Representative NEAL FOSTER http://akhouse.org/rep_foster Alaska State Legislature House Majority Coalition Site for Rep. NEAL FOSTER Mon, 09 Jul 2018 23:36:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Alaska Lawmakers Oppose Any Federal Policy Separating Children from Parents at the Southern Border http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/06/20/alaska-lawmakers-oppose-any-federal-policy-separating-children-from-parents-at-the-southern-border/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:04:05 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/06/20/alaska-lawmakers-oppose-any-federal-policy-separating-children-from-parents-at-the-southern-border/

21 Alaska State Senators and Representatives Send a Letter to President Trump 

Anchorage – Today, 21 members of the Alaska State Legislature sent a letter to President Donald Trump thanking him for responding to the wishes of the American people by pledging to end the practice of separating children from families that illegally cross the southern border of the United States. The President has confirmed that he will use his executive order authority to stop the practice, which his administration implemented earlier this year. The lead author of the letter is long-time State Representative David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks) who notes that the policy was an inappropriate and ineffective use of government resources and taxpayer dollars.

“Many of the families arriving at the southern border are fleeing life-threatening circumstances and persecution in their home country. They came to America searching for relief and asylum and instead they have been greeted with callous separation from their children. What we witnessed at the border is wrong and not in keeping with American ideals and values,” said Rep. Guttenberg.

“The growing daily outrage we heard from business, religious, and political leaders across the country is justified, and I want to add my name to the list of Americans calling for an end to any policy that separates children from families on the southern border,” said Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks).  

The letter to President Trump from the members of the Alaska Legislature cites the United Nations Human Rights Office, which has called the policy change a “serious violation” of the rights of children. The policy also violates the UN Refugee Convention, which was signed by the United States. The convention clearly states that asylum-seekers should not be penalized for entering a country illegally.

“What we have witnessed on the southern border is both heartbreaking and infuriating. I never thought we would have government agents taking children from the arms of parents and caging them like criminals when all they wanted was to find the American dream,” said Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee.    

“Forced separation of children from their mothers does not align with my Alaskan values. With this policy young children could suffer further trauma,” said Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer).

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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Coalition Members Reflect on the 30th Alaska Legislature http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/13/coalition-members-reflect-on-the-30th-alaska-legislature/ Mon, 14 May 2018 00:47:07 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/13/coalition-members-reflect-on-the-30th-alaska-legislature

Budget, Fiscal, and Other Legislative Achievements Highlight a Successful 30th Alaska Legislature

Juneau – After a flurry of legislative action, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in adjourning the Second Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature sine die early Sunday morning. Members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition reflected on the legislative achievements of the session.

“Goal number one of most politicians is to avoid political risk at all cost. That doesn’t apply to the men and women of the Alaska House Majority Coalition. We took huge political risks over the past two years and set an example for openness and transparency I hope future legislatures will emulate. Too often politics is judged by who wins and who loses. I admit that we lost some, but I stand proudly with my House Majority colleagues in celebrating our wins. We faced more obstacles to success than any legislature in Alaska’s history, and as I step away from the House I judge our Coalition a success,” said Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), House Finance Committee member.

“Nearly every day I speak with people who are concerned about the future of Alaska. I share many of those concerns. Our job as lawmakers is to work every day to help people and to secure a brighter future for our great state. My colleagues in the Alaska House Majority Coalition worked diligently for the past two years on solutions. We did this by ditching the old pattern of partisan politics in favor of hard work and listening to the will of the people,” said Rep. Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), House Finance Committee member.

“What I will remember from the last two years is the moving public testimony that brought many of us to tears. Sometimes they were tears of sadness and other times they were tears of joy. The legislative process can be very frustrating to watch and often even more frustrating to be part of, but I am deeply grateful for my friends in this Coalition. We cast aside politics to work together. In doing so we addressed some incredibly important issues during what will always be considered a remarkable legislative session,” said Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Education Committee.

