|Protecting Your Rights: Serving Sand Lake, Spenard, and Turnagain|
|February 12, 2016
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The House voted this week to suspend non-budget related committee hearings. This move allows us to focus on budget topics. Budget subcommittee meetings have been extended and the House Finance Committee is meeting daily. Yesterday, the Finance Committee hosted a “Budget 101,” which is a helpful resource to understanding budget documents. I will keep you as informed as possible as we go through the next few weeks on opportunities for public testimony and other community events.
Focusing on the Budget:
I am committed to a responsible action plan for Alaska. In order to bridge the multi-billion dollar deficit, we need to look at cost savings and revenue at the same time. On Monday, the House passed a resolution that suspends all non-budget committee work. This resolution presents the House with the opportunity to focus on passing a budget that includes cost savings and pass revenue positive bills that close our deficit gap. The House Finance Committee is meeting, finance budget subcommittees are reviewing each department’s budget, and other committees are reviewing the Governor’s revenue bills.
One of the most important components of our budget work is including the public. I will work diligently to inform you about opportunities for public testimony on the budget and revenue bills in the next few weeks. Please remember to “like” my [facebook.com/repmattclaman]Facebook Page and “follow” me on [twitter.com/mattclaman]Twitter to get real time updates on opportunities to testify.
Our Constituent Survey is still available online and we encourage everyone to submit their responses.
Senator Costello and I are hosting a Constituent Meeting and Town Hall on February 20th from 4pm to 5pm at West High School (room C 252 in the newly-added continuing education building). We have invited a member of the Criminal Justice Reform Commission to join us and talk about recommendations to the Legislature designed to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control prison spending.
Additionally, as Co-Chair of Anchorage Caucus, we will host a mid-session Public Hearing on Saturday, February 27th from 11am to 2pm at the Loussac Library. Senators and Representatives who represent the Anchorage area will be available to listen to public testimony on issues of public concern and interest.
As the House and Senate works through the budget, there will be many chances for public testimony. Below is a list of opportunities to testify on bills related to Alaska’s fiscal challenge in the coming week. You can find more information about all of these bills on the Legislatures Bill Action Website. Please feel free to reach out to me and my office for more information about public testimony opportunities. The Legislature wants to hear your voice!
Alaska’s fiscal challenge is the most important issue facing the Legislature this year. That being said, there are several important non-budget bills that need to be addressed. These bills are lifesaving, cost saving, and will have a positive effect on the state for many years.
I hope you and your loved ones have a good Valentine’s Day weekend and as always, please let us know if you have other suggestions or concerns.
Rep. Matt Claman
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