Rep. Les Gara

GUEST COMMENTARY: Pay now or pay later when it comes to education

Public education matters because a student’s opportunity to achieve matters. The Legislature has an opportunity to end years of continuing cuts to teachers, guidance and career counsellors, teacher training, end even courses.

We’ve lost over 500 teachers, counsellors and education support staff in recent years. Bigger class sizes, demoralized teachers, and rolled back curriculum don’t increase academic achievement.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Senate offer on oil tax credits doesn't fix deficit

We have to end unaffordable oil company cash subsidies that are estimated to cost the state $1.5 billion over the next ten years. Some legislative leaders say they will only end those unaffordable subsidies during this Special Session if we “replace” them with new subsidies that cost Alaskans almost as much.

GUEST COMMENTARY: An Alaska we can all believe in

The debate in Juneau is about what kind of state we want to live in. I want an Alaska we can all believe in, not one where too many of our neighbors are talking about leaving.

I think the Alaska House Majority Coalition and the GOP-led Senate, despite divergent views, can find common ground. Your views matter. I believe legislators will listen if you speak up. Here’s where we are today.

On one side, the GOP-led Senate is standing by major additional cuts to public education and our university.

COMMENTARY: Misleading language in oil tax law allows claim of high tax rate

Last week an op-ed went out that somewhat mangled the reality of Alaska’s nearly non-existent oil production tax. I appreciate the opportunity to set some facts straight, so we can all have a fair discussion on an important topic.

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