During his State of the State address, Gov. Mike Dunleavy hit a high note with his strong commitment to reduce criminal activities in our state and his pledge to us to make Alaska a safer place to live. I commend him and his cabinet for focusing on this priority.
However, I respectfully and totally disagree with his proposal to enshrine the Permanent Fund dividend into the Alaska Constitution. I think this would be an extremely dangerous move and I hope, as the discussion evolves on his proposal, the public will understand that this is something we should never do.
If this constitutional amendment were to pass, we could potentially face a deficit situation that would mandate the state issue dividends before other state services could be funded. In case of statewide emergencies, such as the recent earthquake, we could possible find ourselves unable to pay for emergency-related expenses because the available state revenues would be mandated to pay dividends first.
We all must be better stewards of our financial resources and work to ensure that a proposal like this does not ever become law.
— Gail Phillips
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