Early Education Update, PFD Application Deadline, and Vote by Mail Reminder

I am excited to report a major step forward in efforts to better coordinate and utilize state resources dedicated to early childhood in Alaska. When it comes to young children, there is no line between early education and early development. You really can’t have one without the other, and there is no more important time for children to learn and grow than during their earliest years.

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House Unanimously Passes Legislation Authorizing Commercial Hemp Farming in Alaska

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances and to authorize commercial farming of hemp in Alaska. Senate Bill 6 passed the State Senate unanimously last April, and today the bill passed the house by a vote of 36-0. The bill is sponsored by Senator Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) who sought to build on the efforts to authorize industrial hemp by former State Senator Johnny Ellis from Anchorage. SB 6 was carried on the House floor by Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage).

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Reps. Gara and Drummond to Push Needed Increase in School Support

Juneau – Today, Representatives Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) introduced legislation to increase the Base Student Allocation (BSA) in Alaska by $100. The BSA is the amount provided to school districts each year for each student enrolled. Funding for public education in Alaska is roughly $25 million less today than compared to 2015, according to the non-partisan Legislative Finance Division. The loss is even greater, $90 million if you consider the effects of inflation.

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