  

 

The dividend formula as established in HB 266 would provide a fiscally responsible $1822 dividend for each Alaskan resident in Fiscal Year 2025. It would also provide for a budget surplus through FY 2028, giving our state time to consider potential additional revenue options through separate legislation while avoiding the “kick the can” model of annual budgeting that we currently face. You can view the fiscal model from the Legislative Finance Division that provides greater detail and projections for this dividend formula. It is important to note that this dividend provides a reasonably sized dividend, and is fiscally responsible, all without increasing state revenue or cutting state services. By tying the dividend to performance on resource development, rather than performance of the Permanent Fund, this new formula incentivizes a more robust tax structure on natural resource development projects to ensure Alaskans continue to receive robust dividends.

 

I had the opportunity to introduce this bill to the House Ways and Means Committee on March 6. You can watch that hearing online. Additionally, you can view the backup documents for HB 266 online, including the presentation my staff and I gave to Ways and Means. While this bill still has a long way to go in the legislative process, our first hearing was a productive conversation and I look forward to continue working on this legislation throughout the rest of the legislative session. If you would like to discuss this bill further, please feel free to reach out to my office.


Know Your Rights as a Mobile Homeowner

House District 35 includes several mobile home parks and mobile homeowners face unique challenges. They own their homes, but in trailer parks they must rent the land on which their home sits. Under this model, the rent price for the land goes up, while the value of the home itself often simultaneously goes down, creating a cycle that is difficult for mobile homeowners to break out of.

 

Recently, I participated in a virtual Mobile Home Town Hall hosted by colleague Rep Andrew Gray (D – East Anchorage). This town hall included folks from Alaska Legal Services Fair Housing Project and from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. You can listen to a recording of the town hall on Rep Gray’s Podcast, which can be accessed through his website. This town hall had a lot of good information for mobile homeowners, and I encourage folks to listen to it, share it with others, and to learn their rights. If you are having issues accessing the recording, feel free to reach out and my office is happy to help. 

Rep Carrick, and her fellow members of the House Minority Coalition meeting before the joint session to override the veto of SB 140


Events Going on in Our Community

Interior Alaska Building Association’s Home Show

The Interior Alaska Building Association’s Home Show will take place this weekend at the Carlson Center, March 22-24, 2024. The show attracts statewide and nationwide businesses alike and is geared toward people interested in every aspect of northern living. It is the only home show in Fairbanks and has become the unofficial kick-off to the Interior building season with booths offering advice ranging from financing, to new construction, to remodeling and refurnishing. For more information, please visit their event website.

 

2024 Museum of the North Open House

The University of Alaska Museum of the North will hold an Open House on Saturday, March 23, 2024, from 12:00-4:00pm. Visitors can take a look behind the scenes while touring labs and galleries. Hands-on activities will also be provided with staff and researchers available to answer questions. This free event is open to all ages, but minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Please call (907)474-7505 for more details.

 

Up With Art Closing Ceremony

Art is key to a complete education and is a powerful vehicle for expression, exploration, and skill-building. The Fairbanks Arts Association invites the public to the closing ceremony for the Up With Art Annual Student Art Show on Wednesday, March 27, in the Bear Gallery from 5:30 – 7pm. Fairbanks Arts Association's visual arts committee started the Up With Art show in partnership with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District fifty years ago. K–12 grade students enrolled in an FNSBSD-affiliated institution were invited to submit one piece of art made at home or in school to the exhibition. The show celebrates student artists, their school communities, and the family networks who support them. Refreshments will be provided. Visit the Fairbanks Arts Association’s website to find out more.

 

Fort Greely Nuclear Power Plant Removal Virtual Meetings

In a previous edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, we shared information on in-person public meetings offered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District involving the SM-1A Deactivated Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning and Dismantlement project at Fort Greely, Alaska. The public may also participate virtually on the following dates and times using the below links. You can get full meeting details online.

 

  • March 25, 6-8 p.m. (Delta Junction), Live stream beginning at 7pm on YouTube 
  • March 26, 6-8 p.m. (Fairbanks), Live stream beginning at 7pm on YouTube

 

Baltimore District staff overseeing the project will review recently completed project milestones, including information that will impact future work at the site with respect to health and safety, engineering, and waste operations. Additionally, the SM-1A team just released a video documenting the recent entry into the Vapor Container at SM-1A. The video can be viewed online.

 

Remote Area Medical (RAM) Pop-Up Clinics

In partnership  with the Anchorage-based Mountain View Lions Club, Remote Area Medical – RAM® – a major nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics delivering free dental, vision, and medical care to those in need – will hold a free, two-day clinic on April 27-28. RAM will be set up at Ryan Middle School. These clinics are funded by the Mountain View Lions Club, Fairbanks Rotary, and Mt. McKinley Bank.

 

All RAM services are free, and no ID is required. Free services such as dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental X-rays, eye health exams, eyeglass prescriptions, shipped eyeglasses, women's health exams, lab work, mammograms, and general medical exams will be provided. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. The patient parking lot will open no later than 11:59 p.m. (midnight) on Friday night, April 26, and remain open for the duration of the clinic. Once in the parking lot, additional information regarding clinic-opening processes and next steps will be provided. Clinic doors open at 6 a.m.

 

Due to time constraints, patients should be prepared to choose between DENTAL and VISION services. Medical services are offered in addition to dental or vision services and are free to every patient attending the clinic. If you are interested in volunteering or helping supply food, please visit www.ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530.

 

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!


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