hope this summer finds you healthy and getting out to enjoy the outdoors now that the rain has dissipated for the moment. I had the amazing opportunity to drive our car back from Juneau with family, and even though there was a little bit of rain, we got to see Alaska in all her glory!
As the safety net programs of the pandemic era wind down, Alaskan families are facing bigger bills for healthcare, child care, student loans, and even groceries. Inflation has hit hard, affecting us all, and these programs have been a saving grace for families in our great state. Now, the lifeline is being abruptly cut off, leaving families vulnerable to financial devastation.
Last week, Governor Dunleavy announced $200M in budget cuts, which we know will have devastating impacts to education, healthcare, workforce development, and other funding that is important for fostering the future of Alaska’s economy. The budget that the Legislature passed was fiscally responsible and was the first in nearly a decade that did not draw from savings.
Yesterday, Governor Dunleavy announced his budget vetoes, including cuts to the school funding increase, UA projects, capital projects, Head Start funding, maintenance of K-12 school buildings, rural public radio funding, and more. It is a lot to process, and we are still trying to understand the implications of these cuts.
We are getting settled in to our Anchorage office, and wanted to thank everyone who took the time last Wednesday to join us for our first Marvelous Midtown Meetup! We had great conversation over lemonade and cookies about how to make our community a stronger, safer, smarter place to live.
I know many of you have already read the headlines and have a sense of what took place over the past four months in our Capitol. Overall, I am satisfied with how things turned out, given the way the House organized and the deep divisions that were revealed during the session.