“The most important thing we can all do to protect the future of Alaska is to realize that the politics of winners and losers is counterproductive to real solutions. I took some extremely tough votes over the past two years with the goal of protecting Alaskan jobs, the Alaska economy, and our education system. If the alternative is inaction, there was no choice at all. We did a lot of good things this session, some very good,” said Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks), Chair of the House Energy Committee.  

“I am thrilled to have passed health care price transparency, protected the Permanent Fund, and secured funding increases for the next two years for K-12 and pre-k education,” said Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee.

“I came into office last year dedicated to addressing our fiscal issues, but also to see reforms that build trust and create transparency for the people of Alaska. As we gavel out of my first term in office, I’m both proud and humbled by what has been accomplished. This legislature, I’ve passed a monumental legislative reform package, been part of a historic vote protecting the Permanent Fund and PFD, and have taken critical steps towards increasing public safety, education, and getting our economic future back on track. It’s been amazing to get to connect with my neighbors and to serve the people of District 22 with everything I’ve got,” said Rep. Jason Grenn (I-Anchorage), House Finance Committee member.

“I’m proud that our House Majority Coalition prioritized public safety by passing rape kit reform legislation along with funding to address our backlog of untested rape kits. This is a huge step forward and will bring justice to victims,” said Rep. Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the House Resources Committee.

“Our Coalition formed with the goal to ignore party labels and partisanship in favor of fiscal solutions for the State of Alaska and all Alaskans. We passed a responsible operating budget that makes sure essential public services are delivered and advanced the dialogue around the need for long-term fiscal solutions. I am grateful that our Coalition stood fast for a larger $1,600 PFD this fall when both the Governor and Senate Majority wanted PFDs set around $1,000,” said House Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer).

“The Alaska House Majority Coalition elected the first Alaska Native Speaker of the House, and we are the first non-binding majority caucus in state history. We are the most diverse majority caucus in history with conservative Republicans, progressive Democrats, strong-willed Independents, and everything in between. Every day we went to work for the people of Alaska, and for that I am proud,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).

“The Alaska Permanent Fund and the PFDs that represent our shared oil wealth are so important to the Alaskan way of life that I refused to toss them aside in favor of politics. The Permanent Fund dividend will continue to be eyed with envy by politicians, special interests, and outsiders until it’s protected in the Alaska Constitution,” said Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage), Chair of the House Rules Committee.

“I am grateful to serve in the 30th Alaska Legislature. Our coalition was successful in early funding public education for the next two years, and we came together to pass some important public safety reforms. A more personal victory was the passage of House Bill 213 to modernize the Alaska Public School Trust Fund. The bill will bring in millions of new earnings from a $650 million fund by modernizing the fund’s management to allow a more predictable draw and continued growth. The bill also creates an education raffle and endowment, the proceeds of which will go to schools on top of their regular funding,” said Rep. Justin Parish (D-Juneau), Co-Chair of the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee.

“We made lives better for children, those battling addiction, and those who deserve to be safe in their homes. I can walk out of this session proud that we passed some, but not all of the things I believe we needed to pass to improve this state,” said House Finance Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage).

“Our Coalition will be noteworthy in Alaska history for bravely confronting Alaska’s enormous fiscal instability and uncertainties. Whatever might be said about this majority, we acted boldly, courageously, and without fear. The House Resources Committee was unique in presenting legislation reflecting the viewpoints of all Alaskans, including but not limited to the voice of resource developers. The Resources Committee heard or advanced legislation on everything from the Pebble Mine to climate change, and from wildlife management to toxic flame-retardant chemicals. Perhaps never in the history of Alaska was there a more balanced showing of the many environmental and natural resources issues confronting Alaska,” said Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), House Resources Committee Co-Chair.

