JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) – "Absolutely not," said Senate Minority Senate Chairman Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, on whether the budget proposed by the governor for the 2020 fiscal year would pass legislative legislation.

"The difference between the governor and the leadership in the legislature is that the legislature will seriously govern the state of Alaska and meet the constitutional needs of its citizens," said Begich. "The governor does not seem to care that, but the legislation will."

Republicans in both chambers signaled that they were scrutinizing the budget and listening to constituents' contributions along the way.

"I think my republican colleagues in my caucus will support a financially sustainable budget based on their approach and stronger Alaska, safer Alaska and a safer future for Alaskans," said MEP Chuck Kopp. R-Anchorage. "That does not mean that they will be stamped, but it means they will support any budget that pushes us in that direction – the budget will be scrutinized very carefully."

Kopp said he would take a close look at health and education, two big tickets that made a big cut in the budget.

Dozens of demonstrators gathered on the steps of the Capitol to defend against the proposed US $ 155 million cut in Alaska and demand the defense of education spending.

Representatives Andi Story, D-Juneau, Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage and Sara Hannan, D-Juneau were in the crowd along with Republican Anchorage Senator Chris Birch.


Sen. Chris Birch, R-Anchorage, and Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, protest against budget cuts in education outside the capital in Juneau, February 13, 2019 (KTUU)

In the Senate, Republicans signaled that their priorities protect the protection of permanent funds and work towards job creation and economic growth.

"The budget is only part of the picture, and the Senate Finance Committee will track and analyze how the budget and other proposed funds and constitutional changes work together to influence the health of our state's economy," wrote Sen. of Imhof, R-Anchorage in a written statement. "It is still too early to understand all the implications, but we have taken the time to fully analyze and thoroughly examine these proposals."

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