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Join Me at Anchorage Caucus on Saturday, Testimony Opportunities, and Other Important Updates
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been a busy couple of weeks as budget subcommittees meet to review the Governor’s proposed FY19 operating budget and ensure the best return on our investment for what we pay to provide essential public services.
The House Education Committee, which I chair, also serves as the Operating Budget Subcommittee for the Department of Education and Early Development. This year our primary focus has been on completing the parts of the budget necessary to fund education in time for schools around the state to meet their own budget deadlines.
Not knowing funding numbers from the state creates havoc for the school districts because they can’t plan properly, even though paying for education is one of the Legislature’s primary constitutional responsibilities. We always fund education, so there are good reasons to get it off the table early and move on to other parts of the budget.
Additionally, I joined in cosponsoring House Bill 287 which is needed to complete the separation of education from the rest of the state budget. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 33 to 5, but unfortunately the funding component failed to get the additional ¾ vote required by law. The bill has moved on to be considered by the Senate, which means there is still work to be done to come up with a deal to fund education on time this year.
PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON THE OPERATING BUDGET
The House Finance Committee will hold public testimony for the operating budget this week. Whether it be education, public safety, or road maintenance, we need to hear from you on what services are vital to you and your family’s well-being.
Here are the dates, times and locations and how to participate at your local Legislative Information Office. You can also submit your written testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org now through Saturday, March 3, to be included in the public record.
Thursday, March 1 (remember to sign in or call 30 minutes in advance!)
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Homer, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su & Seward
Friday, March 2:
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Juneau
2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Sitka, Petersburg, Delta Junction, Unalaska, Glennallen & Tok
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Bethel, Cordova, Kotzebue, Nome, Valdez, Wrangell
5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Off Net sites – call 907-465-4648
Saturday, March 3:
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Off Net sites – call 907-465-4648
10:15 – 11:45 a.m. Anchorage
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Off Net sites – call 907-465-4648
ANCHORAGE CAUCUS THIS SATURDAY
Come meet me and other Anchorage Senators and Representatives for the annual Anchorage Caucus! We will be meeting on March 3rd from 2pm-4pm in the Rasmuson Hall at UAA:
The legislative session has been going for a little over a month and we know you have questions! State senators and representatives from all across the Anchorage Bowl will be at UAA to talk with you one-on-one about your questions, concerns, and ideas. Parking is free!
As always, please call or email with any thoughts, ideas, or concerns.