Ester Community Meeting TONIGHT and Update from Juneau
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Yesterday, the Alaska Legislature passed fully funded budgets for the next fiscal year that remove 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 after weeks of bipartisan negotiations between the Minority and Majority Caucuses in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
These budgets are not perfect but they represent a willingness by our Coalition members to seek bipartisan solutions to protect Alaska's economy. I am especially proud we were able to restore the millions of dollars the Republican Majorities cut from the University of Alaska budget. We need a vibrant University so ideas and innovation can be applied to our great state. This is vital in creating a strong and diversified economy.
As part of the negotiated budget deal, all previously cut funding for early learning programs like Pre-K, Parents as Teachers, and Best Beginnings was restored. The budget that passed also restores the promised $50 increase to the Base Student Allocation for Alaska’s public schools, which had been cut at the last minute by the majority in a conference committee at the end of the regular session.
Passing the budget does not mean our work is done. Far from it. Both bodies must now focus their undivided attention on the components that Governor Walker has identified as key to long-term fiscal sustainability. Oil tax credit reform is my priority, as it always has been, and our Coalition continues to work tirelessly to address the unsustainable giveaways that the oil industry benefits from. The state of Alaska has seen massive cuts to education and healthcare over the last two years. Before we talk about raising taxes, or cutting more services to the hardworking individuals and families of Alaska, we need to examine how our money is being distributed among multi-billion dollar oil companies.
WILDFIRE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS MEETING TONIGHT
Tonight the folks at the Ester Fire Department are holding a wildfire community preparedness meeting. As we approach the fire season, it is important to understand how to create a defensible space around your home for protection. Ester’s new fire chief, Tori Clyde, will be talking about Smart 911, AK Firewise and evacuation planning. Forestry will also be in attendance.
WHEN: Wednesday June 1st, 2016
TIME: 6:00 pm
WHERE: Ester Fire Department, 3570 Old Nenana Hwy