Friends and Neighbors,
How about those Nanooks! The UAF Nanook Hockey Team brought home the 2011 Governorís Cup. Congratulations! Here in Juneau the House Finance Committee has kept me busy with the Operating Budget and other legislation.
Representative Guttenberg with new UAA Chancellor Tom Case, UAF Chancellor Rogers, outgoing UAA Chancellor Ulmer and UAS Chancellor Pugh.
Operating Budget Update and Process
This week the House Finance Committee heard public testimony on the Operating Budget. Many Alaskanís came forward to speak on behalf of the programs that were important to them and they did a great job.
The committee heard numerous voices on many issues from the Pre-K pilot program, autism funding, UAF programs to tourism marketing. The operating budget contains funds for costs associated with operating programs, government and the University.
After testimony concludes the House Finance Committee will debate the bill and make any adjustments before passing the bill to the House Floor. This same process is underway for the Capital Budget in the Senate. Once both bills are voted on and switch bodies more adjustments will be made before conference committee and the final floor vote which will take place in the last weeks of session. Then itís off to the Governorís desk.
Stampede Recreation Area Legislation
I have requested a hearing in the House Resources Committee for HB 113 ďStampede State Recreation AreaĒ. This bill establishes a recreation area in the Denali Borough. Many constituents and users groups have submitted letters of support or interest in the legislation and I encourage everyone to contact the committee chairmen to help get this bill heard.
This version of the bill includes the area known as 8-mile Lake. Area residents lobbied on behalf of the inclusion of the area. If you live in the Fairbanks side of the district this recreation area is very much like the Goldstream Recreation Area.
The proposed Stampede Recreation Area map, including the 8- mile Lake addition.
UA Boosters Meeting- Farewell to UAA Chancellor Ulmer
This week was the first meeting of the 2011 University of Alaska Booster Caucus. This Caucus is made of up Representatives and Senators who support the University. During this meeting the caucus wished outgoing UAA Chancellor Fran Ulmer a farewell. Fran is passing the torch off to the new Chancellor Tom Case. I wish Fran the best and a big welcome to Chancellor Case.
University issues are always important here. For the past few legislative sessions I have sponsored legislation aimed at creating a needs based scholarship for Alaskans. Last year the Governor came out with
his own merit based scholarship and a legislative task force met over the interim to take a closer look at a scholarship program. I was pleased to see the discussion on inserting needs based component to the legislation. We need to look out for all Alaskanís and provide them with the means to achieve.
Above photo: Rep Guttenberg, UAF Chancellor Rogers and Senator Thomas
Thank you for reading and please feel free to call my office and share your ideas.