Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is Friday and that means our weekly constituent newsletter is ready for everyone. We believe it is important to share with all of you information on what we are doing to prevent the spread of deadly synthetic drugs, how our caucus is working to bring state spending under control and the special recognition awarded to three of our community’s amazing athletes! We really appreciate everyone taking a few minutes to stay in touch with us through this newsletter.
The House Finance Committee considered over 200 amendments that would have reduced the size of government this week. Brought forward by House Republican members of the Finance Committee, amendments were offered to cut premium pay, duplicated spending, funding for deleted positions and non-critical programs, such as trade advertising. Unfortunately, nearly all of these reductions were declined by the House Majority, who chose instead to increase the budget by over $200 Million.
When our state is facing an over $2 Billion deficit, we can’t keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Especially when the House Majority is looking to tax Alaskans, government needs to take action to cut its costs and better reflect its revenue. Growing the budget during a fiscal crisis and then asking Alaskans to pick up the tab is unrealistic and ignores the recessionary effect of this downturn on families’ pocketbooks.
The budget will now head to the House floor, where we will continue to work to convince colleagues of the serious need to right-size government and to offer amendments to that effect. We will keep you posted as this budget process continues!
Fighting Opioid Abuse
On Monday, legislation, House Bill 24, that criminalizes the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink”, was overwhelmingly passed by the Alaska State House. It empowers state and local law enforcement to put dealers behind bars and save the lives of Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of opioid addiction.
Our legislation is one component of Alaska’s comprehensive statewide plan to fight opioid addiction, a menace to our society destroying lives, families and communities. House Bill 24 is now up for consideration in the Senate where we hope swift action will be taken.
Congratulations to three Service basketball players, Katie Pearce, Dominic Norman and Nathan Fromm for making the 2016-2017 All Cook Inlet Conference Girls and Boys Basketball Teams. Katie was a star throughout the 14 game regular season while Nathan and Dominic were real sharpshooters on the hardwood, frequently posting the highest individual scores each game. In fact, Dominic and Nathan scored a combined 47 of the team’s 81 points in Wednesday’s Cook Inlet Conference playoff victory against Bartlett. The win advances the boys team to tonight’s semi-final matchup against East at 5:00 p.m. at the West High gym.
Free Smoke Detectors
Home fires have tragically claimed the lives of several Alaskans this winter so we are proud to see the American Red Cross of Alaska and Chugach Electric teaming up to provide free smoke detectors. Just visit the lobby at Chugach Electric headquarters next Friday, March 17 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.to sign up for the free lifesaving detectors. For more details check out this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1245527548896602/
Before we go… The Hanshew Middle School PTA needs to fill out the executive board for the 2017-2018 school year. Interested parents can learn out more by sending an email to PTA President Bright Nygard at HanshewPTA@gmail.com Nominations will be voted at the April PTA meeting – and let’s not forget the school newsletters from Service High and Trailside Elementary.
Cool temperatures and sunny skies are forecast for this weekend so enjoy the last few weeks of winter.
We are here to serve you, your family and our community.