AKLEG

Josh Good (TOP LEFT) AND HOPE MCKENNEY/KUCB (TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM)

The threat of declining state and local funding dominated last week's Candidates Forum focused on the school board.

In the race for seat D, first-time candidate Josh Good and incumbent Denise Rankin agreed on many issues facing the Unalaska City School District, while touting their different credentials to voters.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Unalaska needs to be ready to fight for state funding in fiscal year 2021.

City lobbyist Dianne Blumer delivered that message Tuesday to the City Council.

She said she expects Gov. Mike Dunleavy to continue pushing for steep budget cuts to education, health care, and other state services that are critical to the community.

"It's not a promising picture," said Blumer. "I hate to be the gloom and doom here, but I anticipate the cuts that didn't happen this year are going to be taken up again for next session."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Continued ferry service and shared fisheries taxes.

These are some of the new lobbying priorities under consideration as the Unalaska City Council prepares for meetings next month with its state and federal lobbyists.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska and the Aleutian region are expecting to feel the sting of state budget cuts finalized this week — in areas ranging from health care and higher education to debt reimbursement and public broadcasting. 

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

This week, Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a bill that provides permanent fund dividends of $1,600, while maintaining vetoes on funding for programs like Medicaid and the Alaska Marine Highway System. 

With the budget now set, communities across the Aleutian chain are bracing for the effects of statewide cuts — some passed by the Legislature, others imposed through the governor's vetoes.

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