Note from Rep. Gara: Wednesday Public Testimony: Income Tax and an Increased PFD

It’s that time again. We are taking a second round of public testimony on a bill aimed at solving much our $2.8 billion deficit. Unlike other plans proposed by some legislators, which require major cuts to schools, the university, help for abused and neglected children and those with disabilities, House Bill 115 recognizes reality.

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Rep. Spohnholz’s Newsletter: Testify About Income Tax

The first week of Budget Basics, we talked about the context of the budget discussion. Due to a significant drop in oil revenue, we have a $2.7 billion dollar deficit. Next, we discussed the importance of generating sustainable revenue to support essential services, like public safety and education. I shared with you last week that the house passed a fully funded, responsible operating budget.

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Rep. Tarr’s Newsletter: TOMORROW is constituent meeting & budget update

Mahatma Gandhi’s words have resonated strongly with me this past week while defending the budgets of Alaska’s education and public welfare systems. Now is not the time to reduce the level of services we offer students, or lose teachers due to pink slips as the result of delayed school budgets. Nor is it the time to require an ever-shrinking police force to handle ever-increasing cases with diminished resources.

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Speaker Edgmon’s Mar. 24th Newsletter: House Finance Progresses on Major Components of Fiscal Plan

The Finance Committee in the House held back-to-back hearings all week on two cornerstones of the House Majority Coalition’s solution to Alaska’s fiscal crisis. HB 115 protects PFDs, restructures the Permanent Fund in a way that helps pay for vital government services, assures that the multi-billion-dollar endowment continues to grow, and diversifies revenues with a modest income tax.

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Newsletter: Public Testimony on Oil Subsidies and Fiscal Plan

It’s now Day 66 of the 90 day session. Despite delays on the budget process I discussed last week, the legislature continues to move forward in an effort to protect our economy and avoid any more special sessions. The House Majority believes we should respect timeline and get done on time with a balanced budget and significant deficit reduction plans.

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