Capitol Brief by Senator Bill Wielechowski

Keeping In Touch

Representing Northeast Anchorage Neighborhoods and Elmendorf AFB

January 24, 2014
 
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Senator
Bill Wielechowski

716 W 4th Suite 540
Anchorage, AK 99501
907.269.0120
fax  269.0122

sen.bill.wielechowski@
akleg.gov

State Capitol, Rm 419
Juneau, AK 99801
800.550.2435
907.465.2435
FAX: 907.465.6615

Contact the Governor
Governor Parnell's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at sean.parnell@alaska.gov

Visit the state website
www.state.ak.us

 ________________

Contact your
Congressional Delegation

Senator Mark Begich,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5915
Sen. Mark Begich

Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-3735,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Congressman Don Young,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5978
don.young@mail.house.gov

 

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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.
Students invited Sen. Wielechowski to their classroom to talk about

school meals and an upcoming field trip to Juneau.

Gas line

     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.

Education

     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.
Sen. Wielechowski with Sen. French at a press conference

discussing issues that Alaskans face every day.

The Deficit

     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.

Warmly,

[signed]

Bill Wielechowski
Alaska State Senator
District G - Anchorage

http://senatorbill.org