March 29, 2024


Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,

 

Welcome to the 60th edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, and on a week that also marks the 60th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake. My family was in Alaska during the earthquake and have vivid memories of the damage and destruction it caused. It’s a good time to remember and reflect on this pivotal moment in Alaska history.

 

As the Easter weekend approaches, we remain busy at the Capitol, with attention focused on the operating budget and the race to pass legislation before the end of session. In this week’s edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I will give an update on where we are in the budget process, discuss opportunities to serve on our state boards and commissions, give you a heads up to mark your calendars for upcoming Carrick Community Coffee events for when I am back home in Fairbanks, and highlight a few events going on in our community.

 

As a brief reminder, the deadline to file your Permanent Fund Dividend application is this Sunday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m. To apply online, go to PFD.Alaska.Gov. You can check the status of your application online, or on your MyAlaska account. If you are able to donate a portion of your PFD to your favorite Alaskan charity, you can do so using Pick.Click.Give. If you have any issues with the status of your application, please feel free to reach out to my office, and we would be happy to reach out to the PFD division to get you more information about the status of your PFD application. Feel free to reach out to my staff directly at Stuart.Relay@akleg.gov

Childcare means business! Earlier this week, Rep Carrick met with Thread Alaska and childcare providers from Fairbanks about the importance of the state investing in childcare


Budget Debates Begin in House Finance

With the close out of budget subcommittees in early March, last week the House Majority unveiled its version of the budget in the House Finance Committee. Overall, this is a fairly status quo budget without serious reductions in spending. There are still however concerning outstanding issues that need to be addressed as the budget process continues including funding for legislation to increase investment in education, underinvestment in the Alaska Marine Highway, and unfunded contractually obligated pay increases for state employees that are set to take effect in fiscal year 2025.  

 

This year, as in previous years, the two most controversial budget items are the size of the Permanent Fund Dividend, and education funding. While there has been a lot of focus on education funding this session and a failure to override the veto of the Governor’s veto of bipartisan legislation to make targeted and critically needed funding investments, the budget  that was introduced last week in the House Finance Committee from the Majority includes a supersized $2,272 PFD which is funded in part by surplus funds for an energy relief payment from last year’s budget. It also includes a one-time $680 per student increase to the Base Student Allocation (BSA) – our education formula, though the bulk of budgetary spending would be used for payment of Dividend checks. I appreciate the inclusion of another one-time funding increase for our schools, but unfortunately it is not enough to fill our school districts budget deficit for this year and is not permanent- therefore it does not provide long-term stability for our school districts. As the budget process continues, I look forward to continue advocating for greater investment in education, childcare, critical services for vulnerable Alaskans, being fiscally responsible by passing a balanced budget, and putting any surplus money into savings.

 

Finally, I would like to highlight a small but important addition the operating budget that I offered and which was accepted in the Department of Administrations Budget subcommittee. This addition will provide adequate computer monitors for employees of the Payroll Division so they can more effectively process payroll for all state employees. The Payroll Division has been suffering serious issues from understaffing and being critically under resourced. I am pleased that this amendment remains in the budget as it will provide a small but important step forward toward resolving issues within the division.

Earlier this week, Rep Carrick had the pleasure of meeting with Chief Brian Ridley from Tanana Chiefs Conference about their legislative priorities


Give Back to Your Community! Learn How to Get Involved in State Boards and Commissions

Boards and Commissions serve an important role in the functionality of our state government and their members are dedicated professional volunteers. Nearly 1,200 Alaskans serve on 135 different boards that serve nearly as many different purposes and constituencies. Some boards are advisory, while others issue regulations, ensure consumer protection, and adjudicate licensure issues.

 

If you have ever wanted to add your two cents to current regulatory action in the state, I would encourage you to consider joining one of the many state boards and commissions. Being appointed to a board or commission allows Alaskans to contribute to public policy in an open process and to make a positive impact in their communities or industries. This type of public service is among the most effective ways for Alaskans to participate in and take ownership of their own governance. In an average year, approximately 200 to 300 appointments are made by the governor, with the majority being volunteer positions that are usually eligible for standard travel expenses and per diem for official business.

 

The membership of nearly all boards and commissions is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature in joint session. The first step in that process is submitting your application to the Office of Boards and Commissions within the Governor’s Office. This office actively recruits, interviews, and vets board candidates and from there the Governor makes appointments. After a person is appointed, most of them have to go through the confirmation process in the Legislature. Applications can be submitted at any time, even for desired vacancies in the future. Please visit the state website for a list of current vacancies and to apply online. Make a difference in your community by having your voice heard!


Yesterday, Rep Carrick met with educators from Fairbanks and discussed next steps for education funding following the failed veto override of SB140 last week. The piece of art Rep Carrick is holding was painted by a West Valley High School Student and is now being displayed in her office


Carrick Community Coffee Events Coming Soon!

On the weekend of April 13-14, I will be back home in Fairbanks one more time prior to the end of the legislative session in Juneau. While I am at home, I am looking forward to hosting several more events and providing opportunities to get together, catch up on issues happening in town, and hopefully provide answers and a listening ear to your questions and comments on the working of the Legislature. Here are the places you’ll be able to catch me during that time:

 


Events In Our Community

FNSB Special Election Voter Registration Deadline

On May 7, 2024 there will be a special election in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the deadline to register to vote is coming up soon! The deadline to register in person at the Borough Clerk’s Office is Friday, April 5, 2024, at 5pm and the deadline to register online is Sunday, April 7, 2024, at 11:59pm. Ina a recent Carrick Capitol Connection, I discussed what voters can expect to see on the special election ballot. To briefly recap, Borough residents will be asked to raise the tax cap by $10 million, the money for which will be designated to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to help them make up their budget shortfall.

 

Mush for Kids

Join the Alaska Children's Trust at the 26th annual Mush for Kids on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at Pioneer Park from 10am to 2pm. There will be a variety of activities for all ages, including time with sled dogs from several kennels, hands-on activities, entertainment from a host of performers, and much more! Dog sled rides are for children ages 4-12 years old and run every half an hour from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. There are 50 tickets for each time slot, so be sure to arrive early. For more information on this free family event, please visit the Alaska Children’s Trust website.

 

Super Saturday with ACUASI at the Fairbanks Children’s Museum

The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, will be at the Fairbanks Children’s Museum this Saturday, March 30, 2024, from 2 – 4pm. This is an opportunity to learn about what is happening with drones in Alaska such as cargo delivery and more. If you have a child interested in becoming a drone pilot, mechanic, or data analyst, please drop by and say hello to John and Marine. Visitors will have the chance to fly the simulator, disassemble and reassemble a drone, as well as talk about science, technology, engineering, and math. There will be gifts, stickers, and other goodies! Please call 907-374-6873 or send an email to hello@fairbankschildrensmuseum.com with questions.

 

“Clue” at West Valley High School

The West Valley High School Drama Club will present “Clue (Highschool Edition)”, a comedy-driven whodunit, the next two weekends at the West Valley Performing Arts Center. The play is acceptable for all ages. Put your detective skills to the test and watch as six unassuming guests are invited to a party that ends in murder. This mystery is full of twists and turns so come and help search for clues and evidence to catch the murderer. The show runs March 29 - 30 and April 5-6, 2024, at 7pm. For more information, call (907) 978-2514 or contact WVHS Drama Club Advisor, Gwendolyn Brazier.

 

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