Working Together in Difficult Times

Vetoes, Pioneer Homes Rate Increases, and the Loss of A Colleague
On Tuesday, after having taken significant actions last week, the legislature adjourned the second special session of 2019. Just yesterday, with the ball in his court, the governor acted, vetoing nearly $35 million in projects and programs from the capital budget. Along with the Pioneer Home rate increases approved by the administration this week, and the great loss of Senator Birch, it was a week for contemplation and decisions on how to move forward.

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The Work Ahead

This week has been one of a lot of action in the Alaska Legislature — and at the bargaining table — as well as a week of continuing anxiety among thousands of Alaskans.

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Taking Steps Forward

Try as we might to reach a solution, the legislature is still in session wrestling with tough decisions that have huge impacts on Alaska’s economy and finances. In summary, a bi-partisan majority in the House this week restored most of the vetoes and approved payment of a $1,600 PFD.

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Working Towards Compromise

This week the House Finance Committee heard from thousands of Alaskans from across the state and from all walks of life about the governor’s vetoes, the state budget, and the PFD. Many citizens pleaded with the legislature to protect programs and services they care deeply about. Others spoke of the need for further cuts. Various testifiers recommended paying a full PFD or, alternately, reducing the PFD to pay for services. Some said it’s time to talk taxes. Regardless of their perspective, it was an impressive showing of diverse Alaskans speaking out about what matters to them, their family, their business, their community, and their state.

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