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I’m at the @TongassNF public meeting in Petersburg tonight where they are presenting the Trump administration’s decision to remove the #Roadless Rule. Room is packed and intros are underway.
#akgov #akleg
@TongassNF Right off the bat staff are sort of perpetuating a super common mistruth: that exemptions for utilities, recreation, etc are not already possible under the existing Roadless Rule. That always gets my goat. It’s a lie.
@TongassNF Staff suggests there would be no or minimal or neutral environmental impacts from repealing the Roadless Rule because, they say, 2016 Forest Plan sets cut limit. This obviously ignores many factors, the least of which is that clearcuts in some places have more impact than others.
Read 18 tweets
Hey #akleg twitter, I'm usually able to handle stuff pretty well. A lot comes across this desk, and I've got a strong stomach. But I cried at my desk today, and I want you to know why.

It's because of a guy named Bill Brokaw. 1/10
Bill is an 80-year-old Alaskan. He's a veteran, and so is his 83-year-old wife. She has Alzheimer's. They're both in the Palmer Pioneers and Veterans Home.

He first wrote me in March, after Gov. Dunleavy's administration laid out plans for steep rate hikes. #akleg 2/10
His first letter was thoughtful. Eloquent. He spelled out the issue and how cost increases could force him and his wife out of Alaska. As I read it, his letter felt optimistic that letting the public know would result in solutions from Juneau. #akleg 3/10…
Read 10 tweets
The Board of Regents is now hearing from Gov. Dunleavy directly. Follow live on

#akleg #akgov
Dunleavy, whose budget cut the university by $136M: "What I'd like to say is the university is an integral part of the state. ... The university has been a beneficiary of the state for years. ... Some of us are still living in a belief of $85 to $90 per barrel oil." #akleg
Dunleavy says his Feb. 13 budget "has caused quite a conversation for the state."

He says it's about "a new funding reality for the state" and calls "the game in Juneau about how much funding we can get for services in our districts." #akleg
Read 52 tweets
Four short years ago, no politician would have thought about taking the PFD without working with Alaskans. For decades, the PFD grew under the protection of the people and benevolent politicians. (1/5) #akleg #akgov
However, today it appears work has been completed by those intent on killing the PFD – representing a major setback for those that believe in following the law and a sustainable government. (2/5) #akleg #akgov
Unfortunately, with this action the PFD is no longer a dividend, but a primary source for government spending and growth. (3/5) #akleg #akgov
Read 5 tweets

Best part of my day was when I was in prison. I've been co-teaching poetry every other week with my friend Erika, (side note, it's through a program called Infinite Writers, originated/organized by University of Alaska faculty).

We warmed up our bodies and our voices and Erika led us in a cool lesson brainstorming metaphors for emotions together. Our discussion was clever and nasty and joyful and sharp. In our laughter, there were no guards.

Anger was "quicksand" and boredom was "everything in reach" and fear was "an outgoing tide, slowly backing away from the shore.”

"I don't know the word for different kinds of waves," one woman had whispered to me as we wrote.

Read 13 tweets
The Board of Regents is now back. President Johnsen is giving a presentation about the budget. "Yes, we enjoy huge public support ... but a simple majority is not enough and as a result uncertainty reigns and uncertainty is disabling the university in many ways." #akleg
Johnsen on financial exigency: "Given the very poor hand we have, it is the only tool available to us. ... None of us want to be here today." #akleg
Johnsen, rhetorically: "How can something so great, built by so many over so many years, be crippled by so few so quickly?" #akleg
Read 29 tweets
Let's do a little thread on the impact to Anchorage of Dunleavy's vetoes, and the actions of his #akleg allies, as presented to today's Assembly Budget/Finance Committee, shall we?
@NolanKlouda, an economist from the University of Alaska, gave a presentation on the budgetary reductions and the predicted job losses, breaking out Anchorage from a statewide report he co-authored with @mgeconAK.
The report estimates about 48% of the budget cuts will fall to Anchorage, slightly larger than our approximately 41% of the state's population (I should note though, this analysis doesn't include the failed "reverse sweep" elimination of the PCE, which will devastate rural AK)
Read 17 tweets
1. The following may be a little long, however I ask you to please read it through, then really consider what I am saying/asking and consider sharing this thread.

