May 12, 2023

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Fairbanksans,


Welcome to the seventeenth edition of The Carrick Capitol Connection! With only a few days left in the regular session, the House has been holding a Floor session every day to finish work on legislation. Meanwhile, the Senate continues to hold the operating and capital budgets and have not yet passed either back over to the House for concurrence.


In exciting news, House Bill 8 passed the Senate on Monday on a vote of 18-1. I have discussed this bill extensively in previous Carrick Capitol Connections, but to briefly recap this is my bill that defines electric-assisted bicycles in statute to clear up the current legal grey area. On Thursday, the House voted to concur in the changes made to this bill in the Senate. At this point, the final step is for the Governor to sign the bill into law.

This is a huge accomplishment – various versions of this bill have been around since 2019 and it was originally sponsored by my predecessor Representative Adam Wool, when I carried it as his staff member. I look forward to seeing this bill finally become law after several years. Check out the press release that went out today about this bills passage from the legislature. Continue reading for a recap of the week’s legislative proceedings and to learn more about local events near you. 

Representative Carrick biking the Denali Highway during the summer of 2021.

Appreciating our Teachers

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week! This is a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of teachers in our community. Teachers serve a critical role preparing the next generation of Alaskans for future success. Coming from a family of teachers and having spent time in our district, I know that taking time to be thankful for our educators is good. However, we also need to take meaningful action as policymakers to turn our support for education into meaningful action.

After years of flat funding and chronic underfunding of education, our public school system is struggling. Teachers bear the brunt of those struggles with overcrowded classrooms and limited administrative support. Right now, our Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is looking at increasing kindergarten class sizes to as many as 27 students, all with limited support staff. Meanwhile some high school classes have increased to over 40 students. I had the opportunity to visit elementary schools in House District 35 earlier this year that have classes so large, students had trouble fitting in their classrooms.

The way to resolve these unacceptable issues is to meaningfully invest in education. This means we need to increase the Base Student Allocation; a top priority of my colleagues and I in the House Minority Coalition. Unfortunately, the House Majority has not taken up a BSA increase as a policy priority. I look forward to continuing to fight for an increase to the Base Student Allocation as we rapidly near the end of the regular session. Thank you to all the teachers in our community who go above and beyond for our students! Please reach out to me anytime with issues that you are seeing in our schools and to tell me how education is important to you and your family.   

Representative Carrick and her freshman colleague Representative Rebecca Himschoot (I - Sitka) standing in front of the House Chambers in the State Capitol. Until last semester Rep Himschoot was an elementary school teacher in Sitka and is one of many former teachers that now serve as Legislators

 Consideration of the Governors Appointees

Earlier this week the Legislature met in joint session to consider Governor Dunleavy’s appointments to state boards and commissions. This was a much shorter session than the first joint session considering Governor Dunleavy’s appointees back in 2019. During the joint session on Tuesday, only one of a number of appointees was not confirmed. I had received a great deal of testimony opposing Bethany Marcum’s appointment to the University of Alaska Board of Regents. Ultimately, her confirmation failed by one vote.


As a strong supporter of the University of Alaska, I could not vote for Ms. Marcum’s appointment for an eight-year term to the Board of Regents. I remember in 2019 when Governor Dunleavy’s devastating 41% cut to the University of Alaska’s state funding went into effect and subsequently when the University signed, under duress, a 3-year budget compact, cutting $75 million of their state funding. As a staff to my predecessor Representative Adam Wool, I remember responding to thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls opposing these destructive cuts. Anyone who has supported gutting the University has no business being one of the eleven Regents making policy and overseeing it. Our university system needs Regents that understand the importance of future investment so that our state has the skilled workforce necessary to function and conduct business. I remain committed to ensuring that the University of Alaska receives proper funding and support from the Legislature so that it will continue to produce the leaders and innovators our state needs to stay competitive. You can listen to my speech about Ms. Marcum’s appointment on my YouTube page.

Also, I invite everyone learn more about HB 9. This is my bill that would add a faculty member to the Board, a way that I believe we can bring greater diversity in perspective to our University of Alaska system’s governing body.

Representative Carrick batting during the annual legislative softball game last weekend.

FNSBSD Board Policy Committee

Recently, it was brought to my attention that the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District adopted a troubling regulation that would require school personnel to share information on a student’s gender identity with parents and guardians. There are several glaring issues with this regulation, but fundamentally this change reflected a bad public process. This change occurred without any input from the community. This regulation is now being implemented without the consultation of our school board.

This regulation is similar to the aptly nicknamed “don’t say gay” legislation currently being considered by the Legislature, specifically House Bill 105 which I have discussed in a previous Carrick Capitol Connection. Invasions of a student’s right to privacy like those in House Bill 105 or this new regulation from school district administration have no place in our school district. Further, this change opens our school district up to a lawsuit.

Questionable Legality

There is a legal memo from Legislative Legal Services questioning the legality of the policy in House Bill 105 and outlining a student’s right to privacy. Page two of that memo explains that:

“Because disclosure of a student’s status as a transgender or gender non-conforming student could, at a minimum, cause embarrassment, humiliation, and anxiety, and in more severe instances subject the student to harassment or other harm, it is likely that a court would conclude that a transgender or gender non-conforming student has a fundamental privacy interest in the students status as a transgender or gender non-conforming student.”

Helping Students By Getting Involved

With policies like these coming from both the State and the School District, now is a great time for folks to get involved. To that end, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is currently soliciting applications from persons interested in serving as volunteer committee members on the School Board’s Policy Committee. The Policy Committee is recruiting two parent seats and four community member seats. All seats are two-year terms. The Policy Committee will act in a review capacity regarding proposed policy changes in the school district. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please complete this form online. For more information, visit the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District page. If you need help with the application, please feel free to reach out to my office at 907-465-4976 or by responding to this email.


In Search of Alaska Youth Doing Good in their Communities

Alaska Communications and Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska are seeking youth who may be considered heroes for making a positive difference in their Alaska community. Through the Summer of Heroes program, up to six selected youth each will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship through Alaska 529 and given special recognition in their local communities.

Anyone can nominate a young hero in their life. Tell them about a child or teen, age 6-18, who is improving life for those around them. Whether it was to support others, volunteering where there was an important need or an ongoing effort, or taking action on other’s needs before their own, Summer of Heroes aims to shine a spotlight on youth who are doing good around us. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to nominate Alaska youth by submitting a nomination form by June 18.

In addition to providing youth scholarships and recognition, the Summer of Heroes program also supports the leading youth development programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska. In appreciation of their efforts, Alaska Communications pledges to donate $25 to Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska for every new residential or business internet connection between May 1 and June 18, 2023, up to $15,000 total. Learn more about the Summer of Heroes program and obtain a nomination form online.

Alaska Fellows Program

The Alaska Fellows Program (AFP) is a fall-to-spring residential fellowship program that nurtures the next generation of Alaska-based leaders by pairing talented young people with strong communities and professional mentors. Initially launched with a small pool of Yale graduates in 2014, the program now boasts alumni from 35 states and seven countries and hosts fellows in Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka and Fairbanks. Forty-six percent of alumni continue to live and work in Alaska for a year or more following their fellowships, which is a great positive to help stop youth and young adult migration from Alaska. The Alaska Fellows Program is currently recruiting for the 2023-2024 program term. There are several positions open in Fairbanks and they are listed below.

Prospective fellows can learn more and apply HERE.


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