Operating Budget Updates:
Today, the House passed an operating budget to restore $1 million in funding to Alaska Public Broadcasting and public radio, and $18 million in restored funding to the Alaska Marine Highway and Alaska's ferry system, and restoration of the user-fee funded Ocean Rangers program. By a 38-1 vote, we defeated an amendment to defund Alaska Legal Services Corporation, which serves hundreds of at risk women and children trapped in cycles of domestic violence, in addition to providing legal services to disabled veterans. The House preserved funding for the State Arts Council, an organization that provides grants for veterans going through rehabilitative treatment to experience art, in addition to other services. We also rejected amendments to defund homeless services.