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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A Crossroads – Not a Dead End

This has been a week of democracy in action! Hundreds of Alaskans in Juneau and thousands across the state have taken the time to express their despair about the vetoes. I appreciate all who have contacted me through email and phone and been moved by those who have personally participated to urge support for vital public services. My heart goes out to those who will be hurt by these cuts.

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