May 5, 2023

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,


Welcome to the sixteenth edition of The Carrick Capitol Connection! The budget continues to advance through the Senate, with education and the Permanent Fund Dividend being the “big ticket” items under debate. As the session speeds toward the 121st day (the Constitutional session limit), we have been busy reviewing bills, especially in the Labor and Commerce Committee. In addition, several of my bills are on the move, including my bill to define electric-assisted bicycles. This bill moved out of the Senate State Affairs committee and is now heading to the Senate Floor. You can learn more about this bill in previous versions of the Carrick Capitol Connection. Read on for more bill highlights and for Interior events near you!

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

Flowers are not the only things blooming this spring, as graduates across the state gear up to take part in commencement activities. Congratulations to all students, both at the University of Alaska and those graduating from high school this year. I commend all these students for their tenacity and resilience in achieving this academic milestone and wish them luck on their next endeavors. Here is the list of the dates and times of the graduation ceremonies happening across the interior during the month of May. Also the University of Alaska Fairbanks graduation will be held at the Carlson Center, 2010 2nd Ave., at 1 pm on May 6.

Please note that the following Fairbanks North Star Borough School District graduation ceremonies start at 7 pm (high school graduation ceremonies in House District 35 are highlighted):

  • Career Education Center, Hering Auditorium, 901 Airport Way, May 11
  • Effie Kokrine Charter School, Effie Kokrine gymnasium, 601 Loftus Road in Fairbanks, May 12
  • North Pole High School, Carlson Center, May 15
  • West Valley High School, Carlson Center, May 16
  • Lathrop High School, Carlson Center, May 17
  • BEST Homeschool School, Hering Auditorium, May 17
  • Ben Eielson High School, Ben Eielson High School, 675 Ravens Way, Eielson Air Force Base, May 18
  • Hutchison High School, Hering Auditorium, May 18
  • Star of the North Secondary School, North Pole High School, 601 North Pole High School Boulevard, May 18


Other area graduations include:

  • Monroe High School, UAF Davis Concert Hall, 1708 Tanana Loop, at 7:30pm, May 12
  • IDEA Homeschool, Hering Auditorium, at 6 pm, May 16
  • Raven Homeschool, Hering Auditorium, at 6 pm, May 25
  • CyberLynx Homeschool and Correspondence School, Hering Auditorium, at 6 pm, May 22

Representative Carrick at her UAF graduation in 2014, with her Grandma Judy

Celebrating Our Seniors

Happy Older Americans Month! May was given this designation in 1963 to highlight the staggeringly high number of seniors who lived in poverty. This recognition helped spur the Great Society and the War on Poverty of the 1960s which expanded Social Security benefits and established Medicare, which provides vital health insurance for millions of American Seniors. Although much progress has been made, it is still important to think of our seniors and recognize Older Americans Month.


My Grandmother Judy is an inspiring pioneer and lifelong Alaskan. She was born in Fairbanks and raised her family in Healy with my Grandfather Bob. I have very fond memories of spending time in Healy with them as a child. My Grandmother was the librarian at the Tri Valley School and my grandfather was a 30+ year Teamster for Usibelli Coal Mine. Alaskan pioneers like my grandparents are why I am dedicated to investing in our seniors and providing seniors the resources they need to live their golden years in dignity.


In celebration of Older Americans Month, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks & Recreation Department will be hosting a catered luncheon and awards ceremony to honor senior citizens on Thursday, May 11th from 10:00am - 1:00pm at the Carlson Center. The theme this year is “Aging Unbound.” For more information or to request help registering, please call 907-459-1070.

Ammunition for Secure Storage

In last week’s Carrick Capitol Connection, I discussed one of the ways that I am working to protect children through the introduction of HB 164, the Alaska Child Access Prevention and Secure Storage of Firearms Act. This bill puts in place reasonable restrictions regarding access of minors to firearms and aligns Alaska with Federal law about who can lawfully utilize firearms. The bill also encourages responsible gun ownership by establishing penalties for unsecured firearms that can be accessed by minors. Like a seatbelt law, states that have secure storage laws have seen dramatic decreases in unintentional shooting deaths and youth suicides. With firearms leading as the number one cause of death for Alaska’s children and teens, this legislation is timely and strikes an important balance between the cultural and personal importance of firearm ownership in Alaska while also reducing youth mortality related to firearms.


 On Monday, the House voted down the concept of secure storage on a vote of 21-18. More specifically, they voted to table an amendment I offered to HB 61 that would have added these child access prevention provisions to HB 61, a bill prioritizing state authority over local control and ensuring access to firearms during a state of emergency or disaster declaration. Although it is unfortunate to see secure storage get voted down, it failed on a much closer margin than many expected and it was great to see bipartisan support for common sense and responsible gun ownership measures. 

Representative Carrick (left) with Representative Schrage (center) and Senator Dunbar (right) at a rally on the Capitol steps in support of Pensions for public employees

 Nurse Appreciation Week

Next week is Nurse Appreciation Week! This is a great time to reflect on the importance of nurses in our community. Not only did they go above and beyond on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also always there when we need them most and are one of the world’s most trusted professions. Nurses often go underappreciated as they work hard doing their job protecting public health. As someone with a Masters in Public Health, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all nurses for your dedication to the public health of our communities.


