Alaskans will have chance to weigh in on long-term budget changes, starting next week

Members of the Alaska legislative comprehensive fiscal plan working group meet on July 22, 2021, in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. The group announced four days of public testimony starting on July 29. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)
Members of the Alaska legislative comprehensive fiscal plan working group meet on Thursday in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. The group announced four days of public testimony starting on July 29. (Andrew Kitchenman/KTOO and Alaska Public Media)

Alaskans will soon have a chance to weigh in with what changes to state taxes, services or permanent fund dividends they would like to see in the long term.

A working group of legislators has been meeting to consider ways to close the gap between what the state spends and what it brings in. The group plans to hear public testimony over four days beginning next week.

The first round of public testimony will be in Anchorage on Thursday, July 29, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The second will be in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on July 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The third will be in Fairbanks on July 31, from 1 to 4 p.m.

And the last will be in Juneau on Aug. 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. Residents who can’t attend the hearings can call in to provide testimony on Aug. 2.

Specific locations for the hearings were still being finalized on Thursday afternoon. Before the four days of public testimony, the working group will meet on Monday and Tuesday at 3 p.m.

As part of a deal that prevented a state government shutdown, the House agreed to launch the working group. Its goal is to recommend changes for the next special session. The special session is scheduled to start on Aug. 2, the last day of public testimony.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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