“Our Coalition was unwavering in our commitment to improve public safety and respond to the concerns of our friends and neighbors in the community. House Bill 312 advanced the shared public safety priorities of the House, Senate, Governor Walker, and the people of Alaska. That bill, together with the five new prosecutors and other public safety measures we funded in the budget, will make Alaska safer, but we still have work to do to respond to the opioid crisis and to make up for the ill-advised cuts to public safety over the last several years,” said Rep. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Representing House District 38 in the Alaska Legislature has been one of the greatest privileges so far in my career. And yet, it has also been very challenging at times. Alaska is faced with wide-reaching, complex, issues and I joined the effort to find solutions on day 53. I have worked with my new colleagues for the last 64 days trying to serve the everyday Alaskans who need government to work for them, not against them. With that said, I am looking forward to going home. It’s almost berry picking season,” said Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky (D-Bethel), Co-Chair of the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee.

“Every member of the Legislature brings his or her own set of principles and priorities to Juneau, and they all have value and legitimacy. But to get things done—and to do right by the people—you eventually have to meet somewhere in the middle. It’s not easy to find that balance, and no one enjoys compromising on the goals they have for the state and for the district they serve, but I’m proud that the House raised the dividend to $1600, and that we increased funding for our schools, for safer towns and villages, for fish & game management, and more. Also, I am pleased that a tone of integrity, trust, and cooperation this session helped lead us to its successful conclusion, well within our Constitutional deadline,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham).

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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Coalition Members Will Take Questions After Adjourning the Session Sine Die http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/12/coalition-members-will-take-questions-after-adjourning-the-session-sine-die/ Sun, 13 May 2018 03:23:35 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/12/coalition-members-will-take-questions-after-adjourning-the-session-sine-die

Alaska House Majority Coalition End of Session Press Availability Scheduled for Tonight

Juneau – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition will hold a press availability tonight to answer questions from reporters covering the 30th Alaska State Legislature. The press availability will be held 15 minutes after the Alaska House of Representatives adjourns the Second Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature sine die.

The press availability will be held in the Speaker’s Chambers of the Capitol Building in Juneau.

The public and media are welcome to attend.  For media unable to attend in person, participation is available by teleconference by calling toll free at (844) 586-9085.

WHO: Alaska House Majority Coalition members

WHAT: Alaska House Majority Coalition press availability

WHERE: Speaker’s Chambers, room 210, Alaska State Capitol, Juneau

WHEN: 15 minutes after the House adjourns the legislative session sine die

Teleconference: 1 (844) 586-9085

Live stream: http://akl.tv

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

Mike Mason
Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 444-0889
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

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Budget Deal Reached; State Operating Budget Passes the Alaska Legislature http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/12/338/ Sun, 13 May 2018 02:38:01 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/12/338

FY 2019 Budget Funds a Larger PFD and Includes More Money for Public Safety

Juneau – A compromise budget agreement between the Alaska House of Representatives and the Alaska State Senate was reached today, resulting in the passage of the fiscal year 2019 operating budget for the State of Alaska. Today’s budget deal prevents any disruption in essential public services as the State of Alaska enters the busy summer tourism and fishing seasons. House Bill 286 features total General Fund spending of $6.27 billion. The budget includes Alaska House Majority Coalition priorities such as $942 million to inflation-proof the value of the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, $1.02 billion to pay for $1,600 Permanent Fund Dividends for each eligible Alaskan, a $10 million investment in the University of Alaska above the Governor’s proposal, and multiple measures to improve public safety and law enforcement in Alaska.

“This budget is the culmination of a lot of hard work and compromises on all sides. Our Coalition fought hard for a larger Permanent Fund Dividend because we know how vital PFDs are to Alaskans. The continued long-term health of the Permanent Fund, and in turn the PFD, is a key priority for our coalition, so we stood strong in demanding that the fund be inflation-proofed for the first time in three years,” said Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham). “Throughout the public process to develop this budget, the people of Alaska were loud and clear that public safety is a major priority. Our Coalition worked to ensure no cuts to State Troopers, and we insisted on funding for more prosecutors and public defenders as part of the budget compromise.”

