(ANCHORAGE) – Today Rep. Les Gara will address the Bartlett Club, at Denny’s on Debarr Road at noon. To curry favor for the Governor’s proposed $8 billion in unjustified oil company tax reductions over the next five years, fancy industry ads are on the air that mislead Alaskans. “We think Alaskans should be told the truth. You can make up your own opinions, but you can’t make up your own facts,” said Rep. Gara, who, with others, has proposed tax policies that won’t allow breaks unless they lead to more jobs, and more production and exploration.Read more
Doogan, Gara attempt to cut budget by more than $2 billion
JUNEAU – In a year when the Alaska State Legislature is working on capital and operating budgets that total more than $12 billion, House Democrats offered amendments in an attempt to restore some restraint and responsibility to the budgeting process.Read more
(JUNEAU) – On February 28, fourteen Democrats wrote the Secretary of the Interior expressing concerns about the rejection of ConocoPhillips’s oil development plan in NPR-A. “Development in NPR-A is crucial to our attempts to stem the decline of North Slope oil production, and the Army Corps decision denying the bridge permit was wrong,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch).Read more
I’ve done my best these past two weeks to share what I learned as an attorney who started my career on a very contentious case – representing the State in its civil prosecution of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill case. Sticking your heels in the mud and drawing lines in the sand doesn’t end disputes – this one’s over the budget. We settled the state’s case with Exxon for $1 billion in 1991 – though the major damages were suffered by individuals who brought their own cases – and by not talking Exxon used its obstinance and power to drag that case out for two decades.Read more
[Press Release from Sen. FRENCH, Sen. EGAN, Rep. GARA]
JUNEAU- In its latest numbers, the Department of Labor has contradicted claims by the Governor and oil industry members that Alaska oil and gas jobs are in decline. The department confirmed that oil and gas jobs rose to 12,900 employees in March, a 5% increase since last year. But data from the Department of Labor also shows that over 50% of the new jobs on the North Slope are going to workers who live outside Alaska.
Foster Care Advocates Call For More Donated Computers, Mentors
Representative Les Gara, Amanda Metivier coordinator of Facing Foster Care in Alaska, along with other foster care advocates held a press conference in Anchorage today to kick off Foster Care Month.
Other participants included: Diana Bline, Director of Program Services at Covenant House; Nicholas McMillan, Anchorage Director of Programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters; Travis Erickson, Acting Child Welfare Administrator for the Alaska Office of Children’s Services; Becca Shier, Statewide Representative with Facing Foster Care in Alaska; and Angel Gonzales and Kaylee Day, Peer Mentor Trainers with Covenant House.Read more
All parties should stand down and work together in good faith
JUNEAU – Today, Alaska House Democrats announced a simple, common-sense solution to the budget stand-off that has the Legislature locked into a special session.
“We have a way out of this mess. It isn’t all that complicated,” said Representative Beth Kerttula, House Minority Leader. “We say this without blame and in the spirit of being helpful.”Read more
I know you’re frustrated, and I’ve been incredibly frustrated, that we are in an extended session. But It seems like an end to the impasse may be near. So I won’t mention at all that I’d rather be in the middle of a fishing stream than in the middle of an extended session squabble. I will mention – for those of you who believe in needs-based financial aid so people can afford college and vocational education – that today we made some significant progress.Read more