Have you ever thought about providing public testimony to the AK Legislature? One of our local Democrats, Will Kronick, attended the AK House Finance Committee’s public testimony last Saturday, and he was kind enough to report back on how things went. He also included a link to help you find out about other opportunities to let our lawmakers know what you think. Public testimony is an important act of citizenship, because it means that our leaders hear from regular people and not just lobbyists! Read on for his report:
Last Saturday at 1pm, about a dozen people offered public comment before the Alaska State House Finance Committee. Every citizen offering testimony asked for a sustainable fiscal plan that included fair corporate and individual taxation and a continuation of social programs and funding for schools.
Several people spoke about education. Juneau School Superintendent Mark Miller testified that cutting bond debt reimbursement for local school districts would borrow from the future of the State of Alaska. School Board Representative Andy Story echoed Dr. Miller’s statements. The president of the Juneau-Douglas High School student council asked that legislators preserve funding to give her brother the same educational opportunity as she had.
The theme of the testimony was that people are willing to be taxed to support a state where every Alaskan has the opportunity to thrive.
In my own testimony, I described how the families with whom I work depend on social services and the local school system. Without support, I feel that jails will replace social programs and schools as the catch all for society’s ills.
If you can, please attend upcoming public testimonies at the Legislature. The link below has information on where and when to attend to give public testimony on a variety of topics.