The FY 19 state operating budget incorporates the rules-based Percent of Market Value (POMV) approach that lawmakers approved earlier this week to access the earnings of the $65 billion Alaska Permanent Fund to pay for essential public services and PFDs. The 5.25 percent draw totals $2.7 billion. $1.69 billion will be used to help pay for public services like public education, State Troopers, fish and game management, and road maintenance. $1.02 billion will be used to fund $1,600 PFDs this fall.

“Developing a responsible budget during a fiscal crisis is no easy task. We partially did that with the budget bills that passed today. I take comfort in knowing that by passing a budget in a timely manner the State of Alaska can deliver the essential public services that keep our state running. Further action will be needed to ensure sustainable income for our public services. I represent an area heavily dependent on the tourism and commercial fishing industries, and this budget allows those industries to go forward without interruption,” said House Finance Committee Co-Chair Rep. Paul Seaton (R-Homer), who served as the lead negotiatior for the House on the HB 286 Conference Committee.

Today, the Alaska House of Representatives approved the budget compromise by a vote of 21-19. The Alaska State Senate passed the compromise by a vote of 15-4. The Fiscal Year 2019 Operating and Mental Health Budgets will now be sent to Alaska Governor Bill Walker for his consideration.

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

Mike Mason
Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 444-0889
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

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Statement on Senate Bill 26 Conference Committee http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/05/02/statement-on-senate-bill-26-conference-committee/ Wed, 02 May 2018 23:53:18 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/?p=337






Sen. Anna MacKinnon

Republican, District G

State Capitol Room 516

Juneau AK, 99801

907-465-3777

Sen.Anna.MacKinnon@akleg.gov

 

 

Alaska State Legislature

Press Release

Rep. Neal Foster

Democrat, District 39

State Capitol Room 410

Juneau AK, 99801

907-465-3789

Rep.Neal.Foster@akleg.gov

 

 

 

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2018

Statement on Senate Bill 26 Conference Committee

JUNEAU — The joint Senate and House Conference Committee today released a new version of Senate Bill 26 that may provide a compromise to resolving the state’s fiscal problems. The draft bill is the product of significant negotiations between the House and the Senate.

The conference committee was appointed to find agreement after the House and Senate approved different versions of Senate Bill 26 last year.

The new draft bill limits the amount of money legislators may withdraw each year from the Permanent Fund’s Earnings Reserve Account. The structured draw in the bill will support the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation in making prudent investment decisions, providing the necessary tools to maintain a healthy fund and dividend program. The draft does not address how the money will be spent and does not change existing law governing the dividend.

Specifically, the conference committee work draft:

  • Limits, for three years, an annual draw the Permanent Fund Corporation has testified is sustainable – 5.25% (effective rate of 4.35% in 2019) of the five-year rolling average of Permanent Fund’s value. After three years, the draw decreases to 5%;
  • Removes the statutory split and annual dividend amount in previous versions of SB 26;
  • Maintains the statutory dividend calculation in existing law;
  • Conforms statute to a recent Alaska Supreme Court decision.

Sen. Anna MacKinnon released the following statement:

“Transitioning to a structured, rules-based withdrawal mechanism to allow some Permanent Fund earnings to help support state government and essential services is widely acknowledged to be the single most important action we can take to resolve our state fiscal problems. This action alone will solve more than 80 percent of our deficit.”

Rep. Neal Foster released the following statement:

“This work draft does not change, in any way, the existing law governing the Permanent Fund dividend. The bill focuses instead on one key change: using an endowment model to protect the Permanent Fund and future dividends.”

For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.

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House Passes Resolution on Proposed Plan for Offshore Lease Sales http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/02/21/house-passes-resolution-on-proposed-plan-for-offshore-lease-sales/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:19:55 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2018/02/21/house-passes-resolution-on-proposed-plan-for-offshore-lease-sales/

2017 House Majority Session Press Generator

 

Alaska House Majority Coalition logoALASKA HOUSE
MAJORITY COALITION

AKHOUSE.ORG
CONTACT: Drew Cason (907) 575-2068
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2018

 

House Passes Resolution on Proposed Plan for Offshore Lease Sales

Alaska House Adds Voice to Congressional Delegation and Governor

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Resolution 6, weighing in on the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program. The current draft program calls for lease sales in 14 of the 15 planning areas in Alaska (there are a total of 26 planning areas across the country).

