More than 150 people from various labor unions and other supporters gathered outside Alaska State Capitol to rally against Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget. With $1.6 billion in proposed cuts, Dunleavy’s budget would certainly result in the loss of hundreds of jobs.
Among those gathered, were about 20 members of the Inland Boatman’s Union. IBU workers hold various jobs running the Alaska Marine Highway System, which could see a $97 million cut. Most union members were apprehensive to discuss the rally or give their name.
“I was very impressed by the turnout,” IBU member Robb Arnold said, after the rally. He has worked in the Marine Highway System since 2006. “The Inland Boatman’s Union really cares. People are seeing the importance of what it means to the community.”
The Alaska AFL-CIO is planning a rally on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol at 12 p.m. today. This labor union represents many state employees. Other unions such as the Inland Boatman’s Union, which represents some ferry system employees, will participate too.
Alaska AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami has responded to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Budget:
“We built Alaska. We love Alaska. We educate Alaskans,” Beltrami said in a written statement. “We protect Alaska. And now we are going to have to step up and protect her from this attack on our state and our values. Alaskans, regardless of party want the same things: good schools, safe communities, a high quality of life and a safe place to raise our kids. This budget fails in every respect.”
— Kevin Baird
A gospel choir sang a powerful rendition of “God Bless America” for the opening prayer in this House floor session.
House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, says moves for the prayer to be certified and said he is “Resisting the urge to ask that be done a second time.”
— Kevin Baird
The Alaska House of Representatives is gaveled in.
— Kevin Baird
Yesterday the House passed a resolution to nullify President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration. This morning, Alaska’s Rep. Don Young issued a statement regarding this decision.
“President Trump is well within his right to declare a national emergency, and I voted against today’s resolution because of its potential to undermine our ability to confront the crisis at the Southern Border,” Young said in a press release.
But he, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, did have issues with diverting funds from Alaska military projects to the border.
“I do have some concerns over the emergency declaration’s potential to divert critical military construction funds – including funding for the F-35 – from Alaska,” Young said in the press release. “Senator Dan Sullivan and I have communicated our concerns to President Trump, and requested protection of funding already appropriated for national security projects in Alaska. Moving forward, I implore the Administration to identify funding sources that can be utilized without impacting the military’s ability to carry out their mission.”
— Mollie Barnes