Nearly 1,800 Alaskans have weighed in on budget; 5-to-1 opposition of Governor Dunleavy’s proposal
JUNEAU – The House Finance Committee on Thursday released details about how many Alaskans weighed in during a series of community meetings on the budget.
The meetings held over the past week were the first of their kind and provided Alaskans the opportunity to communicate directly with lawmakers in a format that was open to the public.
“The outpouring and the passion from Alaskans has been incredible,” said Speaker Bryce Edgmon. “We’ve heard from Alaskans who would lose access to healthcare if Governor Mike Dunleavy’s budget passes as-is. We’ve heard from teachers who don’t know if they’ll have a job this fall, elders on a fixed income who fear they’ll lose senior benefits, and people in communities at risk of losing their only highway.”
“The House Majority hears you and thanks everyone who’s spoken out,” said Rep. Chuck Kopp. “As we continue to build this budget, our goal is to balance living within our means and providing for the critical needs of our most vulnerable residents.”
BY THE NUMBERS
- 1,000. That’s how many people provided feedback during community meetings in Anchorage, Bethel, Fairbanks, Kenai, Ketchikan, Juneau, Mat-Su, and Sitka.
- 5-to-1. Of the people who provided input on the budget, 990 voiced opposition to the governor’s drastic cuts. 202 supported the governor’s plan, leaving a 5-to-1 margin of opposition.
- 839. The leading topic of discussion statewide was K-12 education. Overall, 839 voiced opposition to Governor Dunleavy’s proposed cuts to school funding.
- 611. Another common refrain was a push for a sustainable Permanent Fund Dividend, rather than the governor’s proposal to double the PFD. 611 spoke to their desire for balance between the size of the PFD and the state’s ability to provide critical services Alaskans rely on. 206 oppose reducing the dividend.
- 300+. More than 300 people spoke out in favor of preserving funding for Medicaid, the University, and Alaska Marine Highway System.
- 894. Nearly 900 people spoke in favor of the State of Alaska taking a step to diversify revenue.
The House Majority is a 25-member coalition of Democratic, Republican, and Independent representatives from large and small communities across our state. The House Majority is committed to serving all Alaskans with integrity and transparency, and to practicing informed leadership so that every citizen’s quality of life will improve for generations to come.