“With this resolution, the Alaska House joins Alaska’s entire Congressional delegation, the Governor, and a number of tribes and other stakeholders who have requested that 11 of the 14 planning areas be removed from the draft proposed plan,” said Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) “The Chukchi and Beaufort Seas planning areas have far and away the greatest estimated recoverable reserves for oil and gas, and while the Cook Inlet Planning Area has more modest potential, it is a critical source of affordable energy for Alaska’s most populous region. Lease sales in other areas are unlikely to attract significant interest, would create tremendous controversy, and would wastefully expend State and Federal money on lease sales which would not lead to development.”

HR 6 was successfully amended on the floor by Representative John Lincoln (D-Kotzebue) to further request that the existing deferrals in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas be continued in future lease sales.

“My district is home to the world’s most productive zinc mine, and one of the world’s preeminent oil fields,” said Rep. Lincoln “But we also rely on subsistence and have preserved our way of life by keeping it in the forefront of our minds whenever we pursue economic development. My amendment simply asks that we keep intact decades of work between industry and local communities identifying and protecting a crucial migratory corridor for Bowhead whales and two modest subsistence hunting areas adjacent to the whaling communities of Kaktovik and Utqiaġvik.”

Originally introduced by the House Rules committee, Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) was added as the resolution’s primary sponsor on the House floor at the request of Minority Whip Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) so that other members could add their names as co-sponsors.

“I am grateful that the House was able to move quickly and show overwhelming support for both economic development and respect for all stakeholders in that development,” said Speaker Edgmon, “I appreciate the Administration giving us the opportunity to speak to this issue, and hope they heed the combined voices of our Federal delegation, Governor, and State House.”

House Resolution 6 passed with strong bipartisan support, by a vote of 33-5. The resolution will be presented to Senator Murkowski after she makes her annual address to the Legislature on February 22nd.

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Deputy Press Secretary Drew Cason at (907) 575-2068.

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Drew Cason
Deputy Press Secretary, Alaska House Majority Coalition
Phone: (907) 575-2068
akhouse.org
www.facebook.com/AKCoalition
www.twitter.com/AKCoalition

 

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NEWS: Committee Meetings Scheduled to Examine Public Safety in Alaska http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/09/28/news-committee-meetings-scheduled-to-examine-public-safety-in-alaska/ Thu, 28 Sep 2017 23:18:40 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/09/28/news-committee-meetings-scheduled-to-examine-public-safety-in-alaska/

Hearings Will Focus on Links Between Budget Cuts and Rising Crime Rates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2017

Anchorage – The Finance Committee in the Alaska House of Representatives has scheduled a series of budget subcommittee meetings to discuss the nexus between crime rates and available public resources in Alaska. The budget subcommittees for the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law will meet on October 5th at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office (LIO).

WHO: Staff with the Legislative Finance Division and the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law; and leaders in criminal justice and law enforcement in Alaska
WHAT: House Finance Budget Subcommittees for the Departments of Public Safety, Administration, Corrections, and Law
WHERE: Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 1500 W. Benson Blvd., 2nd Floor Conference Room
WHEN: Thursday, October 5, 1:00 p.m. until approximately 5:00 p.m.
Live stream: http://akl.tv

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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NEWS: Coalition Pledges to Diligently Consider Governor Walker’s New Revenue Proposal and Criminal Justice Reform Bill http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/09/22/news-coalition-pledges-to-diligently-consider-governor-walkers-new-revenue-proposal-and-criminal-justice-reform-bill/ Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:42:01 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/09/22/news-coalition-pledges-to-diligently-consider-governor-walkers-new-revenue-proposal-and-criminal-justice-reform-bill/

Upcoming Special Session is an Opportunity to Continue Work on a Comprehensive Fiscal Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2017

Anchorage – Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) issued the following statement in response to Governor Walker’s proclamation calling the 30th Alaska State Legislature into a 4th Special Session next month. The Governor is asking lawmakers to consider criminal justice reform legislation and a bill to create new revenue for the State of Alaska.

