Category - Press

Democrats Offer Savings, Education, and Energy Budget Amendments

Amendments target proven ways to build today’s resources into tomorrow’s opportunity JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats offered a series of amendments to the state operating budget targeted to saving money, reducing waste, improving schools, and lowering energy costs. “Our goal all year has been to find ways to build today’s resources into tomorrow’s opportunities,” said House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau). “The Permanent Fund, our children’s education and Alaska’s home energy efficiency rebates are all proven ways to do that.”

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Democrats Move to Restore Funding for Voter-Created Gasline Authority

Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority still valuable to developing gas resources JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats offered an amendment to the budget to re-instate funding for the voter-created authority that works on developing projects to market Alaska’s natural gas. “The voters created ANGDA, and it still plays a valuable role in finding ways to get gas to Alaskans,” said Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks).

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Rep. Les Gara: Governor’s Education Proposal Really $10 million Over Last Year, Not $30 million

Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) released the following statement on the governor’s proposal to give additional one-time funding to Alaska’s schools. "The governor shouldn't suggest a $10 million increase over last year is a $30 million increase. It’s less than 1 percent more than last year's school funding and is roughly one quarter of what schools need just to keep up with inflation. The governor gave all his other departments inflation adjustments for salary and fuel increases, just not for Alaskans’ educational opportunity."

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Democrats to Gov: Stop Touting Existing Oil Industry Commitments as New

Official reports show I-Pad, other promised investment already underway under ACES JUNEAU - Today Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) called on the governor to stop touting existing oil industry commitments as new when he pitches his multi-billion dollar oil tax giveaway. “For the last four to five years, the oil industry has reported to the state that these projects are already in their plans, so how can the governor keep repeating that they are new commitments?” asked Rep. Kawasaki, a member of the House Resources Committee.

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Bi-partisan Bill to Crack Down on Arson Passes House

Bill would allow state to prosecute those who plan fires, not just those who set them JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed bi-partisan legislation to protect Alaskans from arsonists and those who support them. The legislation (HB 56) by Representative Carl Gatto (R-Palmer), Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage) and Representative Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) adds arson to the list of serious crimes under Alaska’s conspiracy laws. This will allow the state to prosecute people who plan arson in addition to those who actually set the fires.

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Alaskans Call for End to Unlimited Corporate and Union Election Spending: Petition Gets 1,000th Signer in First Week

In just one week, over 1,000 Alaskans have signed a public petition supporting Rep. Gara’s legislation calling for an end to unlimited corporate campaign spending. Such quick action by a frustrated public shows the public significantly supports a ban on unlimited elections spending by corporations, made legal by the Citizens United Supreme Court case. “The public is fed up with letting corporations, unions and others buy elections, and drown out the voices of voters who aren’t billionaires,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anc.), the lead Prime Sponsor of a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision. A Homer Tribune Article published yesterday fairly summarizes the legislative debate on this issue.

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“The House Majority supports this education based income tax as one part of the solution to grow a stable economy.”

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