Deep and severe cuts are underway to state-funded programs and services in Alaska. Legislators are divided on a number of issues, including the size of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend and whether to reverse the governor’s vetoes and restore $444 million in spending. To help Alaskans understand the situation, especially as it relates to nonprofit organizations that do some of the most difficult jobs in Alaska, Rasmuson Foundation created the Alaska State Budget Information and Resource Center. Here is where you can find published statements, see videos that examine the impacts, and learn more through our FAQ list. Have questions you want answered? Ideas for what else to include? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As it stands, some vital programs are wiped out completely: Early childhood programs including Head Start. Benefits to low-income seniors. Medicaid-funded dental care for low-income adults. Legal services offered through Alaska Legal Services Corp. Also gone: The Alaska State Council on the Arts. It funded school field trips to plays and concerts, brought world-class musicians to rural villages, and embedded artists in schools to spark the creativity of kids. The council operated mainly through private and federal dollars but still has been shut down, for now.
These cuts impact the most vulnerable Alaskans and will lead to job losses affecting colleagues, friends and neighbors. The work of Alaska nonprofits is at risk. Stay informed, if not through our website then through other channels of solid information. And thanks for reading.