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Citizens respond to trauma care fund cuts

In early March, the House Finance Committee took public comment on House Bill 266 and House Bill 267.

House Bill 266 is an act of the 28th Alaska Legislature. It makes appropriations for the operating budget and loans and funds for this fiscal year.

House Bill 267 outlines the funds within the statewide mental health budget.

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Two community members from Wrangell testified via teleconference before the House Finance Committee on the trauma care fund and HB266.

The fund historically allocated money for trauma care facilities, education and equipment around the state.

The amount in the fund is dependent on allocations within the operating budget. This year, there aren’t any.

Marilyn Mork, of Wrangell, said the fund is important to the medical center and should be brought back.

Laura Salard, also of Wrangell, echoed Mork’s statements and said the fund should be reinstated.

There was one testimony from Prince of Wales. Ralph Mackey, of Craig, was concerned about proposed cuts from the mental health budget.

Wrangell shared the public testimony period with Bethel, Cordova, Kotzebue, Nome and Valdez.

There are additional testimony times scheduled for other communities around the state.

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