Handcuffing the Governor
I'm inspired by the House and Senate coming together in defense both of our schools and our constitutional system of government.
Dear Neighbor,

Governor Dunleavy has  taken education funding hostage  by threatening to withhold appropriations that already were passed by the Legislature. In response, the House and Senate voted to authorize a lawsuit defending education funding from the Governor’s illegal attacks. I voted “yes” because we cannot allow an outlaw executive to turn children into political pawns, or undermine the Constitutional separation of powers in our state.
The governor has asserted that forward funding education is unconstitutional. This claim has no factual basis. In reality, the Legislature could have altered forward funding this year. We chose not to and instead continued with previously approved forward funding. The Legislature has frequently forward-funded education because it gives school districts budget predictability that they need to hire teachers. This commonsense practice, well-founded in Constitutional and statutory authority of the Legislature, has never been questioned until Dunleavy brought in a partisan wrecking crew to lay waste to Alaska’s public institutions.
Let’s put the governor’s action in context. In addition to illegally holding education funding hostage, he illegally tried to privatize API with a sole-source, no-bid contract. His attorney general claimed that public funding for private, for-profit school vouchers are legal if the dollars are routed through parents, which is clearly inconsistent with the Alaska Constitution. Dunleavy is  using public money for partisan attack ads against legislators in violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act . In short, this governor sees the rule of law as a stumbling block that stands in the way of his nihilistic agenda. As a legislator, I believe we  must fulfill our responsibility as a co-equal branch of government and act as a check and balance on a rogue executive.
Thank you to everyone who testified on Tuesday in opposition to the Governor's proposed rate increases at our Veteran's and Pioneers' Homes.
This is a perilous moment in Alaska history. We have never had a governor challenge the foundational laws of our state, or attempt to shred the institutions enshrined in our Constitution. I am reassured that legislators, working across party and (in the Senate) caucus lines, are standing together to defend the rule of law.
I hope to see you around the neighborhood soon,
Around the District
Last week, I stopped by Downtown Anchorage and politico favorite  Lucky Wishbone . Heidi Heinrich, who is a longtime employee and co-owner, took a break to show me around the restaurant, which has been open in our district since 1955. Nothing beats their chocolate shakes! 
And thank you to Heidi for years of volunteering with Fairview Community Council and for helping keep the neighborhood clean and safe.
Congratulations to Elissa Brown and Chris Pike on the 2-year anniversary of Wild Scoops opening downtown! Local businesses like Wild Scoops build community and help to make Downtown Anchorage vibrant.
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