Friends and Neighbors,
I hear it has been nothing but snow, snow and more snow back home! Students from around the state were here this week to advocate for the University system. I was proud of the students from UAF who I visited with, they were knowledgeable and professional. Go Nanooks!
Rep Guttenberg with students from UAF, left to right, Sophia Greskowiak-Amezguita, Robert Kinnard, Mari Freitag and Monkia Kunat.
Constituent Meeting Feedback
Last weekend Senator Thomas, Representative Miller and I held a constituent meeting in Fairbanks. Many people came ready with questions on issues important to them. It was great to see everyone!
If you couldn’t make the meeting please consider that you can e-mail or call my office at any time.
Public Testimony on the Operating Budget
It is public testimony time for the operating budget to the House Finance Committee. To keep it organized time is allotted as a city or region. If you are in the Fairbanks area the time to testify will be Wednesday March 2 from 1:30pm to 2:45pm.
If you would like to testify on this budget you must go to the Legislative Information Office (LIO) at 1292 Sadler Way in the Alaska USA FCU building next to Home Depot. Please remember that the committee will only hear comments related to the operating budget.
If you have questions or a disability that would prevent you from going to the LIO please contact my office or the LIO directly at 452-4448.
Oil Taxes- Balancing Our Future
Oil taxes have dominated the discussion statewide. At our constituent meeting we heard from many residents that did not want the oil companies to get just another tax break without providing real benefit to Alaskans.
Many Interior residents have probably seen a new commercial put out by a new group called “Make Alaska Competitive Coalition” talking about the dangerous of a decline in production.
The Governor is proposing a tax cut that will equal 2 billion dollars a year and spending savings to cover the shortfall. This is a lot of money and what if the tax breaks do not equal production? This bill in no way obligates any oil producer to actually put more oil in the pipeline or provide more Alaskan jobs.
More than ever we do need to make sure that the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is maintained, safe and full. However we need more answers to questions before a blanket tax cut can be approved. I specifically want to know from the industry what they project production will be, how they can insure Alaskan hire and how the Governor plans to address deficit spending while we wait years for production?
This particular bill needs more time to make sure that questions are answered. Rushing through a new tax cut could do more harm than good. All Alaskans deserve that their representation take a close hard look at this bill.
School Gardens- Food Security and Healthy Kids
House Bill 93, “School Gardens, Greenhouses, and Farms” passed out of House Education Committee today. The committee voted to change one part of the bill by requiring that ten schools are eligible for the grant the first year and five schools every year after that. This helps to make sure that sustainable funding levels are achieved and creates a deeper sense of “buy in” from participants.
Thank you to everyone that has helped the bill get this far. I am hopeful that it will have a hearing in House Finance soon. Please contact my office if you would like to help get this bill heard in Finance!
Thank you for reading and please feel free to call my office and share your ideas.