May 15, 2015

CONTACT: Travis Smith (907) 258-3077

Alaska Republicans move toward government shutdown

Unable to sit down at the negotiation table, Alaska Republicans move Alaska towards a DC-style government shutdown

Anchorage: The Alaska Legislature has been in gridlock for weeks, following the Republican majority’s decision to take a “vacation” during the special session. Although ostensibly designed to elicit public feedback, Anchorage-based hearings have taken ZERO public testimony, and talk of a shutdown has begun to bubble up.

This shutdown talk comes after Republicans have failed to sit down the table and negotiate for an operating budget that both sides can accept.

Democrats have asked for Medicaid expansion (which was just shot down by House Finance), restoration of education funding, and fulfillment of negotiated union contracts. Republicans have refused to budge on any issue. Democrats have also offered off-setting budget cuts that amount to big savings for Alaska. Republicans have dismissed or ignored these cuts.

Adding fuel to the fire, this week Alaska Republican Party’s official Facebook page (in addition to a Republican vice-chair) shared a disgraceful post, which contained highly offensive rhetoric and promoted the idea of a government shutdown. The shared post stated, “I don't think anybody who votes Republican will care if the government shuts down.”