Friends and Neighbors,
May 17th, marked day 121, the last constitutional day of session. The House adjourned at 9:02 pm, and at 9:10 pm the Governor issued an executive proclamation calling us into our first (and hopefully only) special session.
The Legislature is constitutionally required to pass a fully funded budget and will focus on key fiscal issues during this special session. House Finance developed a fully funded fiscal plan that passed the House but upon transmittance to the Senate, they refused to take up key components of our fiscal plan.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that Alaska have a balanced and sustainable fiscal solution. This does not mean “draining and praying” or relying on cuts to essential services and implementing regressive policies like cutting PFDs - it means increased revenue and the oil industry paying its fair share. We have been and will continue to be ready to do the work and make the tough decisions needed to save Alaska’s future.
I was glad to come home to Fairbanks last week, even if it was just a brief visit. I had the great opportunity of being on the Arctic Broadband Forum’s The Government’s Role in Broadband Development in the Arctic: Opportunities & Challenges panel. Others on the panel included Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and government officials from Canada and Finland. Regardless of our nation, we are all working towards the same goal: access to adequate broadband in the Arctic.
During the weekend, I spoke at the Rally for Education. The Senate’s proposed cuts show that they are not prioritizing education and ignoring its key role in Alaska’s economic success. I would like to thank all those that came out in support of education and advocated for what they believe in. I would also like to thank those that were able to make it to the constituent meeting. For those that could not, below are links to important presentations on Alaska’s fiscal policy that I provided at the constituent meeting.
P.S. How do you like the new e-news format?
|Ester, Goldstream 1 & 2, Steese East/Gilmore, Steese West, and University Hills|