April 4, 2024


Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,

 

Welcome to the 61st edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection! This week the budget has been the focus in the Capitol and this focus will be continuing next week too. After nearly a week of amendments, the House Finance Committee has passed the operating budget out of committee, and next week the budget will be considered on the House Floor. In this edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I will discuss the good work the House Minority Coalition did on the budget in the House Finance Committee, and the work we have ahead of us going into the final stretch of the session. Additionally, I will discuss upcoming Carrick Community Events I will be hosting back home in Fairbanks next weekend, provide a reminder about the upcoming FNSB Special Election, and highlight events going on in our community. Continue reading for more information!

 

Upcoming Carrick Community Events

Next weekend I will be home in Fairbanks for the weekend! I am very excited to come home for a weekend and look forward to hearing from you at one of the events I am hosting. As things begin to heat up in Juneau with the constitutional end of session less than 40 days away, this will be my last trip home for the session. Therefore, this will be our last opportunity to connect in Fairbanks until late May when I return home for the interim. I will be hosting the following events at look forward to connecting with you:

 

  • Saturday, April 13: 3pm-5pm at Black Spruce Brewing Company
  • Sunday, April 14: 11am-1pm at the Alaksa Coffee Roasting Company

 

If you are unable to make either of these events and you would like to connect, please feel free to contact my office and we would be happy to set up a virtual meeting or a phone call. I look forward to connecting with you! 

On Monday, Rep Carrick introduced her Dad on the House Floor during his visit to Juneau. You can watch the introduction on Gavel Alaska


House Coalition Scores Important Budget Improvements in Finance Committee

In last weeks edition of the Carrick Capitol Connection, I discussed the House Majority’s budget that was unveiled in the House Finance Committee and outlined some of its serious issues and necessary fixes. After nearly a week of considering budget amendments in committee, and the tireless work of my House Minority Coalition colleagues on the Finance Committee, the budget that passed out of the House Finance Committee has improved significantly from where it started. Here is a list of both the important investments and necessary cuts that the Coalition secured for the budget in Finance:

 

  • $20 million for the Alaska Marine Highway
  • Fully funding Community Assistance at $20 million
  • $1.2 million for Public Broadcasting
  • Fully funding Head Start
  • $2 million for Adult Day Services
  • $15 million for Childcare
  • Increasing Base Funding for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • $816,000 for campus public safety at the University of Alaska.
  • Cutting all money for Statehood Defense. The state has spent millions of dollars suing the federal government under the guise of Statehood Defense, with mixed results and often without the support of many Alaskans. The state should use the money we have already given them to accomplish their Statehood Defense goals.
  • Partially cutting funding for Investigative Grand Juries, the legality of which is questionable.

 

Importantly, efforts to add supersized and unsustainable Permanent Fund Dividends to the budget were unsuccessful, thereby making this budget fiscally sustainable. I am also pleased that the one-time funding increase for education remains in the budget. This one-time increase is equivalent to a $680 per-student increase to the Base Student Allocation. While this is not enough for our school district to balance its budget for this year, and does not provide any long term stability for our district, this is an important band-aid for the next school year. When the budget hits the House floor next week, I look forward to supporting any efforts to increase this one-time funding to provide our school district with much needed additional funding for the upcoming school year. I would like to thank my colleagues in the House Coalition, as well as members of the Bush Caucus who caucus with the majority including Co-Chair Rep Neal Foster (D – Nome) and Co-Chair Rep Bryce Edgmon (I – Dillingham) for their work to improve this budget. I look forward to the work that lies ahead as the budget hits the House Floor. 

Yesterday, Rep Carrick met with Shelley Ebenal, CEO of Foundation Health Partners about their legislative priorities which include funding to construct a child psychiatric unit in Fairbanks. Rep Carrick continues to support funding for this project to expand behavioral health services in the Interior


LOTS of Events In Our Community!

FNSB Special Election, Voter Registration Deadline

Today is the DEADLINE to register to vote or update your voter registration for the upcoming Fairbanks North Star Borough Special Election on May 7. You can register or change your voter registration at the Borough Clerk’s Office today until 5, or online until Sunday April 7 at 11:59 p.m. To briefly recap, in this special election Borough residents will be asked to raise the tax cap by $10 million to designate that money to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to help them make up their budget shortfall. You can check the status of your voter registration at myvoterinformation.alaska.gov. Please be sure your voter registration is up to date so your voice can be heard in this election.

 

Mental Health Program Public Comment Opportunity

Alaska's vast and diverse landscape poses unique challenges to mental and behavioral health, necessitating a comprehensive and well-tailored approach. Through partnership with the state, tribal, and community partners, Alaska’s Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program DRAFT Plan FY25-29, commonly known as the Comp Plan, is in development and open for public comments currently by the Alaska Department of Health and Department of Family and Community Services, in conjunction with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, as a strategic plan that addresses a wide spectrum of issues with a focus on strengthening systems of care and prevention. Public commentary on this plan is not just encouraged but vital, as it touches upon early childhood and youth, healthcare, economic and social well-being, substance use disorder prevention, suicide prevention, protecting vulnerable Alaskans, services in the least restrictive environment, services in institutional settings, workforce, and data. This strategic plan is helpful in driving health policy and budget recommendations over the next five years. This form is organized to collect input on the ten Areas of Focus, and their related Objectives and Strategies in the draft plan document. The public comment period is from March 15 through April 15, 2024, and comments may be submitted here.

