I am at a loss about the governor’s vetoes. They disproportionately affect our most vulnerable people: the elderly, children, low-income folks and the sick, as well as those trying to gain an upper hand through higher education.
We all agree cuts are necessary and the budget needs to be balanced. These cuts, however, will cause more financial and social damage that will cost our state much more in the long run.
We have a major homelessness problem in Alaska, yet this budget slashes funding for programs like Brother Francis, and other supported living facilities, and would put hundreds of more people out on the streets. The governor talks about wanting to fix the crime problem, yet this would surely have a negative affect on crime rates.
The university system pumps a ton of money into our economy, and allows our best young minds to stay and learn here. Does it need fixing? Of course. Instead of trying to make it a viable, attractive entity, we are going to burn it to the ground?
Lastly, Medicaid cuts. Access to Medicaid is essential to Alaskans diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, and losing access can have serious consequences not only for peoples health, but for our economy. As a cancer survivor and a diabetic, I can’t imagine not being able to afford treatment, or not being able to pay for my insulin due to lack of coverage.Cuts are necessary; however, these shortsighted and dangerous cuts are unfathomable. We need leaders who put people before politics, and who understand how to find a middle way to bringing us into balance, without doing so on the backs of the people who need us the most.
As a constituent of Rep. Josh Revak, I truly hope that he comes to see that this direction he is helping to lead us down, will not end well for Alaska, and that he can work with the rest of the Legislature to come up with better. We are better than this.
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