Note from Rep. Gara: Taking Your Marbles & Going Home? Tsk Tsk. The Budget & Higher Ed Scholarship Debate

This week we are debating the operating budget. It’s roughly 4% higher than last year, and while I work in a GOP-controlled House, I also believe in trying to find common ground when I can. I don’t believe in the worst we see from Washington, D.C., where many members reflexively oppose measures sponsored by members of the opposite party.

If you want knee jerk politics, there are plenty of people nationally you can idolize. Those people – whether on the state level, or in Congress where folks constantly filibuster to prevent votes and debate, and the ability for compromise, get nothing done. And they harm the constituents they take an oath to represent.

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Rep. Kerttula’s Juneau Newsletter: Operating Budget Heats Up

Plus: Coastal Management Hearing on Monday

I want to extend a special thank you to everyone who came and testified in the House Finance Committee this week. It is not easy to speak before the Legislature and everyone did a wonderful job. Hear what they had to say below.

I’m pleased to announce that legislation to reinstate the Alaska Coastal Management Program will be heard in House Resources on Monday (more below).

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Rep. Miller’s District 7 News: ACTION ALERT: Testify on the FY13 Operating Budget

Hello from Juneau! I wanted to send along a note letting you know of a unique opportunity tomorrow—the chance to testify on the State Operating Budget. The Operating Budget is the budget that essentially runs our state. It keeps the buildings heated, our teachers paid, and roads maintained.

The House Finance Committee will be hearing public testimony from Fairbanks on the budget tomorrow from 1:30-2:45 PM. If you’d like to provide testimony I encourage you to head to the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office, where the meeting will be teleconferenced.

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Berta’s Briefings from Rep. Gardner: Another Way to Get Help with State Government

I have just been appointed to a legislative committee to review candidates for the Alaska State Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman is a state agency, housed in the Legislative Branch, which helps people resolve problems with the state.

The Alaska Legislature created the Office of the Ombudsman to make sure that government follows the rules and treats all citizens fairly and reasonably.

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Rep. Petersen’s Report from the Capitol: Working for Lower Residential Property Taxes; Protecting Victims’ Rights

It’s been another busy week in the Juneau. I’m going to be back home next weekend, and Senator Bill Wielechowski and I will be hosting a neighborhood meeting at the Boys and Girls Club Northeast Community Center at 10:00am on Saturday March 10. Bill and I will bring coffee and donuts, and I hope you will bring some great ideas and questions.

Working for Lower Residential Property Taxes

On Tuesday I presented my bill to allow for more residential property tax relief to the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s Legislative Report: Public Testimony, Operating Budget

We are half way through the 2012 Legislative Session. What happens in the next 45 days is crucial to many Alaskans. In the Interior, we need energy relief, jobs and education funding. I will continue to work on issues important to the Interior.

Public Testimony: Operating Budget

The House Finance Committee will take public testimony this week on the FY13 Operating Budget. The operating budget contains funds for the cost of state government, the University, and programs across Alaska.

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Rep. Kerttula’s Juneau Newsletter: Native Language Council Plus: Budget Testimony Opportunity

Yesterday marked the half-way point for session. Things are starting to heat up and more attention is being focused on the big issues – education, budget and oil and gas taxes. This week you’ll have the opportunity to testify on the operating budget (more information below).

I also want to share with you an important piece of legislation designed to revitalize and support Native languages in Alaska. This week’s hearing on the bill provided some of the most inspiring and touching testimony I’ve heard in the Legislature.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I appreciate hearing from you, so please stop by my office, call, write or email.

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