Local leaders discuss budget impacts

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska Local leaders sat on a panel to talk about possible impacts of the governor's proposed budget at Tuesday’s Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Dan White, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, along with a representative from the Tanana Valley Clinic, Borough Mayor Bryce Ward, and school superintendent Karin Gaborik, all spoke to chamber members about their concerns with the governor's budget.

Mayor Ward mentioned that the proposed borough budget will be presented at Thursday's assembly meeting with some of the possible changes resulting from the governor's budget.

The panel revealed that the schools with the lowest enrollment rates are on Eielson Air Force Base, which will be receiving an influx of students when the F-35 families arrive.

Gaborik said overall, however, the school district is projected to be down another 85 students next year.

She mentioned some of the effects the proposed budget will have on school jobs if it is passed.

"But just to give you an idea of some of the other positions that would be included in this. It would be a 50 percent reduction in activities. We’d be losing secretaries across all of our secondary schools, library assistants, social service managers. I would completely restructure how we're addressing our health services," said Gaborik.

The House Finance Committee is currently making amendments to the governor's proposed budget, and then the full house will debate it.