JUNEAU, Alaska In a joint press conference today, the Legislature says they are ready to fight to be able to fund education in the state.
Prevent pink slips, that's what the Alaska State legislature says their action today will do. In a Press conference today, the Joint Legislative Council Committee, made up of both House and Senate members, explained the actions the legislature took. The Senate (14 to 4) and the House (23- 13) voted to allow for legal action to be made in defense of its decision to forward fund education for fiscal year 2020.
The education funding debate began when Governor Mike Dunleavy's administration called into question if forward funding was constitutionally legal. Alaska's Attorney General has also called that into question. Forward funding is when the legislature agrees to support programs with money not yet acquired by the state. In the case of fiscal year 2020's education budget, officials have said they want to use general funding but there is not enough money currently in the fund for education.
If education funding isn't approved soon, pink slips could go out to educators as soon as June 3rd. Senate President Cathy Giessel spoke at the conference saying the legislature owes the education system stability. She went on to say this dispute needs an answer.
"We are hoping very much that no law suit will be necessary," began Senator Giessel; "but in the event that it is, the motions that were passed by the House and the Senate will assure that we can go forward in challenging that and we can finally settle this question about forward funding."