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Week of November 18, 2019

    1. Ballot Initiatives in da House: Rank Choice Voting, Education Bill of Rights, Alaskan’s Fair Share
    2. Continuing the Budget “Conversation”
  1. State Reports:
  2. Federal Reports:
  3. News Links:
    1. State News:
    2. National News:


Ballot Initiatives in da House: Rank Choice Voting, Education Bill of Rights, Alaskan’s Fair Share
As we gear up for the 2020 elections (yes it’s a year away and yes we will be talking about it a lot– I don’t make the rules), we will be discussing ballot initiatives quite a bit. We are familiar with ballot initiatives– TCC was a vocal supporter of Ballot Measure 1 in 2018 that supported an overhaul to how the state licenses disruptions to salmon habitat (Stand for Salmon/Stand for Alaska). Here is a quick review of the process:
Ballot Initiatives start with an application (a fee and 100 signatures). The Lt. Gov then either denies it or certifies it. If he certifies it, signature gathering begins; after 10% of the people who voted in the last election sign, the booklets with the signatures go to the Division of Elections for review. If everything is in order, the proposition will appear on the first ballot in the next election. If the Lt. Gov denies it (see story here for example) the group can either give up their effort or sue.
So this year there are three signature gathering efforts underway to get initiatives before the voters in November. One deals with elections, the group sponsoring the initiative has a website here that explains the issue. Another deals with trying to fix the way the state deals with our education system, its sponsor also has a website for you to check out here. Finally, there is a group of Alaskans trying to change the way the state taxes oil and gas producers. The group sponsoring the initiative has a website here and the group opposing them has their own site here.  

Continuing the Budget “Conversation”
Gov. Dunleavy announced yesterday on Facebook ( video here ) that he intends to seek input from Alaskans about the FY21 budget. "This year I'm going sit down and talk with Alaskans. We're going to have town hall meetings.” As has been the case for several months, the announcement did not take place in a press conference and consequently did not include Q&A with the media– it’s unclear what the governor meant by “sit down and talk with Alaskans”– whether that means ALL Alaskans, or just the ones that share his viewpoint (and are willing to pay to hang out with him like last year). The governor’s proposed FY21 budget will be released no later than Dec. 15. See article here for predictions.
After lots of budget hearings and outraged Alaskans shouted at the Governor’s office (pre-recall effort), the Governor told Alaskans that his budget was just meant to “start the conversation” on what is important. He didn’t really want to cut Education and services for Elders– he just wanted to talk about it. Eyeroll emoji. So we are back to the “starting conversations” part of the year. Stay tuned.

Clearly addicted to pasting the Gov’s face into memes (shrug)

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State Reports:

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Federal Reports:

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News Links:

State News:
Recall Dunleavy court case set for hearing in January
Alaska Revenue Commissioner Resigns
Tribes critical of Land Planning Process
Governor has conservative agenda in the works, but courts are in the way

National News:
Tribes defend ICWA in pending court case
BLM is moving West
Voting Rights and Government Funding on the agenda soon

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