February 16, 2017
Throughout the first month of the session we have been holding budget subcommittees which afforded us the opportunity to do high level program overviews. We have been hearing from various departments about what is working, what they can do better, and how we can restructure programs in a way that provides services people are asking for, while making informed choices about the fiscal realities facing the state. These subcommittees are winding down and will soon be releasing their recommendations. Once that happens, we can move forward with educated decision making regarding the state budget. I am resolute in my devotion to passing a sustainable budget with consistent revenue streams that are fair and equitable for all Alaskans.
Members of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Finance Subcommittee. Pictured left to right: Rep. Parish, Rep.
Saddler, Rep. Reinbold, Rep Kawasaki (Chair), and Rep. Spohnholz
I continue to meet with our neighbors and organizations in the community to hear their concerns about the budget, the rising cost of health care, and education funding. This week we met with the Anchorage School District, as well as the UAA Coalition of Student Leaders to talk about the negative impacts resulting from further cuts to education. I remain committed to making sure that Alaska is a place where every child has the opportunity to receive a quality education, and am proud to see strong leadership from our students!
Members of the UAA Coalition of Student Leaders w/ Rep. Spohnholz
Pictured: Joey Sweet, Geser B. Galt, Rep. Spohnholz, David Russell- Jensen, Demry Mebane
While we continue our work, there are several specific ways that you all can get involved aside from involvement in your local community council, and attending the Second Saturday Coffee events:
- The Anchorage Caucus is happening at the Anchorage LIO on Saturday, February 25th from 10am to Noon. Come down and check in with your local representatives! Immediately following the caucus I will have a constituent meeting at Bartlett High School.
- The municipality is looking for poll workers for the upcoming municipal elections on April 4th election. More information can be found here.
- There are also several vacancies in the State of Alaska Boards and Commissions- consider applying! You can find a list of vacancies online, as well as the instructions to apply.
Finally, public testimony for HB 115 is Friday, February 17th, from 1:30pm-3:30pm in Room 519 of the Alaska State Capitol. Please feel free to contact our office at 907-465-4940 if you need help making arrangements to testify. Remember:
- Public testimony is limited to 2 minutes per testifier;
- If you are a member of a group with the same message, in the interest of time, please select a spokesperson to testify for the entire group.
- Identify yourself (first and last name), the community in which you live, and any relevant affiliations;
To testify in-person:
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the end of the allotted time period or testimony will close early.
- Please try to arrive 15 minutes early to expedite the sign-in process.
To testify by phone:
- Public members are strongly encouraged to testify from their Legislative Information Offices (LIOs), as there are limited Off Net phone lines that are prioritized for our friends and neighbors who are unable to physically reach their LIO;
- If public members cannot reach their LIO, they may use the limited Off-Net phone system by making arrangements with their local LIO. All Off Net callers are required to hang up immediately after testifying in order to keep as many lines open as possible for other callers.
Please make sure your voice is heard!