An issue relevant to nurses that we have been considering over the past month in the House Labor and Commerce Committee is a bill that would add Alaska to a multistate nurse licensure compact. Since considering HB 149 we have heard from a large volume of individuals in the nursing profession in support of the bill, as well as testimony in opposition. While this is not the first time this bill has been considered by the Legislature, there is a great deal of renewed dialogue and feedback on the bill.


There is varying support for the nurse licensure compact in our nursing workforce. I have heard very little opposition to this bill from licensed nurses in Fairbanks, and it is currently the number one legislative priority for our community owned hospital, Foundation Health. Our hospital has an immense staffing shortage and incredible difficulty in getting qualified nurses to work in the Hospital. This bill would help reduce the revolving door of nurses in Alaska and at our hospital. However, I see this bill as only a short-term fix to what is a much larger problem around growing our own Alaska nursing workforces, and in solving the long delay time in license processing that exists for all professions within the Corporation of Businesses and Professional Licensing. Additionally, the nursing unions and AFL-CIO, as well as the Alaska Nurses Association are opposed to this bill, citing concerns about the quality of nurses who would come to Alaska as part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the loss of state sovereignty in our occupational licensing, and the use of compact nurses to break strikes at hospitals like Providence in Anchorage. In response to these concerns, I am offering amendments to the bill to sunset the compact after a period of a few years, to gather data on the effectiveness of the compact, and to preventing potential strikebreaking behavior on the part of hospital management.


As this issue moves forward, I look forward to hearing from more nurses and public health professionals on this policy decision. Thank you again to all the nurses in our community that keep us healthy and safe, you are truly appreciated! 

Earlier this week the Interior Delegation met with Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly Presiding Officer Aaron Lojewski to talk about the Boroughs Capital Budget Priorities. Pictured above, Representative Carrick chairing the meeting

Debtor Rights and Obligations

Payday loan vendors have often been compared to modern day loan sharks and it can be hard for regulators to clamp down and limit their exorbitantly high interest rates. These rates can be well over 100% and can be crushingly burdensome for debtors. The folks that take out these predatory payday loans often have nowhere else to go and have to take out more payday loans to pay for previous ones, thus creating a spiral of debt that can be nearly impossible to get out of. One of the many bills we have heard in Labor and Commerce is HB 145 by Representative Stanley Wright, which seeks to reduce the amount of interest that these payday lending companies are allowed to charge.   


In addition to establishing important protections for individuals taking out payday loans, this bill has also started a conversation in the Legislature about the detrimental impact these predatory payday loans have on everyday Alaskans, especially disadvantaged Veterans.


Below are some guidelines compiled by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG) for dealing with debt collectors, in case you or anyone you know has been detrimentally impacted by this type of loan.


What to do when a collector calls:

  • Don’t share personal information and don’t admit to the debt
  • Ask for an itemized written verification of the debt
  • Tell them how and when you would like to be contacted in the future
  • Take notes and/or record the call

What debt collectors must do:

  • Notify you and verify the debt and their ownership in writing, if you as
  • Contact you in the way you ask to be contacted
  • Notify the credit reporting bureaus if you dispute the debt
  • Contact your lawyer, not you, if you have one

What debt collectors cannot do:

  • Threaten or harass you
  • Lie to you or make you feel uncomfortable
  • Send you to jail
  • Reveal your private information to other people
  • Call before 8am or after 9pm
  • Report inaccurate information to credit bureaus


For additional legal help, please contact Alaska Legal Services Corporation or the Northern Justice Project. Financial help can be found at Money Management International. For other questions, please contact Graham Downey, consumer advocate with AKPIRG.



My Staff and I Are Here for You!

We value your opinions on the issues impacting our community so please feel free to reach out to me and my office regarding any topics of interest or concern. Please also send us any community events or opportunities that you think we should elevate on our e-newsletter platform or on social media. We are happy to help and are always here for you! 

Representative Ashley Carrick

Proudly Serving House District 35 -- West Fairbanks


Alaska State Capitol, Room 428

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Contact my Staff

Stuart Relay

Chief of Staff


Cherie Bowman

Legislative Aide


Contact the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office

1292 Sadler Way Ste 308

Fairbanks, AK 99701

Office: 907-452-4448

Fax: 907-456-3346

Contact the Governor's Fairbanks Office

675 7th Ave, Ste. H5

Fairbanks, AK 99701-4596


Contact your Congressional Delegation

Congresswoman Mary Peltola

Anchorage Office:

121 W Fireweed Ln, Ste. 260

Anchorage, AK 99503

Phone: 907-921-6575




Senator Lisa Murkowski

Fairbanks Office:

250 Cushman Ave, Suite 2D

Fairbanks, AK 99701

Phone: (907) 456-0233

Fax: (877) 857-0322


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


Website: Sullivan.Senate.Gov