Alaska does not need to be a society that damages children’s education, guts its university system and takes away from our society’s most vulnerable (elderly, children, those who are disabled and those who are ill).
The Legislature needs to unite to overcome the governor’s line-item vetoes to the budget for pre-K and K-12 education, the university, social services, senior benefits, behavioral health, the arts, public broadcasting and more.
The governor’s lies about “right-sizing government” are inspired by the Koch brothers and are really about shrinking government, privatizing as many government functions as possible, no matter the negative impact or expense. His intent is to make Alaska’s government favor the wealthy, big industry and unchecked development.
If the Legislature allows those cuts to stand, poorly educated children will never recover, it will be decades before the University of Alaska system recovers, and other citizens’ lives will be untenable. The impact on our economy will be devastating.
Alaskans have always been about helping each other and seeing ourselves as a unique and cooperative community with mutual interests. The governor and his minions see the opposite — take as much away from ordinary citizens as possible. We can support our most vulnerable citizens and still receive a reasonable Permanent Fund dividend.
I implore the Legislature to override these vetoes. They must not decimate Alaska’s people and economy.
— Jim Cheydleur
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