Pounding on a theme of keeping "Alaska strong," Gov. Sean Parnell outlined an election-year agenda that includes advancing a gas pipeline, a budget that takes reduced revenue into consideration, and calls for a host of new education reforms, including a constitutional amendment that would allow vouchers in place of public-school funding.
His State of the State speech, taking under 30 minutes, was delivered to a joint session of the Alaska Legislature and to a statewide audience by television Wednesday evening.
Parnell got the most applause when he signaled his support for the school choice amendment now in the Senate, when he said he would trade for his education reforms by increasing per-pupil funding, when he urged expanding the charter-school program and when he recalled oil-tax cuts passed last year.
Citing the state's successful passage through the last recession, Parnell said, "With these polices in hand, the Great Alaska Comeback is underway."