Friends and Neighbors,
Recently, the legislature lost Max Gruenberg, one of the longest serving members of the Alaska Legislature, and a dear friend to many. After 22 years of public service, he left a legacy of work that reflected his vision of what it takes to make Alaska a great state.
Max was known as the “great amender” amongst his colleagues and the public. He caught the little things that made big differences. Max always did the right thing. Whether he agreed with the bill or not, he fixed it. To be known for always doing the right thing—that’s a great legacy.
The House Judiciary Committee room was named “The Max Gruenberg Committee Room” to honor his devotion and time spent as a member of the Judiciary Committee. In the next few days the Governor will decide who will fill out Max’s term.
Rep. Dave Donely and Rep. Max Gruenberg hard at work in the 1990’s
Last week the finance subcommittees finished their work and advanced their proposed budgets to the full finance committee. I’m working hard to mold the budget to fit the needs of Alaskans. It is important that the legislature doesn’t cut its way into a recession to pacify the idea some have to, “right-size government”.
The Director of the Office of Management and Budget recently produced a letter that was critical of the legislature’s attempt to move the state’s responsibilities to the hands of local government. One egregious thing being done is to charge seniors to be on the waiting list for the Pioneer Homes.
Click HERE to see a link to a letter from the Office of Management and Budget.
The University of Alaska remains one of my highest priorities. Our unique geography finally puts Alaska in worldwide focus—top dead and center. The UA is the premier university on arctic research worldwide. Pulling resources away would squander the legacy of work that has been done by our pioneers, professors, students and scientists. It would mean walking away from a history of hard work and accomplishments. Educated Alaskans are the future of our state.
Rep. Guttenberg with the UAF Alumni Association
This week the majority announced their decision to appeal the Superior Court’s dismissal of the ongoing lawsuit against the Governor for expanding Medicaid. The expansion, has already begun to show its benefits. With thousands more Alaskans receiving access to health care, it seems counterproductive to continue a costly lawsuit that is rooted in ideology. This is not what is best for the state. The decision is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Until then, Medicaid expansion will continue to provide for a healthier Alaska.