I hardy know where to begin; the recent budget vetoes from the Governor’s office are of such a far-reaching and striking nature. While there may be several of them that could cut some of the fat from our budget, most of them are either foolish, vindictive, unconstitutional or downright nasty.
Our elected Legislature passed a bipartisan budget to the governor; now it is up to them to ensure that budget, which is indicative of the will of the Alaskan people, should become law. The governor lied to Alaskans when, during his campaign, he promised a ‘full dividend’ and no cuts to essential services. It was easy to see he could not have it both ways without expanding state income (taxes, etc.), but people chose to believe that lie anyway.
Funding for education must be restored, at all levels. Pre-K, Head Start, etc., have been shown to help learning at all levels, while K-12 and the university system prepare our kids for the future. Why would anyone wish to cut funding from these areas, knowing that our youth are also our future? The University of Alaska Fairbankshas been especially targeted for massive cuts that would do irreparable damage to an institution that has built a world-class reputation during the past 100 years, only to be essentially torn down using faulty accounting and logic. Education is directly addressed as a necessary duty of the state by our constitution.
Cuts to senior care, homeless families, behavioral health and community assistance funds are inhumane at the least, nasty at worst.
The list is too long, and it is totally unnecessary; if the governor would own up to his deception and agree to a more reasonable (i.e., smaller) PFD, none of these budget cuts would be required. Perhaps the greatest downside of the “full” dividend of $3,000, besides it essentially bankrupting the state, is that 25% or more of it (depending on your tax bracket) goes right to the federal government in the form of income tax. If we used that money to pay for essential state services, all that money would benefit Alaskans in the form of senior care, better education, robust ferry system, etc. I urge all Alaskans to write your legislators to implore them to muster the majority required to over-ride most of these vetoes.
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