Friends and Neighbors,
Yesterday the Alaska State Legislature confirmed the appointment of Representative Ivy Spohnholz to fill the late Representative Max Gruenberg’s seat. Governor Walker chose Ms. Spohnholz from three individuals whose names were put forth by the Alaska Democratic Party. The House Democrats then voted unanimously to confirm the Governor’s appointment. Her first day on the job she gaveled in to one of the most important legislatures in the state’s history. With the floor lasting until almost 4am, she joked about getting two days on the job in one day.
Rep. Spohnholz is sworn in to the 29th Legislature
Early this morning the House passed out the FY 17 operating budget, with over $425 million in cuts to the Undesignated General Fund on top of the Governor’s proposed budget cuts. If the House cuts stick, that would reduce the total operating budget by over 30% or $3.8 billion from what it was two years ago. Since 2015 nearly 1,000 positions have been eliminated, and if the massive cuts to the University go through hundreds more could be laid off. I am concerned that the cuts that passed through the House yesterday could push Alaska into a recession. The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition fought hard throughout the night to restore funding for the University, senior and disability benefits as well as education. The budget will now make its way to the Senate.
This weekend I will be in Fairbanks for the Arctic Science Summit Week and will be holding a mid-session constituent meeting at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office. Please stop by to chat with me about what’s important to you, so that I can better represent our great district.
For information on the Arctic Science Summit Week click here.
WHAT: Constituent Meeting
WHERE: Fairbanks LIO, in the Alaska USA building next to Home Depot.
WHEN: Monday, March 14th 5-7pm