January 24, 2014
716 W 4th Suite 540
Anchorage, AK 99501
State Capitol, Rm 419
Juneau, AK 99801
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Governor Parnell's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at
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Senator Mark Begich,
Sen. Mark Begich
Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Congressman Don Young,
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We’re just in our first week of the legislative session, and the big issues we’ll face in the next 90 days are already becoming clear: gas line, education, and the State’s growing budget deficit.
Students invited Sen. Wielechowski to their classroom to talk about
school meals and an upcoming field trip to Juneau.
Most Alaskans agree it’s time to get our vast supplies of natural gas to market and working for Alaskans. I wholeheartedly agree, with the caveat that Alaskans truly benefit. As former Co-Chair of the Senate Resources Committee, I’ve been following gas line issues for many years and will carefully review the Governor’s latest proposal for state investment in a gas line and LNG plant to make sure Alaskans receive the greatest benefit. For example, what happens if there are massive cost overruns? Will our savings be drained? Will Alaska truly have a voice at the table if we are a minority owner? Can we ensure local hire and affordable gas for Alaskans? Please rest assured that I will keep YOUR interests at heart as discussions proceed.
This session has already been dubbed the “education session.” Across the state, headlines are announcing teacher layoffs. In Anchorage alone, 159 teachers are being cut. This trend is projected to worsen. Education is pivotal to the success of our state, and I look forward to a strong debate about how we can make Alaska’s education system the best in the world.
Sen. Wielechowski with Sen. French at a press conference
discussing issues that Alaskans face every day.
State revenues plummeted this year and we now face a sobering $2-3 billion deficit per year for the next decade. For years, I’ve sponsored legislation that would require the state to live within its means. I also believe there are things we can do to truly increase oil production and provide more long-term revenue. Some legislators are already talking about imposing taxes on Alaskans. I’ve always said that as long as we are getting our fair share for our oil and gas resources there was absolutely no need for an income tax, sales tax or to raid the Permanent Fund. Please feel free to contact my office with any ideas you have for how we can best weather this fiscal crisis and maintain a strong and vibrant Alaska.
Alaska State Senator
District G - Anchorage