Capitol Corner: Rep. Justin Ruffridge — Tackling education, fiscal stability in fast-paced start

Peninsula lawmakers report back from Juneau

Rep. Justin Ruffridge works in the Alaska State Capitol building on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

Rep. Justin Ruffridge works in the Alaska State Capitol building on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

The legislature is back in session and into our third week. We are off to a fast-paced start as we look to address many important issues facing our State. It is no secret that we need to address education and fiscal stability and take action to address the energy shortfall facing Southcentral Alaska.

My focus on education continues from the last session and through the interim. Last year, I met with educators, teachers, and families, and I visited each of the schools in my district and personally read to more than 600 students as part of my “Reading with the Representative” program.

Education will continue to be a significant focus of this session. We need long-term solutions and not one-time “quick fixes.” Currently, the House is working on SB140 as a proposed education omnibus with a BSA (Base Student Allocation), teacher incentives, correspondence funding, and more.

My office also carries HB 148, a bill sponsored by the House Education Committee, which was heard in House Finance this past week. HB 148 will raise the scholarship levels of the Alaska Performance Scholarship and increase eligibility so more Alaskans can qualify for this valuable scholarship while attending post-secondary education in Alaska.

My office will be introducing a couple more pieces of legislation in the coming week so please stay tuned for updates.

I would like to encourage my neighbors on the Kenai to please continue to reach out with concerns and suggestions.

The easiest way to do that would be to email me at Rep.Justin.Ruffridge@akleg.gov or call my office at 907-465-2693.

For more information on bills, committees, and the legislative process visit akleg.gov.

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