Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're doing a lot with smaller bills right now while negotiators jockey for position on the biggest pieces. It feels like a giant rock rolling really slowly toward the finish line - everybody wants to push their stuff, nobody wants to get their toes crushed.
The Senate passed a couple of bills in the last two weeks to help protect seniors, one to declare Indigenous People's Day, and another to help the Arts Council do its work with less state money. There were bills that helped keep job training going, keep phone services for the deaf & hard of hearing, and to keep health insurance for the widows and orphans of cops & firefighters killed in the line of duty. Plus there were some I voted against, like ending most scholarships for UA students.
In the background, budget writers are negotiating and we're all trying to move one another one way or the other on the revenue pieces. Things have gotten a little quieter - at least in public view - now that legislators have moved their cars back to their home districts and are getting ready for what looks like a long effort to move people off entrenched positions to a deal that can get enough votes to pass.
I'm on the conference committee on SB 26, the bill to set up rules for how Alaska uses Permanent Fund earnings to keep our state's economy stable. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Coming Back from Loss
The fire at Project Playground at Twin Lakes was awful. My family loved that playground - my kids sold lemonade to contribute to it, and the grandbabies loved to play there! You know we'll rebuild it. You can contribute through the
Juneau Community Foundation.
And you can come to the first big meeting about it on Tuesday, May 2 at 5 pm at Centennial Hall.