D emocratic Rep. Beth Kerttula is attuned to downtown Juneau's and Douglas' needs and desires, and deserves another term from voters in House District 3.
The three-term representative helped secure an additional $82.5 million for the state's schools this year and isn't satisfied with that. As Juneau builds a second high school, the city needs assurances that a state that has allowed student-to-teacher ratios to slip will keep moving in the right direction.
In stating the case for her party's continued representation of the district, she notes the power of the Legislature's Republican majority to enforce its will on many of its caucus members regardless of whether they support the party line.
Kerttula represents one of the areas of Alaska most affected by cruise ship impacts and has responded with legislation protecting the state's ports from ship sewage. She also supports a state cruise ship head tax so the industry could offset its impacts without pitting communities against one another. She also supports a reworking of the state's oil severance taxes to capture more revenues when prices create windfall profits for producers.
Republican challenger Andrew Engstrom also wants to take another look at oil revenues and to increase education funding, but it's hard to overlook Kerttula's six years of experience in this race.