RESULTS FOR ANCHORAGE
Even as a freshman legislator Jason has protected Anchorage’s interests. Here are two examples.
First, Jason ensured that the Anchorage School was not merged with JCPS. This past session HB 242 was introduced, which would have required merger of all independent school districts with the respective county school district. The very night HB 242 was filed Jason met with the chairman of the House Education Committee and got a commitment that the bill would not be called for a vote in committee unless Anchorage was protected. He didn’t rest there. Taking the belt-and-suspenders approach, Jason walked into the Speaker’s office to discuss the issue and walked out with a commitment that the bill would not move. To lock such an important issue down, Jason worked with the sponsor of the bill and reached an agreement that if the sponsor were able to move the bill, he would include an exception for any independent school district in Jefferson County. As one resident has said, Rep. Nemes effectively used his relationships and influence to protect against the destruction of the fabric of the Anchorage community.
Second, when the House of Representatives received the executive branch’s budget proposal, the Anchorage School was slated to suffer a cut in the amount it would get from the state. Jason had previously met with the school’s superintendent and was on watch to ensure the Anchorage School was held harmless in the school-funding formula. (For many years Anchorage has received a hold-harmless exception from the state’s school-funding formula due, in part, to the high value of property in the city to ensure that its state appropriations were not reduced.) As one of only nine members of the legislature on the group crafting the initial draft of the budget, Jason used his position to insert the hold-harmless language back into the budget, where it remained and is now law.
The Anchorage School is important to the citizens of Anchorage. And with Jason in Frankfort, residents can rest assured that the school will not be harmed. Jason will continue to use his relationships, influence, and position as one of only nine members crafting the legislature’s initial draft of the budget to protect Anchorage’s interests, most especially its neighborhood school.