NEWS: Legislation to Honor Veterans with Bravery Award License Plates Passes First Committee of Referral

Rep. Les Gara Juneau – Today, the House Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed House Bill 61 to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to produce specialty license plates for recipients of the Bronze Star, Silver Star and other meritorious awards involving valor in battle. Current law leaves out license plate designations for a number of important combat related medals.
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NEWS: New Report: 2014 Education Law, 2015 Budget Proposals Lag Education Far behind Inflation Cost Increases

Juneau – A new legislative research report requested by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) shows that public education funding will fall behind inflation next school year, under either the GOP’s three year plan passed last year, or the Governor’s proposed revisions. A number of school districts will likely cut teachers and other educational staff under both proposals. These cuts come on top of the loss of over 600 staff in Alaska’s largest school districts in fiscal years 2011-2014.
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Note from Rep. Gara: Money Losing Rockets, State Election Guide Attack Ads, & Neglected Children Who Aren’t “Interesting” Enough News

Rep. Gara Newsletter Only in Juneau could you have a $3.5 billion deficit, while some who view themselves as “fiscal conservatives” claim we should keep running a money-losing rocket business that sits idle seven days a week most weeks of every year. Here’s the difficult thing: you could fire every state employee, every trooper, every social worker and, well, everyone, and only cover roughly half of the deficit. We have to be smart about our budget, and cut things that are not smart. Unwise spending of finite state funds means we will not be able to afford the things that create educational opportunity, protect children from neglect and abuse, and protect the economy from a sea of unemployed people.
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News: Bipartisan Bill to Stop Political Attacks in Publicly-Funded Alaska Election Pamphlet Passes Committee

Rep. Les Gara Juneau – Today, the House State Affairs Committee passed House Bill 13 to eliminate the language in state statutes that allows political parties to include up to 2 pages of material in the official Alaska Election Pamphlet. Last year, some of that space was used for a negative ad. Reps. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) are seeking the repeal of the section of state statutes that allows political ads in the election pamphlet.
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