NEWS: Border Closure Between Hyder and Stewart, B.C. Prompts Visit by Rep. Dan Ortiz To Meet With Area Residents and Canadian Officials

Juneau – The Canadian Border Services Agency plans to close the border between Hyder, Alaska and Stewart, B.C. between midnight and 8 a.m. beginning April 1.  CBSA cites cost as a main reason for the planned border closure. Currently, the border crossing is staffed 24 hours a day to allow residents and visitors to use the only road entry point into Hyder.  District 36 Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) plans to spend the next several days meeting with Hyder residents and Canadian officials in an effort to find a solution to the problem.

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NEWS: The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Unites in Opposition to Operating Budget that Harms Kids, Seniors and the Neediest of Alaskans

Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Thursday night without the support of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition. All 13 members voted no because the budget harms seniors and children while protecting corporate interests and unaffordable projects. The Republican budget includes the total elimination of pre-k programs and a significant $32 million cut in funding for K-12 public education. Overall, the budget deficit still remains $3.5 billion. The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition proposed millions of dollars in spending cuts while supporting efforts to protect education, seniors and kids.

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News: Proposed Cuts to Public Education Funding Dangerous and Unacceptable

Juneau – Education is Alaska’s best investment and the members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition adamantly object to a proposal to reduce public education funding by over 18 percent. The House Finance Budget Subcommittee for the Department of Education and Early Development approved the FY 2016 budget proposal Tuesday night despite the objections of Rep. Sam Kito III (D-Juneau) and Rep. Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan).

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NEWS: House Minority Members Respond to Governor’s State of the Budget Address

JUNEAU – Alaska Governor Bill Walker presented his first State of the Budget address Thursday night. Governor Walker outlined both short and long-term plans to deal with a daunting fiscal crisis brought on by declining oil production and prices. The House Minority, made up of Democrats and an Independent, appreciates the care Governor Walker took in suggesting ideas for the Alaska Legislature to consider in the coming months.

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