Rep. Scott Kawasaki
Rep. Scott Kawasaki

As your Representative,
I am here to listen and help.

Contact me anytime.

Rep.Scott.Kawasaki
@legis.state.ak.us

 
IN JUNEAU:
Phone: (907) 465-3466
FAX: (907) 465-2937
State Capitol Rm #428
Juneau, AK 99801

IN FAIRBANKS:
Phone: (907) 456-7423
FAX: (907) 451-9293
1292 Sadler Way
(AlaskaUSA Credit Building)
Fairbanks, AK 99701
 
Toll Free: (866) 465-3466

May 18, 2011

Dear Neighbor,

Final Wrap Up

After going 27 days out of 30 days, the Special Session came to an end on Saturday night with a crack of the gavel. The dust is just settling on the 1st Session of the 27th Alaska State Legislature, so it may be too early to tell the impacts of our deliberations over the last four months. During the summer and into the fall, I hope to meet with you about the legislature and how I can make it more efficient, effective and citizen-friendly.

Highlights of the Session

Rep. Kawasaki with friendsDuring the session, you would have heard of some of the most controversial bills and least controversial bills. The Governor’s oil tax breaks for the big oil producers took a lot of deliberation and time from other pressing issues. An omnibus crime bill and money for college scholarships passed this year as well as $65 million for the Susitina Dam project. Some of the least controversial bills that establish special days and license plates also passed the legislature. However, only 50 of the 400 bills introduced this year passed the Legislature and they will be considered in the next year. Here are some of the recent highlights:

A bipartisan bill that would allow the state to manage its own coastline failed to pass by one vote because of a majority of House Republicans. The failure to pass the bill that has been in place since the 70’s means a less streamlined process when it comes to permits for drilling and development and a possible takeover by the federal government.

The operating budget passed with millions more for education, public safety and public health. The $20-million for education will allow for schools to continue improvements of student success which has been the trend for the last three years. More funds for municipalities through revenue sharing will ensure that local governments can lower property taxes. The total operating budget grew by 4% over the previous year.

Reps. Kawasaki and PetersenThe capital budget contains one time spending items and major infrastructure improvements like roads, rails and ports. The budget had some good points including money major street repairs, school computers, meals on wheels and parks and recreation improvements. However, as the capital budget grew to a record-high $3.2 billion, it lost my support and my vote. It may be sweet, but it sure isn’t healthy to spend that much money at once.

The Legislature also put more than $1 billion into savings for the future. Fellow democrats and I attempted to put $2.2 billion more into the Permanent Fund, out of the reach of the legislature, but the measure failed along party lines.

Coming Home

I look forward to seeing many of you over the summer as we hold public hearings and legislative outreach meetings. Please feel free to contact me, I can be reached at 907-456-7423, email rep.scott.kawasaki@legis.state.ak.us or just come in and visit the office.

Working Hard for Fairbanks Families,

[SIGNED]

Scott Kawasaki
Alaska State Representative