Since the adjournment of the Twenty-Seventh legislative session, I have been busy moving my office back to Fairbanks. Even though there is much unpacking left to do, I am eager to meet with you and give you a report on the successes of the legislative session in Juneau. As always, my office is your office and we are open for business.
The Legislation Information Office (LIO) is located at 1292 Sadler Way in the Alaska USA Building, next to Home Depot off the Old Steese Hwy.
Energy a Fairbanks Focus
Just yesterday, the Governor released the FY13 budgets and a bond bill for voters in November. While he admitted it is ‘healthy’, I am pleased both the Senate and the House stayed within the budget cap agreed upon before the session. To do this takes a strategic plan that covers the essentials needed to keep the state going, while promoting businesses, organizations, and projects that create strong commerce and communities.
Fairbanks fared extremely well this year especially to improve roads, public safety and our way of life. Road construction money will help enhance traffic flow and improve the roads you drive on every day including funding for Slaterville, Lemeta and Cushman. The $50-million UAF Engineering building and a Fairbanks-based rescue helicopter were among older priorities that Fairbanks was finally able to leverage.
Most importantly, the budget contains money to help bring down the cost of energy. Millions went into the engineering of an LNG facility for Fairbanks and a pipeline training center. Over $250 million will go to other statewide energy projects including the successful weatherization program, the Renewable Energy Fund and home energy rebates.
Good Education Starts with Early Education
As Fairbanks is celebrating the largest graduating class at UAF and many local seniors don their caps and gowns, we know that a strong education starts with early education.
Early education and Pre-K that both the House and Senate, across party lines, supported was just slashed in the budget. Educational tools for families and children, including the successful ‘Parents as Teachers’ funds were more than cut in half. Another priority for early education leaders has been to make the pilot Pre-K money available to other school districts, including our own. With the significant cuts to Pre-K, families will be denied access to new education opportunities that have proven to work so well in other parts of the state. As a member of the House Education Committee, I will continue to push for effective, early education for families and children.
From Pre-K to UA, Rep. Kawasaki meets with Best Beginnings and UAF students during the 27th Legislative session in Juneau.
I will be in my office regularly during the week and would be happy to meet with constituents on weekends or after hours. Please feel free to contact Mindy at the office at 907.456.7423.
Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,
Alaska State Representative
District 9 – Fairbanks
P.S. For an easy way to search through the capital budget for projects, ‘Ctrl+F’ will display a box that will search the document. Hit ‘Enter’ to pass through all matching selections. This can be done directly from the document online.