 

“Here. Is. Better” Screening on Suicide Prevention

Many active-duty military members and veterans face stressors that put them at great risk of suicide. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a driving factor behind this troubling issue. Alaska Behavioral Health, the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, and the Fairbanks Wellness Coalition invite you to a free screening of “Here. Is. Better.” on April 11 at 6pm at the Centennial Theater at Pioneer Park. This award-winning documentary follows four U.S. military veterans as they go through treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Sandwiches will be provided by local members of the Wounded Warrior Project. Doors open at 5:30pm for dinner. For additional information and to RSVP, please contact Alaska Behavioral Health.

 

Adonis Rose & the NOJO7

The Fairbanks Concert Association welcomes Adonis Rose & the NOJO7 to the Hering Auditorium on April 5 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Founded in 2002, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra was formed to celebrate and fortify the American jazz portfolio with an emphasis on developing the New Orleans jazz industry. Led by artistic director Adonis Rose, the seven-piece ensemble has an ever-increasing repertoire that exemplifies the influence of jazz as the grandfather of modern American music. For more information and tickets, please visit the Fairbanks Concert Association’s website.

 

International Fly Fishing Film Festival

Head down to the Pub at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday, April 6 for the International Fly Fishing Film Festival hosted by the Pub, the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Alaska Chapter, and the Midnight Sun Fly Casters. Tickets are available at the UAF Pub and Big Ray's, and, pending availability, may be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the screenings begin at 7pm. Guests must be 21 years of age or over. For more information, please contact host at kvnfraley@gmail.com. For questions about the International Fly Fishing Film Festival or the presentation, please email info@flyfilmfest.com.

Yesterday, students around Alaska walked out of school in protest of the Governors veto of SB 140 and overall underfunding of education. Pictured above, Juneau-Douglas High School students protesting in the halls of the Capitol


First Friday Fairbanks Events for April 5, 2024

Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra’s Rhapsody in Red & White Wine Tasting

Come and support the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra at their tenth annual Rhapsody in Red & White from 7pm – 9pm at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. Enjoy hors d’ouevres, wines, and music with friends while supporting arts in the community. There will be a silent auction, door prizes, and Fairbanks Famous Mike’s Cellar Raffle. Only 100 tickets will be sold, and prize winners will have a chance at a first prize of 8 bottles of “Iconic Reds”, a second prize of 20 bottles of “A Passion for Paso Robles” wine, and a third prize of 5 bottles of “It’s Always Time for Bubbles”. For more information, please email Daniel Ponickly or call (907)474-5407.

 

Kevin Duvall at Hoarfrost Distilling

This Friday from 4pm – 8pm Kevin Duvall will have his artwork on display at Hoarfrost Distilling. Duvall is an Alaskan wildlife artist who draws with a variety of mediums. Kevin focuses on detailing birds of prey. Kevin hopes to bring his subjects to life in detail and pass on the spirit that he has found in the rawness of Alaska’s wild animals and landscapes. For more information, visit Alyeska Creation or Hoarfrost Distilling’s Facebook pages or call (907)479-6128.

 

“H&H” at Keller Architecture & Allied Arts

Marina Gonzalez Mazo will display her art at Keller Architecture & Allied Arts with an opening reception from 5pm – 8pm. Gonzalez Mazo's themes in "H&H" revolve around sexuality, death, and catholic mysticism. She uses her body as a reference for work and to explore her inner world and feelings. Gonzalez Mazo enjoys sourcing and recycling her materials, as well as hand-shaping gemstones. Gonzalez Mazo uses different media for her art pieces, from silversmithing to digital illustration. She also designs products and environmental storytelling installations. Her art talks about personal experiences, where reality and imagination collide, and she creates prompts with each piece to put together a personal narrative.

 

Fairbanks Watercolor Society 25th Anniversary Exhibition

2024 marks the 25th anniversary of the Fairbanks Watercolor Society and the 25th Annual Water Media Show. To celebrate, there will be an exhibition at the Bear Gallery opening on Friday from noon to 7pm to showcase over 100 works of art submitted by 36 artists from the Watercolor Society. The Watercolor Society was founded in January 1999 with President Jack Taylor, Vice President Neville Abbott Jacobs, Secretary Gael Murakami, and Treasurer Barbara O’Dell, Treasurer. Since 2009, they have grown from 20 members to over a hundred. Their membership ranges from beginners to professional artists, art instructors, and lifelong painters from different careers and walks of life. For more information, contact the Fairbanks Arts Association or call (907)251-8386.

 

Latitude 65 Brewing Company Multiple Artist Exhibitions

Come out to First Friday at Latitude 65 Brewing Company on April 5 from noon to 9pm. They will have a number of local artists set up, including 65 Degree Flies, Allan Long, Andrew Brooks, Anya Toelle, Better for the Planet, Chelsea Held, Evolutionary Thread, Greg Bringhurst, Jess Horecki, Katrina Handler, Lesa Sears, Megan Genevieve, Michelle Turk, Philip Simpler, and Solstice Wears. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

 

North Pole High School Student Artists

Celebrate the talents of North Pole High School student artists in a special collaboration with Sipping Streams Tea Company for April First Friday from 6pm – 8pm.

 

Ree Nancarrow at Two Street Gallery

Ree Nancarrow’s show opens on Friday from 5pm - 8 pm at Two Street Gallery and will remain in the Gallery through the month of April. Her work varies from abstract to representational, usually seeking to depict the character of a place or life form found in a particular environment, rather than portraying actual places in the world. For the past few years her primary focus has been on large climate change-themed quilts. In addition to quilts, Ree’s art consists of drawing imagery from a lifetime of experience drawing, silk-screening, stenciling, stamping, painting, dyeing fabric, and photographing. For more details, visit their website.

 

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