Late last night someone reached out to me for some assistance regarding the doxing of the “22” the governor...
2. and his chief of staff. Initially I found it all very funny. After all, these folks seem to have “shut down” in regards to listening to constituents and other Alaskans who are weighing in on the current situation. Hell, they seem to have shut down in regards to doing...
3. their jobs, and upholding their oath of office.

All of those things may very well be true.

Unfortunately, the doxing that has taken place has only created a bigger mess. Talks had been taking place between all 3 groups regarding the vetoes and meeting location(s)...
Read 18 tweets
we live in a red state in which Republicans just dismantled state university education. it takes years to build the infrastructure for viable higher education and all that has been undone in two weeks. thousands will be fired and the rest will leave. this is seriously evil shit.
programs for the vulnerable, seniors, the homeless: all cut. scholarships: cancelled. the worst of #akleg gone off #22strong alone, “obeying” the gov. this is textbook fascism. red states, again, please take note of the rightwing movement in your states bc you could be next.
as I mentioned before, this hurts people of color—indigenous communities in a state with a large native population—the most, in every possible way. it is targeting them. it is not just about anti-intellectualism, though that is a part ofc. textbook fascism.
Read 20 tweets
#akleg A little thread on Wasilla. I was wondering to myself how Wasilla became such a stronghold for anti-government sentiment so I read up a bit on the history. 1/x
It's always seemed incongruent that such an anti-government crowd wants so badly to become the capital of Alaska. The home of Palin and Dunleavy and the site of this splinter session of the Alaska legislature trying to decimate the government. What's underneath all that?
Before colonization the land was inhabited by the Dena'ina people and the city of Wasilla was named after a respected Dena'ina Athabascan leader. The photo is from the City of Wasilla website and the text is from "Native American Placenames of the United States."
Read 20 tweets
(1/x) Historic events are happening in the Alaska Legislature #akleg today, so here's a thread for folks just learning about it ...
(2/x) Today, lawmakers will meet in Wasilla and Juneau, each group claiming that its city is the legitimate place to hold the Legislature's second special session this year:… #akleg
(3/x) I asked some national historians who study state legislatures, and they couldn't think of any similar situation in recent history. #akleg
Read 8 tweets
Hey, If every Alaskan went out and bought 12 oz. of weed, the state would generate enough tax revenue to make @GovDunleavy's senseless $440M budget vetoes completely unnecessary!

#AlaskaGrown #ProblemSolved #akleg #akgov

More thoughtful thread below...
In all seriousness, there are a lot of better options than buying weed or vetoing funding for education, seniors, health care, and the most vulnerable Alaskans.
e.g., H.B.132: links the size of the PFD to oil revenue rather than the Permanent Fund's investment earnings. So when oil revenue is high, the PFD will be higher (and vice versa). Right now, oil revenue is low, & the state simply can't afford $1.9B on PFD.…
Read 13 tweets
1/x More folks Outside are beginning to become aware of @GovDunleavy's #akleg #akgov budget vetoes, so I wanted to create a thread with all the excellent reporting @adndotcom folks have been doing:
2/x On Friday, the governor announced he was using his line-item veto power to cut $444 million in spending as part of a two-year plan to balance the state budget without cutting the Permanent Fund dividend or raising taxes:…
3/x As @teganhanlon explained, one of the biggest recipients of the governor's veto pen was the @UA_System, which lost 41 percent of its state support, or $130 million (plus another $5 million cut by the Alaska Legislature).… #akleg #akgov
Read 11 tweets
UA Pres. Johnsen now going into budget presentation: "It assumes rationality and the news that we just heard put that assumption, upon which we built this presentation, into serious question. ... Everything is out the window." #akleg #akgov
Johnsen: "This is much more than a substantial reduction." #akleg
Johnsen: "This is twice the most extreme cut we expected." #akleg

They had planned for $60M as worst-case scenario.
Read 13 tweets
The House State Affairs Committee is taking up a few bills. It already moved HR 11 renaming Saginaw Bay as Skanax Bay. Now onto two PFD-releaded bills. One would tie PFD size to oil revenue. Another would make PFD payments quarterly. #akleg
The first is HB132 by Rep. Wool. He says the PFD under the upcoming year would be about $1400 to $1500. "It's more reflective of the local Alaska economy than global Wallstreet economy." #akleg
That $1400 to $1500 would be based on a proposed amendment that'll be taken up at a different time. Until then, the bill's gonna get set aside. #akleg
Read 4 tweets

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