Alaska Children’s Trust encourages testimony over proposed budget program cuts

Alaska Children’s Trust (ACT) was established in 1988 with a mission to prevent child abuse and neglect throughout the state and has a stated goal of ensuring all Alaskan children grow up in a family and community that provides them with all the tools and resources necessary to make their dreams come true.

In a series of tweets last week, Alaska Children’s Trust called on the public to testify about Anchorage’s proposed budget after the non-profit identified concerns with specific cuts to programs that the budget proposes.

As it stands, Mayor Bronson who claims to be pro family, has proposed cutting early education funding by $1 million dollars, cutting funding for prevention grants by $250,000, eliminating the newly created Mobile Crisis Team, cutting grants to victims of interpersonal violence organizations by $250,000, proposes using almost two-thirds of alcohol tax dollars on homelessness response and allocates zero dollars for substance use disorder treatment.

ACT says that the use of alcohol tax funds in the proposed budget does not align with voter intent and that, as proposed, the budget does not effectively invest in long-term solutions to the challenges Anchorage faces.

“With the passage of Proposition 13 in April 2020, voters acknowledged the way we have been approaching crisis response and public safety is not working for Anchorage. When casting their ballot, residents not only approved a new revenue stream, but directed it to fund three core areas: public safety; preventing child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence; and preventing and treating substance misuse, homelessness and mental health emergencies. This decision by our community sent a clear message – we want to invest in reducing crisis response, but also prevent crises from occurring in the first place. This proposed budget represents a concerning departure from prevention to costly, reaction-based crisis response,” ACT said.

The non-profit has made public a one-page flyer concerned residents can use to help aid them in providing public testimony to the Anchorage Assembly about the Bronson Administration’s proposed cuts to the budget.

The second public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at tomorrow’s regular meeting of the Anchorage Assembly which begins at 5:00pm. Talking points and further information provided by ACT can be found below.