Letters to the Editor

Letter: Lawsuit cost-benefit analysis

I read a news article today that a group of 11 Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration to block a new student loan repayment plan that provides for lower monthly repayments and a faster path to loan cancellation for millions of borrowers. This lawsuit was filed by the attorney general for the state of Kansas. Among the 11 states supporting this lawsuit are Alaska, Alabama, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas and Utah.

My first reaction was: Why would any state oppose this federal debt relief program — one that has little or no apparent negative financial impact on any of these states or their residents? Nor does this program result in any apparent reduction in the federal dollars received by these states. It is primarily directed at the Biden administration but will have a negative impact on any affected borrowers in states, including Alaska.

My next reaction was what process is involved at our state level that resulted in the authorization of time, effort and fiscal dollars to participate in this lawsuit (or similar ones) that don’t directly involve the needs and interests of Alaska residents?

I assume the participation of Alaska in this lawsuit was authorized by Gov. Mike Dunleavy after review by Attorney General Treg Taylor and the Department of Law. But is there any oversight by the Legislature or information provided or available to Alaskans that would allow a review of the justifications and financing of this lawsuit, as well as the expected benefits to Alaskans?

— Brad Owens


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