Testify on the Budget Tomorrow!
Dear Friends, Neighbors, and fellow Fairbanksans:
I was disappointed that on Wednesday, my colleagues, with the exception of Rep. Andy Josephson, on the University budget subcommittee voted for devastating cuts to the University of Alaska budget. These cuts could cost hundreds of jobs and have a drastic effect on our economy. I supported an amendment from my colleague Rep. Josephson to bring funding back to the governor's requested level and I introduced amendments to restore funding for research, the Museum of the North, and the University Fire Department. Unfortunately Rep. Josephson and I were outvoted on all these amendments. I also spoke about how in tough economic times, it's especially important to make sure we are supporting our University.
Even though it was shocking to see such indifference for how important the University is to our state, I was encouraged by the many hundreds of you who emailed and called to share how important the University has been in your lives and ask us to consider the impacts of these cuts. I am truly thankful to all of you for taking time out of your day to contact us. Many of you have asked me how you can keep sharing your thoughts on the cuts to the University budget. You can email the House Finance Committee members at any time (find their contact information here) or you can speak up during public testimony next week.
The House Finance Committee will be hearing public testimony from Fairbanks residents tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1 from 3:45-6:00 PM. To testify, you can go to the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office located on the 3rd floor of the Alaska USA building at 1292 Sadler Way (next to Home Depot). For more information, please contact our office at 465-4976 or the Fairbanks LIO at 452-4448.
It's still early in the process, and I'm confident that if enough of you speak out we will be able to restore some of the funding that was cut.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions or comments.