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Governor Asked To Help Alaskans Through Winter


October 21, 2005

Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines) has sent a letter to Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski requesting that the Governor's office develop an energy assistance plan to put before the legislature in the upcoming session.

Representative Thomas, a member of the Alaska State Legislature, is asking that a fuel assistance program be established for school districts and communities throughout the state. He is also requesting a supplemental appropriation of $40 million for the Power Cost Equalization Fund, a $40 million appropriation to the Four Dam Pool Power Agency and an $80 million appropriation to the Railbelt Energy Fund.

"Residents throughout Alaska are facing higher than normal fuel costs this fall and winter. It is my hope that the legislature and Governor Murkowski will do everything possible to ease the burden on individuals and school systems," said Representative Thomas.

The letter was sent to Governor Murkowski late last week.


Representative Thomas' letter:

October 13, 2005

Honorable Frank Murkowski
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811

Dear Governor Murkowski:

I respectfully request that you develop an energy assistance plan to be reviewed by the Legislature during the upcoming legislative session. The devastation of high fuel prices can be seen in urban and rural areas alike. Therefore, it is crucial that Alaska's government develop a fuel assistance program for our unincorporated and incorporated communities, as well as our school districts.

I would like to see a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $40 million to be granted to the Power Cost Equalization Fund. This fiscal year began with a pro-rated amount of 81% for this fund and I understand the number is likely to be downgraded again this fall. Our communities cannot withstand another cut to this vital program. I am also requesting that $40 million be appropriated to the Four Dam Pool Power Agency and $80 million be appropriated to the Railbelt Energy Fund to assist them with their increasing costs.

Also, our school districts are under funded and cannot keep up with the skyrocketing cost of fuel. As their operating costs increase, the money they have left to devote to the education of our children diminishes. I would like to see a fuel supplemental granted to the school districts which is based on the foundation formula. The foundation formula bases funding on the size of a school district and I believe this would be an appropriate measure from which to base this fuel supplemental.

I am concerned about the burden all Alaskans are feeling as the cost of fuel continues to rise. Alaska is in a crisis and we cannot continue to ignore it. Once again, I ask that you consider proposing some form of energy dividend to help our incorporated and unincorporated communities and school districts this winter.

Representative Bill Thomas


Source of News:

Alaska Republicans


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