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House OKs matched funds for community foundations

JUNEAU -- A bill that would back community foundations with state cash has passed the Alaska House.

HB290, from House Majority Leader Alan Austerman, envisions giving an annual grant to a statewide organization that in turn would offer grants to community foundations with a match for every dollar raised. The bill calls for a maximum of $25,000 each year per community, and matching funds would be assigned annually to three to five communities.

Austerman calls the idea the Endow Alaska Grant Program and says the goal is to spur local investment and help communities set their own priorities.

Opponents question the idea of backing private giving with state funds, but the measure passed by a 30-8 vote and now moves to the Senate for consideration.

By AUSTIN BAIRD

Associated Press

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