NEWS: Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Ready to Work to Solve Budget Impasse

Coalition Seeks Negotiated Settlement with House and Senate Majorities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2015

ANCHORAGE – Today, Governor Walker announced his intention to veto the portions of House Bill 72 that deal with fiscal year 2016.  This is due to the fact that the House and Senate Majorities passed a largely unfunded budget, which could result in a shutdown of state government beginning in July. 

The 13 members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition stand ready to work on a responsible budget package that includes hundreds of millions in spending cuts while still protecting public education and other Coalition priorities.

“Let me be perfectly clear.  Our Coalition does not want a government shutdown and have been working daily to prevent a shutdown,” said Coalition Leader Representative Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).  “This current impasse is due to the Majorities refusal to consider the huge spending cuts we have put forward while simultaneously slashing education funding and turning away millions from the federal government to expand Medicaid in Alaska.”

The Leadership of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition stand ready to negotiate with the House and Senate Majorities to solve the budget impasse whenever and wherever they choose. 

“This is not about winning and losing.  It’s about doing the right thing for the people of Alaska,” said Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage).  “We can weather this fiscal storm if all sides put aside their political agendas and begin talking.  Our Coalition has tried repeatedly to engage the Majorities in a dialogue to prevent the specter of a government shutdown from looming over our state.  They have so far refused to talk.  Hopefully, the Governor’s announcement today will change their minds.”

The full Alaska Legislature is scheduled to have floor sessions beginning on Thursday in Anchorage.

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