by Vicki Turner Malone
If YK residents nod off during the Alaska Senate budget hearings, the YK Delta funding may suffer a crushing blow. The Alaska Senate will be taking up the budget within the next few days. The Republican controlled senate will be more prone to budget cuts than the House, so citizen response is critical.
Big Turn Out for House Hearings Doesn’t Mean the Senate Got It: The turnout for the House sponsored budget hearing on the week before Cama-i was fantastic. Over a hundred people came to the YPPC in Bethel – many people travelled from nearby villages and even as far as Quinhagak—to make their voices heard. Over thirty people testified concerning the bad effects of the proposed Dunleavy budget, and many people sent written testimony.
SENATE MAY ONLY GIVE TWENTY FOUR HOUR NOTICE OF HEARING: However, testimony to the House is not heard by the Senate. The Alaska Senate, at this stage of the budget process, is only required to give twenty-four hour notice of a hearing. Residents of Bethel who want to receive notice of a Senate Finance Committee hearing, should request notification of hearings from their Rep Zulkosky, Sen Lyman Hoffman, and/or the Bethel Legislative Information Office.
HOW TO PROVIDE TESTIMONY: A resident may give written testimony by emailing it to Rep. Zulkosky or Sen. Lyman Hoffman, committee chairs, or Legislative Information Office in Bethel. Oral testimony provided through the LIO during hearings is part of the official records. Residents may also request to testify telephonically by calling the LIO in Bethel.