A few weeks ago, our state legislators accomplished the difficult task of building an operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year that is reasonably and responsibly funded. As often occurs with compromise solutions to difficult problems, the end result represents some sacrifice and a whole lot of old-fashioned negotiating on the part of legislators who otherwise support widely differing views regarding the relative merits of the various agencies and programs being considered.
At the end of the day, however, they did what the people of Alaska elected them to do: provide for the health, education and well-being of all Alaskans while supporting opportunities for business and cultural growth that continue to make Alaska an attractive place in which to live and raise a family. They also know that Alaska’s thin economy simply cannot withstand the draconian cuts the governor proposes.
I urge the Legislature to override the governor’s vetoes and fully adopt the budget they worked so hard on constructing. We must allow the hardworking women and men who provide vital health care services, care for our elders, education for our children from pre-K through 12th grade, education and research at the University of Alaska, services for those among us who are most vulnerable, such as homeless youth and adults, services for the mentally ill and those suffering from addiction, support for our world-class outdoor recreational activities, and the many excellent and venerable cultural organizations who bring beauty, enrichment, grace and entertainment to our lives the resources with which to do their jobs. We can ill afford to lose any of these.
— Albert J. Alvarez
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