Dear Neighbor,

I’m thrilled we have finally passed legislation updating the Base Student Allocation (BSA) for public education. Raising funding by $680 per student reverses half of the cuts our schools have endured since 2013 and is sufficient funding to avoid further cuts and increases in class sizes this year. In addition, the legislation we passed (SB140) adds funding for implementing the Reads Act. While I would have preferred not to have charter and correspondence language in the bill, those provisions were significantly changed and improved relative to earlier versions of the bill. Critically, they leave local control of charter schools in place.


STIP Update:


I’m extremely concerned that mistakes in preparing the DOTPF STIP now endanger more than $900 million in annual surface transportation funding. This week, I worked with a group of House and Senate members to plead with our federal delegation for assistance (See letter below). Unfortunately, I’m worried the state has so many errors in the STIP that we will need the help of our congressional delegation and federal highways administration staff to sustain funding.


Fighting Organized Crime:


The ease of reselling products on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, along with the tragic realities of addiction, has created a surge in organized retail crime. Around the country, organized crime rings are preying on addicts, paying them to steal from retailers and resell products online. States are trying different policies to combat organized retail crime.


I studied policies from around the country and recently introduced legislation (HB 378) to combat organized retail crime, including establishing a high-volume reseller user fee to put additional resources into the law enforcement agencies that are doing their best with far from adequate resources. I think it’s really sad to walk into stores in Anchorage and see products chained to shelves. We must recognize that this is not merely an issue of personal decisions but a digital marketplace that facilitates organized crime and desperately needs oversight.

Constituent Visits:


Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with many constituents, including members of the 4-H Youth in Governance, the Governor's Council on Disabilities & Special Education, the Fairbanks Chamber, the Alaska Commission on Aging, and other organizations. Thank you to everyone who finds time to fly to Juneau and advocate.

Governor's Council on Disabilities & Special Education

4-H Youth in Governance:

I introduced a bill at the request of these 4-H'ers recognizing 4-H's contributions in positive youth development

Amanda Bohman &

Jeremy Johnson of the

Fairbanks Chamber

Bob Pawlowski

Alaska Commission on Aging

Romy Taylor, Evelyn Dutton, Bob Griffin, & Sami Graham

Royal & Aurora

Youth Action Board on

Housing & Homelessness

See you around the neighborhood,


Zack

Representative Zack Fields - House District 17

Serving Downtown, South Addition, Forest Park, North Star, and Fairview