Capitol Brief by Senator Bill Wielechowski

Keeping In Touch

Representing Northeast Anchorage Neighborhoods and Elmendorf AFB

March 7, 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 are now half way through the Legislative session. More than 420 bills and resolutions have been introduced and we are debating many important issues. 

One such issue concerns a proposed natural gas pipeline.  Over the past 40+ years, we’ve been trying to convince BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon to produce and market our gas.  Unfortunately, nothing has worked.  The current gas line bill is very similar to a contract pushed by Gov. Murkowski several years ago that was panned across the board as giving away way too much and not even getting us a gas pipeline.  The bill before us now looks very similar to that failed contract.

I’m concerned that turning over our sovereignty as an owner state to the oil companies through massive concessions is NOT the way to get a gas line built.  I’m working on some amendments right now to improve this legislation.  I expect the gas line bill to be on the Senate floor next week and will give you an update with a more detailed analysis of the bill.

Enjoying a light moment with Major Gen. Shields, Commander of the U.S. Army Alaska, during a meeting of the Joint Armed Services Committee.
Enjoying a light moment with Major Gen. Shields, Commander of the U.S. Army Alaska, during a meeting of the Joint Armed Services Committee.

Speaking Out for JBER

This week, I convinced other members of the legislature to request that two new squadrons of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters be stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER). JBER is a critical asset to our nation and our state, and a huge economic driver for Anchorage. 

Both JBER in Anchorage and Eielson south of Fairbanks have been selected by the Air Force as possible Pacific locations for the latest generation of fighter plans.    

As the largest military installation in Alaska, JBER is at the forefront of protecting the nation’s interests in the volatile Asia-Pacific region.  With its strategic location, world-class training facilities and mission-ready forces, Elmendorf would be an excellent location for the new F-35 fighter planes.

U.S. Senator Mark Begich offered support for my resolution to get a fair share of revenues from oil development off Alaska’s coast
U.S. Senator Mark Begich offered support for my resolution to get a fair share of revenues from oil development off Alaska’s coast

Honoring the National Guard

The men and women of the Alaska National Guard deserve our support.  That is why I am sponsoring Senate Bill 141, which waives vehicle registration fees for active members of the Guard.

From fighting fires to rescuing Alaskans in emergencies, the Guard helps when times are tough.  Guard members dedicate large amounts of their time and get very little pay, so this is simply another small incentive for them.

Helping Military Families with Special Needs Kids

I’m also fighting to ensure that Alaskans who serve in the military do not have to re-apply for Medicaid benefits for their special needs children every time they return from a deployment Outside.

This issue is one of the top 10 priorities of the U.S. Department of Defense.  It seems only fair to maintain benefits for those willing to risk their lives for the rest of us.

Funding for Our Schools

This week I had the pleasure of meeting with several young Alaskans who visited Juneau to advocate for greater funding for our schools.

One outstanding student was Xavior Love, who attends Begich Middle School. Xavior is the president of the National Junior Honors Society at Begich and believes more funding needs to go to schools. He also believes students deserve a greater voice in how funds are spent.

Thanks to Xavior Love and other Alaskan students who are traveling to Juneau to advocate for more support for our schools.
Thanks to Xavior Love and other Alaskan students who are traveling to Juneau to advocate for more support for our schools.

To learn more about what Alaskans students are saying about funding for education, watch this video.

Help the Hungry and Homeless

The 20th annual Bean’s Café Empty Bowl Project takes place this Saturday, March 8, at the Egan Center downtown from 1-2 pm.

More than 1,800 hand-thrown pottery bowls are created for this event. With a $25 ticket, you can enjoy delicious soup and corn bread and take home a hand crafted bowl.  All proceeds support Bean’s Café, which provides more than 600,000 meals a year to the needy in Anchorage. 

For a ticket or more information about how to support Bean’s Cafe, call 433-8603. 

As always, feel free to get in touch with me if you have any thoughts or suggestions.

Warmly,

[signed]

Bill Wielechowski
Alaska State Senator
District G - Anchorage

http://senatorbill.org