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Make your voice heard this Saturday
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you for taking the time to read my legislative updates. Recently there have been some important developments that you should know about which could affect the lives of every Alaskan for years to come.
On Thursday, after an impasse lasting several weeks, I and other members of the Alaska House of Representatives formed a coalition of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, electing Representative Bryce Edgmon from Dillingham as our Speaker of the House.
This development followed on the heels of the release of Governor Dunleavy’s proposal to cut over $1 billion from the state budget, and to reject $480 million in federal funds in the upcoming fiscal year.
In the years since Alaska fell into recession the legislature has cut the budget by roughly 40 percent, and there are few areas left to cut without eliminating essential services and causing irreparable harm to the economy.
The cuts the governor proposes will result in the loss of an estimated 16,000 private sector jobs. Public schools alone would be cut by an additional 25 percent, and Anchorage would likely lose over 1,000 more teachers.
A full analysis will take weeks to perform, but here is some of what we know so far:
Speak out at Anchorage Caucus and constituent meetings this Weekend
I will be returning to town this weekend to attend Anchorage Caucus and to help host a constituent meeting in the district. I am here to represent you in the legislature, so I hope you will attend one or both of these events and share your thoughts. Here are the details:
This year, Anchorage Caucus will be held at the ASD Education Center at East Northern Lights Blvd. and Boniface Parkway. The event will begin with introductions, a legislative update, and public testimony, followed by breakout sessions by Senate district:
10:00 - 11:30 am: Introductions, Legislative Update, and Public Testimony
11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Breakout Sessions by Senate District
For more information and to RSVP, visit:
Mid-Session Constituent Meeting:
After Anchorage Caucus, please join me, Representative Matt Claman, and Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson in the afternoon for pizza, beverages, and an opportunity to discuss the legislative session. I look forward to seeing you!
Saturday, February 23, 1:30-3:00 pm
As always, please stay in touch by calling, emailing, or visiting my legislative Facebook page.