NEWS: Budget Compromise Prevents Threat of Government Shutdown and Protects the Alaska Economy

Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed fully funded budgets for the next fiscal year that removes the threat of the first ever government shutdown in Alaska. The operating and capital budgets were passed with significant support from members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) after weeks of bipartisan negotiations between the Minority and Majority Caucuses in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: The Special Session

Last week on Wednesday, the legislature adjourned without passing a responsible fiscal plan for Alaska. As the newest member of the Alaska State Legislature, I was extremely disappointed that we were not able to balance the budget even after the session was extended. There is no more important responsibility of the Legislature than to make sure that we honor our responsibility to the people of Alaska by passing a responsible budget. However, we have another chance to get the job done.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s Newsletter: Upcoming Constituent Meeting

Last evening the Second Session of the 29thAlaska Legislature came to a close without any significant action to address the ongoing fiscal crisis. The Legislature failed to pass the FY 2017 Operating Budget, putting thousands of state workers at risk of being laid off.

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NEWS: Last Minute Assault on Public Education Hits School Children

Juneau – As the Second Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature reaches the constitutionally mandated end of session, lawmakers and advocates for a healthy K-12 public education system are reeling from a surprise cut to public education. On Tuesday night, the House and Senate Operating Budget Conference Committee slipped a $50 cut to the Base Student Allocation (BSA) into the proposed FY 2017 budget in violation of funding promised by state law.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: Anti-Sex Ed Measure Passes, Wednesday Testimony on Oil and Gas Subsidies & Criminal Justice Reform

I’m still in Juneau, and we are working almost exclusively on the budget. I say almost because Representative Keller was able to bring up House Bill 156, that aims to end sex education, in a last minute procedural maneuver and get the one vote he needed for it to pass. This controversial bill received strong opposition statewide and hundreds wrote or testified to ask for a no vote. Most opposition discussed how critical this information is if we ever want to address our chronically high rates of sexual assault. Our rate of rape in Alaska far exceeds the national average.

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: University Facing Drastic Cuts: Here’s How You Can Be Heard

I’ve heard from almost 100 of you in the past few days opposing the proposed $60 million cut to the University of Alaska. These draconian cuts would greatly affect the way the university functions. They would cause hundreds of layoffs, severely hamper our research abilities, and have a massive impact on our local economy.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: Meeting with Mayor Berkowtiz, thread Book Party, and Youth Leadership Training

Teachers are already back in the classroom gearing up for this year’s classes, and our kids will be joining them next week. I can hardly believe it! I hope everybody has been making the most of the summer, and that you get a chance to get out and have some fun this weekend.

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Rep. Wool’s Newsletter: Legislative Session Adjourns: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

My first session as your representative in the State House finally ended on Thursday. This isn’t the first time that session has gone into overtime, but it was the longest extension in a while. There used to be no set length, it just ended when everything was finished or when fishermen and farmers had to go back to work. I don’t think there are many fishermen or farmers in the legislature right now, but some do have regular jobs during the year, myself included.

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