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Cathy Tilton, candidate for Alaska State Representative District 12, answers questions about the issues

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: July 8, 2016
  • Published October 29, 2014

Cathy Tilton, Republican

State Representative, District 12

Why are you running for office?

Alaska and the MatSu Valley have provided me and my family tremendous opportunities. I've been able to build several successful businesses and my kids have received world-class educations. With Rep. Stoltze moving to run for the Senate, it was essential for my neighbors in the Valley to have another strong voice in the State House. Furthermore, I viewed that running for this seat was a new opportunity to give back to the community that has given my family so much.

The biggest problem facing the state of Alaska is

Unquestionably, the most important issue we must address, especially in this election cycle is our fiscal stability. It isn't only about reducing spending, streamlining government services and more thoughtfully prioritizing spending; nor is it only about a sensible tax structure that encourages private investment and helping our economy grow to increase our revenue stream—it must be about both.

Describe three ways in which the state should try to grow and diversify Alaska's economy

Change the regulatory environment that stifles new business creation and growth among existing businesses.

Establish enterprise zones that encourage new business incubation in tradtionally economically depressed areas.

What amount of state spending do you believe is sustainable? If cuts need to be made, where should most of the money come from, the operations budget or the capital budget?

My expertise is with the Health and Social Services budget which is also the largest departmental budget in state government and it accounts for nearly 50% of the State's GF operating budget. I've already assisted in reducing millions from that budget, and as a legislator I will continue to look for reductions in that budget.

What additional steps can the state take to promote construction of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope?


The voters have chosen Senate Bill 21 or the More Alaska Production Act to generate most of the state's tax revenues. How will you determine whether this tax structure is effective? Do you think any changes should be made to the law in the upcoming legislative session?


What additional steps can the state take to promote construction of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope?

I don't have an exact percentage in mind, other than more than 0.

Reducing PFDs should never be an option for paying for state government. I can not envision a scenario when that would ever be necessary.

The legislature has considered some of the taxes in the last 10-15 years and they may be on the table again. However, we have some serious budget reductions to make first.

Should the state subsidy program for films and reality television programs continue? Explain.

Undecided. It should be reviewed in light of our bigger fiscal picture.

Taxation on oil and gas production in Alaska is ___ (Generally higher than it should be, About right; Generally lower than it should be, other):

About right

Taxation on other industries in Alaska is ___ (Generally higher than it should be, About right; Generally lower than it should be, other):


Taxation on individual citizens in Alaska is ___ (Generally higher than it should be, About right; Generally lower than it should be, other):


What are your specific plans to address the serious problems of leadership, morale and accountability within the Alaska National Guard?

I believe an independent investigator needs to be appointed and the Joint Armed Services Committee of the Legislature should begin to hold hearings and encourage victims and "whistle-blowers" to come forward.

What are Alaska's three biggest education challenges? What is your plan to address each of them?

Common core, graduation rates and instructional dollars.

What are your suggestions to increase accountability of public schools?


Would you support a constitutional amendment that would allow public funds to be spent on private or religious K-12 education? If such an amendment were to pass, would you then support voucher or some similar grant to parents of state funds that they could spend on private or religious education for their children?

I would not support a constitutional amendment for this. I believe that is an inappropriate use of the amendment process.

What are your plans for improving the quality of education offered through the University of Alaska system?

I would need to hear recommendations from the Board of Regents, each of the campus administrations and key constituencies of the University (students, staff, faculty and alumni) before I could provide a meaningful answer.

Do you support or oppose expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act? Explain.

I don't think it is so much a question of expansion so much as a question of complete overhaul. Clearly, there is a gap in coverage that exists for truly qualified people, but the answer isn't as simple as just expanding coverage to people of a certain income ceiling.

The Medicaid Reform Advisory Group continues to meet in an effort to

comprehensively address the issue. I think we should wait for their work product which is due in November of this year.

Are you confident that the current level of state environmental regulation and oversight of offshore oil and gas drilling and shipping is adequate to prevent a major spill in Alaska? If not, where are we deficient and what will you propose to achieve adequate protection?

We have a strong regulatory environment and respected track record. I am open to suggestions to improve these regulations.

What is your assessment of Alaska's transportation system? What, if anything, would you change?


The Legislature has approved the use of state funds for four mega-projects: the Knik Arm Crossing, the Susitna-Watana dam and two gas line projects. Can the state afford all four, or should one or more be dropped? If so, which?


State your position on abortion. When should it be allowed, and when should government pay for it? Do you anticipate pushing any legislation, policies or budget proposals that would change the status quo in Alaska?


When is it appropriate to appoint a non-Alaskan to a state board or commission?

Generally speaking, I don't believe that it is.

Are you satisfied with the process by which judges are selected and appointed in Alaska? Explain.


The number of Alaska State Troopers and Village Public Safety Officers is ____ (More than necessary, about right, less than necessary):

Less than necessary

If you answered more or less, what specific steps would you take to achieve the right level?

It isn't just a matter of inadequate funding, my understanding that even if DPS had all the funding they request, there is significant difficulty in finding qualified applicants to recruit. So, I'm unsure how to address this.


Age: 52

Occupation: Real Estate

Current employer: Self Employed

Employment history:

Alaska State Legislature, 2010 through 2014

Previous public offices held: None

Previous unsuccessful runs for office: None

Postsecondary education: Alaska Business College - Certificate

University of Alaska Anchorage - Psychology and Business Administration

Military service: None

Spouse's name: Berkley Tilton

Children: Jordan, Damian, Tylor

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