Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have trimmed Gov. Sean Parnell’s operating budget by two percent.
The $9.7 billion budget was released on Monday, and every department except for corrections saw its funding brought down. Behavioral health services were reduced by $8 million, and $1 million was cut from early education.
Leadership in the House and Senate have emphasized the need for a tighter budget with oil production on the decline. The state may be facing its first deficit in nearly a decade, and could have to tap into its $16 billion reserve fund.
The finance committee is taking public testimony on the budget this week, and the bill could be up for a vote as soon as next week. After that, it will be transmitted to the Senate.
- Juneau Bar Association asks Gov. Walker to consider geographic diversity before making his selection.
- Many of Alaska’s rural schools are not working. Low student performance and high teacher turnover are just two of more obvious indicators of problems in these mostly Native school districts. Those working in the schools say it’s time for radical changes.
- The festival sold out in record time this year.
- Inuit leaders and organizations from Canada have been lobbying the U.S. for the last year. Polar bear sport hunting is an important industry to the Inuit economy.