“Our Coalition’s number one goal is to respond to the ongoing fiscal crisis and recession by developing and passing a comprehensive fiscal plan, as we did during the regular session. However, our commitment in the House is meaningless unless the Senate follows suit,” said Speaker Edgmon. “We are cautiously optimistic that the demonstrated need for fiscal solutions will be recognized by the State Senate. If they work with us and we all work with the Governor, solutions can be found that will protect the economy and the thousands of jobs and livelihoods at risk from continued legislative inaction.”

“The members of the Coalition are committed to protecting public safety and ensuring that the Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement agencies have the tools and resources they need to protect Alaskans in their homes and businesses,” said Speaker Edgmon. “We will work cooperatively with the members of the State Senate and the House Minority Caucus on the proposed changes to Alaska’s criminal justice statutes called for in Senate Bill 54, which Governor Walker included on the call for the upcoming Special Session.”

The 4th Special Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature is scheduled to begin on October 23rd in Juneau.

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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NEWS: Alaska House Majority Coalition Responds to October Special Session Announcement http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/08/31/news-alaska-house-majority-coalition-responds-to-october-special-session-announcement/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 21:35:30 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/08/31/news-alaska-house-majority-coalition-responds-to-october-special-session-announcement/

Coalition Members Willing to Consider Governor Walker’s As Yet to Be Disclosed Revenue Measure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2017

Anchorage – The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition respond to news that Alaska Governor Bill Walker will call the 30th Alaska State Legislature into a 4th Special Session in late October. The special session will be focused on a not yet disclosed revenue measure, or measures, to fill the projected $2.7 billion budget gap brought on by the continued low price of oil, which has pushed Alaska into a fiscal crisis and lingering recession. 

“The facts are that low oil prices are likely for the foreseeable future and we currently have less than one year’s worth of savings to fund essential state services like public education and public safety. That means it is time for all of us to put aside politics and come together to find a sustainable fiscal solution for Alaska,” said Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham). “The members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition are prepared to go back to work to finish what we started earlier this year when we passed a full fiscal plan that included new revenue to fill the budget gap. I am concerned that if action is not taken this fall the politics that inevitably spring up during an election year will get in the way of real and comprehensive fiscal solutions next year.”

It’s anticipated that the 4th Special Session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature will be called to begin on Monday, October 23rd in Juneau. However, the details will be set in the official proclamation from the Governor that is forthcoming.     

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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NEWS: Coalition Members Appalled by President Trump’s Response to the Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/08/16/news-coalition-members-appalled-by-president-trumps-response-to-the-violence-in-charlottesville-virginia/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:23:46 +0000 http://akhouse.org/rep_foster/2017/08/16/news-coalition-members-appalled-by-president-trumps-response-to-the-violence-in-charlottesville-virginia/

The President was Wrong to Equivocate Demonstrations for Bigotry and Against Bigotry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2017

Anchorage – The members of the bipartisan Majority organization in the Alaska House of Representatives are appalled by President Donald Trump’s response to last week’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia. The President insisted that blame for the violence and hatred be equally spread among all participants, including those protesting Nazi, white-supremacist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic ideology.

“President Trump was flat out wrong to equate those standing up to hate and violence with those perpetrating such acts. Intentionally or not, the President bypassed his chance to bring Americans together in the wake of these tragic events, which clearly show we have a lot of work to do to stamp out racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and intolerance,” said Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham). “It is heartening to see Americans of all political stripes and backgrounds speak out loud and clear against violence and hate and in favor of hope and unity. We have made great strides in Alaska to overcome racism and ethnic hatred, which has made our state stronger. If embraced, our diversity gives us the tools to conquer any challenges, if we fight it, we only hurt ourselves.”

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.

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