Our long-time government relations director, Tom Begich, was sworn in yesterday as a newly elected State Senator and while we're sorry to lose his expertise on our team, we are happy to have another ally for public education in the State Senate. To fill this role moving forward, we are pleased to announce that we have contracted with J and H Consulting (Reggie Joule and Christine Hess) to carry on our legislative program this session.
While we are still waiting for all of the details, we wanted to inform you right away what we know about the Governor’s vetoes
In late night action, after weeks of negotiations, the BSA funding and all early childhood funding for Pre K, Best Beginnings, and Parents as Teachers has been restored, as has some funding for the University of Alaska.
As the Session wound down to its last day...it just kept going. The House and Senate remain at an impasse on budget and revenue issues, but there is not a lot of acrimony.
Both Executive Director Sarah Sledge and Government Affairs Director Tom Begich were in Juneau for the first week in April for meetings with key Legislators and the Governor on a number of issues.
The Session has been difficult and a bit grim for education, but there remain some glimmers of hope.
Last week was a rough week in Juneau for education, made no easier by the loss of strong education advocate Representative Max Gruenberg (D- Anchorage) who passed away February 14.
Our Government Relations Director, Tom Begich, has made his first visit to Juneau. Please see below for his thoughts on the landscape and our priorities for this session.