House Finance Committee held public testimony on proposed budget

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The House Finance Committee traveled over the weekend, to different communities, to hear from their constituents about how they feel about Governor Dunleavy's proposed budget.

Notes Rep. Adam Wool took during the public testimony, marking what items were discussed.

Representatives Tammie Wilson, Bart LeBon, and Adam Wool were in person listening to comments at the Fairbanks Legislative Information Office, while representatives Steve Thompson and Grier Hopkins were connected over the phone.

The hot topics residents testified about were proposed cuts to the university, Medicaid, and K through 12 education. Several residents echoed the sentiments of those heard at previous town halls that they want to 'pay their way' through a reduced PFD, income tax, or other form of tax. Even those who didn't agree with all parts of the proposed budget said they want to thank the Governor for starting the conversation about how the state can improve it's financial situation.

Representative Wool estimated that out of the 120 residents who gave testimony, close to 50 mentioned being in support of an income tax, while counting 6 in support of a full PFD, and 9 in support of Dunleavy's proposed budget. "I took away a pretty strong impression that people are ready to have their dividend cut, they are ready for new revenue, they're willing to pay taxes, and they really want their services, i.e. education, university, medicaid funding, k through 12," said Rep. Wool.

We reached out to Representatives LeBon, Wilson, and Thompson, but were unable to get a statement on the testimony. The House Finance Committee will continue holding testimony this week.