Like many, I don’t fancy sending my kids off to a classroom stuffed with 50 other kids. Not only does this sardine-can approach exponentially grow the possibility that my child will return home with the flu and gift it to everyone in the house, it also increases the likelihood that their ability to focus and learn will be impacted.
I am counting on these offspring of mine to grow up smart and strong and invent something worthwhile that makes a lot of money so I can guilt them into buying me a nifty Cal-36’ sailboat. The proposed $300 million budget cut for the Department of Education and Early Development puts those plans in jeopardy, and that makes this whole thing very personal. I want that sailboat! I want to hoist the mainsail and unfurl the jib and sail at a nice Cal-36’ clip far away from the deranged deprivations envisioned for us by our Governor and his wealthy advisors.
“I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity” says Bob Dylan. If this budget proposal is enacted, many will go: by sea, by air, by foot, by ski, by dog team, by skateboard. An exodus like none seen in the history of this young state. It won’t just be due to lack of services, and jobs, it will be because of the sheer, cold, mean-spirited, approach to governing that emanates from the 3rd floor. Who responsible for their children’s education and future success is willing to line them up for a sick social science experiment devised by the far, far, far right wing of the republican party? Not me, Muchacho.
It will be hard to leave, to pack up my kids, my wife who does not appreciate sailboats, and our dog who will bark the whole trip. Harder still to leave behind the work that went into building a life in a place, and harder still to leave the fight for our state’s future. A person has to weigh their options, though. Life is very short. I would have loved to listen to the marine forecast as read over the airwaves of a local public radio station as we ship out...but of course, as a state sitting on billions of dollars of available oil tax revenue, we had to get rid of Public Radio in order to “live within our means”. Of course. This makes perfect sense.
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Hearings to watch this week
Monday, March 11th 7:45 a.m. Senate Health & Social Services Finance SubCommittee - Division of Behavioral Health, Alaska Psychiatric Institute.
Monday, March 11th 1:20 p.m. House Resources Committee - Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Big Game Commercial Services Board.
Monday, March 11th 1:30 p.m. House Finance Committee - Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Attorney General Designee Kevin Clarkson, Commissioner Designee Kelly Tshibaka. Fy20 Dept. Budget Overviews: Dept of Law and Courts.
Monday, March 11th 1:30 p.m. House Judiciary Committee - Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom, Dept. of Corrections.
Monday, March 11th 4:00 p.m. Senate Public Safety Finance SubCommittee - Department Overview of Governor’s Amended Budget.
Tuesday, March 12th 8:00 a.m. House Tribal Affairs Special Committee - Presentation: Tribal Compacts, Contracts, & Consultation
Tuesday March 12th 9:00 a.m. Senate Education Committee - SB 56 & SB 30: Mand. Phys. Activity Schools: Plaay Day. College Credit for high school students.
Tuesday March 12th 10 a.m. House Fish & Game Finance SubCommittee - Dept. Budget Overview, Continued.
Tuesday March 12th 11:00 a.m. House Fisheries Special Committee - HB 35: Conflict of Interest: DB Fisheries/Game
Tuesday March 12th 11:15 a.m. House Environmental Conservation Finance SubCommittee - Dept. Budget Overview Continued.
Tuesday, March 12th 12:00 p.m. House Commerce, Community & Economic Development Finance SubCommittee - Review of the FY20 Amended Governor’s Operating Budget
Tuesday, March 12th 1:30 p.m. House Finance Committee - FY20 Dept. Budget Overview: Dept. of Health & Social Services
Tuesday, March 12th 1:30 p.m. House Transportation Committee - Alaska Marine Highway System
Tuesday, March 12th 3:00 p.m. Senate University of Alaska Finance SubCommittee - FY20 University Budget
Wednesday, March 13th 9:00 a.m. Senate Finance Committee - SB 53 & SB 43: University Reporting Requirements and Extended Big Game Commercial Services Board
Wednesday, March 13th 1:20 p.m. House Resources Committee - Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Fishermen’s Fund Advisory & Appeals Council. Presentation: Oil & Mining Solutions at the University of AK.
Wednesday, March 13th 1:30 p.m. House Finance Committee - FY20 Dept. Budget Overviews: University of Ak and Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs
Wednesday, March 13th 3:15 p.m. House Labor & Commerce - Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Dr. Tamika Ledbetter, Dept of Labor & Workforce Development
Thursday, March 14th 7:30 a.m. Senate Transportation & Public Facilities SubCommittee - Highways, Aviation & Rural Airports
Thursday, March 14th 8:00 a.m. House Administration SubCommittee - Presentations: Retirement & Benefits. Public Broadcasting
Thursday, March 14th 8:00 a.m. House Public Safety SubCommittee - FY2020 Dept. of public Safety Budget. VPSO Program.
Thursday, March 14th 8:00 a.m. House Tribal Affairs Special Committee - Presentation: Other Alaska Native Entities
Thursday, March 14th 9:00 a.m. Senate Finance Committee - SB 20 & SB 38: Approp: Operating Budget/loans/funds. Approp: Supp; Cap; Disaster Relief
Thursday, March 14th 10:00 a.m. House Fish & Game SubCommittee - Div. of Commercial Fishing. Div of Wildlife Conservation.
Thursday, March 14th 10:15 a.m. House Energy Special Committee - HJR 10: Supporting Road Belt Electrical Line. Presentation: Rod Belt Intertie.
Thursday, March 14th 11:00 a.m. House Arctic Policy, Economic Dev., & Tourism Special Committee - Consideration of Governor’s Appointees: Commissioner Designee Julie Anderson.
Thursday, March 14th 11:00 a.m. House Fisheries Special Committee - Presentation: Salmon Hatcheries
Thursday, March 14th 1:30 p.m. House Finance Committee - FY20 Dept. Budget Dept. of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development. Dept. of Natural Resources. Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Dept. of Fish & Game
Thursday, March 14th 3:30 p.m. Senate State Affairs Committee - SB: 73 Successor of Lieutenant Gov. SB 23: Approp: Payments of Prior Years PFD. SB 24: PFD Supplemental Payments. SB 33: Arrests, Release, Sentencing, Probation.
Friday, March 15th 1:20 p.m. House Resources Committee - Consideration of Gov. Appointees: Commissioner Designee Jason Bruen, Dept. of Enviro. Conservation.
Friday, March 15th 3:30 p.m. Senate Resources Committee - SB: 51 Natl. Res. Water Nomination/Designation
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