December 17, 2018
With winter now in full force, I wish you all a happy, safe and warm holiday season!
Holiday Closure and Transition to Juneau
My Fairbanks office will be closed on Monday, December 24 through January 1 for the holidays. We will be checking emails and voicemails, but may be delayed in our response. From January 2 to January 6, the office will be in transition to Juneau. The office will open for business in the State Capitol in Juneau on Monday, January 7. The legislative session convenes on Tuesday, January 15. Until I am sworn in as Senator on January 15, please continue to use this email: Rep.Scott.Kawasaki@akleg.gov.
Look for another E-news in the weeks ahead before session begins.
Senator-Elect Kawasaki and Governor Dunleavy
Thank You Governor Walker, Welcome Governor Dunleavy
Mike Dunleavy was sworn in as the 12th Governor of the State of Alaska on December 3 in Kotzebue. Congratulations, Governor Dunleavy! I look forward to working with you on important issues like improving public safety and protecting the Permanent Fund Dividend.
I would also like to say thank you to Governor Bill Walker for his tireless effort to be an advocate for all Alaskans. He served during a challenging period in the history of Alaska, but showed the qualities of a true stateman working across party lines.
House District 1 Election Update
The election for State House District 1, my current seat, was certified as an exact tie on November 26. A recount on November 30 ended in a one vote win for the Republican candidate, Bart LeBon, over the Democratic candidate, Kathryn Dodge.
This election showed that your vote really does matter! Kathryn Dodge has appealed the results of the recount to the Alaska Supreme Court. The appeal will concern several uncounted ballots that Dodge and her team challenged during the counting process, and LeBon has submitted a cross-appeal. Oral arguments will begin on January 8, with a plan to conclude proceedings by January 14.
This year, a loophole was discovered in the sentencing of Justin Schneider, a man who sexually assaulted a woman. Not only did Schneider walk free with no sex crime charges, he did not serve any direct jail time. I am introducing legislation to make sure this situation will never happen again. Not only will this legislation change harassment in the first-degree to a Class C felony, it will also add to the list of aggravators for a felony charge. More information on my proposed bill can be found here.
Rep. Kawasaki serving in House Finance Committee
My committee assignments for the upcoming legislative session include the Senate Resources Committee, Senate State Affairs Committee and the Joint Armed Services Committee.
My priority is to maximize the benefit of Alaska’s natural resources to the people, not foreign corporations or companies. The State Affairs committee may also have a first look at legislation regarding the Permanent Fund and dividends. I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve the future for Alaskans and our families.
Senator-Elect Kawasaki at peak December daylight hours
I would like to thank the public employees and first responders who were active and on the scene during the 7.0 earthquake in Southcentral Alaska on November 30. No matter where you live in Alaska, we all benefit from Alaska’s dedicated public services that keep our state safe in the face of natural disasters. Another big thanks goes to the local news in their extensive coverage of the earthquake, including updates on how to apply for assistance.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
Alaska residents may cut Christmas trees on state lands designated as open for cutting. No permit or fee is required. The maximum tree height is 15 feet and the limit is one tree per household. More information about cutting Christmas trees in Fairbanks can be found here.
As always, please feel free to drop me a line any time through email, phone, mail or social media. The more I hear from you, the better I can represent you in Juneau!
Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,
Representative Scott Kawasaki
Alaska State Representative
City of Fairbanks
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