March 21, 2016
Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed
State Capitol Bldg. Rm 9
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Governor Bill Walker
Lt. Governor Byron Mallot
KABATA, PFD, and An Hour of Play
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This morning we learned that the Knik Arm Bridge’s application for $378 million in federal TIFIA loans was rejected. This is the 7th such rejection and in her letter, TIFIA CFO, Shoshana Lew, cited “aggressive assumptions in your traffic and revenue study” in informing KABATA/DOT project financial officer Kevin Hemenway that TIFIA is “suspending review” of the application since the application could not meet “(US)DOT underwriting standards.”
Last week when the Operating Budget was on the Senate floor, I ran an amendment to strip all of the state funding for KABATA (Knik Arm Bridge Toll Authority) and reallocate that money towards the University, Pre-K, Teacher Mentoring and other educational opportunities that were cut. The amendment even saved state funding. Sadly, it was rejected by the Republican Majority.
With this announcement, it becomes even more apparent that the Knik Arm Bridge is a project that doesn’t financially pencil out and should not even be on the state’s radar to continue throwing millions upon millions of dollars into.
PFD Applications are Due Soon
It is that time of year again. If you haven’t filed for your Permanent Fund Dividend, you have 10 more days left to do so. Applications can be filed up to Thursday, March 31, at 11:59pm Alaska Standard Time. You can file online by clicking here. PFD offices will be closed on Monday, March 28 for Seward’s Day. You can also check the status of yourapplication here.
Don’t forget to Pick. Click. Give. It is a great program which makes it easy for you to share all or part of your dividend with a number of great charities.
An Hour of Play a Day
This week in the Education Committee we’ll take up Senate Bill 200. The bill deals with physical activity of students in kindergarten through eighth grade, requiring that schools allow time for students up to 8th grade to get at least 90% of the recommended exercise as suggested by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It’s refreshing to finally take up a bill that deals with education policy this session, especially one that is intended to improve student performance and student health. Physical activity and breaks in the school day are beneficial to students and I’m looking forward to this bill’s first hearing onTuesday, March 21 at 3:30.
I’m Berta and I’m still listening,
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.