Senator Berta Gardner

May 12, 2015

Share on Facebook
Visit my FaceBook page

Serving Midtown, Spenard, and UMed

State Capitol Bldg. Rm 9
Juneau, AK 99801
 
Phone: 907-465-4930
Call Me: 1-800-331-4930

Sen.Berta.Gardner@akleg.gov
alaskasenatedems.com/gardner
facebook.com/BertaGardner

Send a letter to the Alaska Dispatch News via e-mail letters@alaskadispatch.com

Governor Bill Walker
Anchorage Office
550 W. 7th Ave, Ste 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-7450
Gov.alaska.gov
 

Lt. Governor Byron Mallott
Anchorage Office
550 W. 7th Ave, Ste 1700
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-7460
LtGov.alaska.gov

A Call to Action

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Senator Gardner meets with the press to discuss the lack of progress on the special session of the legislature.
Senator Gardner meets with the press to discuss the lack of progress on the special session of the legislature.

The House Independent Democratic Coalition and the Senate Democrats are holding public hearings in response to the disappointing lack of progress and opportunity for public involvement in the special session.

On April 30th the Republican led House and Senate majorities, over Democratic and Independent objections, voted to authorize a 13 day break from work in Juneau.  Their reasoning was to go home and hear from the public on the road system. That has not happened.

These imposed delays during special session have been aimed at running out the clock.  Without all legislators working together in one place, the current break is getting Alaska no closer to a budget.  No hearings have occurred on Medicaid expansion or Erin's Law in the past two weeks of this special session.  That's not work, it is a delay.  Alaska needs a plan of action.

Starting today, the Republican-led majorities plan to send only 2 or 3 people to Juneau for "technical" sessions.  Technical sessions do not include meetings of the full legislative body or substantive consideration of legislation.

Since special session convened on April 27th, there have been zero public hearings on Medicaid expansion and Erin's Law.  Four hearings, without public testimony, have been held on the state budget with nothing new to present.  The special session is scheduled to end May 26th. 

The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition and the Senate Democrats plan to hold a series of public hearings across Alaska starting this Thursday in Anchorage at the new Legislative Information Office.  The public hearings will focus on listening to the Alaska public on the special session issues of the state budget, Medicaid expansion, and Erin's Law.

Here are the details on the first hearing:

•    WHAT: Public testimony on the issues of special session

•    WHERE: The Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 716 W. 4th Avenue, Ground Floor Auditorium

•    WHEN: Thursday, May 14th, from 5:30-7:30 pm

•    SMARTER CUTS; BETTER TREATMENT OF CHILDREN AND SENIORS

To be clear, the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition and the Senate Democrats have offered a plan to reprioritize the current budget to protect children and seniors by cutting wasteful spending. 

Instead, the Majority is moving forward with devastating cuts that hurt regular Alaskans but don’t do anything to balance the budget, they have held the oil industry harmless, agreeing to pay them $700 million dollars in tax credits in the next fiscal year. 

Last session Majority members already proposed to use part of the Permanent Fund Dividend to pay for government, to raise gasoline taxes, and to implement a statewide income tax.  The Senate Democrats are opposed to these proposals.  We instead support a sensible budget plan which gets us a fair share for our oil before we demand greater sacrifices from children, seniors, and hardworking Alaskans.

Please attend the meeting this Thursday and let the legislature know the public supports a reasonable approach to government spending and the special session.

I’m Berta and I’m still listening,

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office

signed: Berta


To unsubscribe from Berta's Briefings click here