The legislature’s responsibility is clear: Defend Alaska’s economy, our public safety infrastructure, our public schools, and the well-being of Alaskans. Thank you to everyone from the district who has already contacted me expressing outrage about the Governor’s budget proposal. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I have not heard from a single voter who supports it.

I agree with you: This budget should be discarded, and we should work across party lines to pass a fiscally responsible budget that is focused on public safety and economic growth.
P.S.: Here’s are some low-lights of the Governor’s budget:
  • K-12 education cut by 23% and previously approved forward-funding for FY21 (year after next) eliminated altogether;
  • School bond debt reimbursement completely zeroed out;
  • University of Alaska cut by 44%;
  • Power Cost Equalization fund ($1 billion) eliminated (this fund created enough money to pay for not only the PCE program, but also some community revenue sharing);
  • $30 million unallocated cut to Department of Corrections;
  • Pioneer Homes directed to increase rates to cover full cost of care;
  • $850 million cut from Department of Health & Social Services (more than half of which is federal funding), which means a 33% cut to Medicaid Services;
  • Alaska Marine Highways cut by 68.4% and encouraged to privatize;
  • 14% cut to the Alaska State Troopers, 22% cut to Village Public Safety Officers;
  • $30.5 million unallocated cut to Department of Corrections, even though transferring prisoners out of state is only expected to save $12.8 million;
  • Oil and gas tax credits are funded at $170 million, but from mysterious receipts of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority;
  • A lot of costs are shifted back to communities:
  • About $440 million in oil & gas property taxes withheld;
  • Raw Fish & Fish Landing Taxes withheld from communities; and
  • Community Revenue Sharing eliminated; and
  • Eliminated programs:
  • Parents As Teachers, Best Beginnings, Head Start, and Pre- Kindergarten Grants;
  • Alaska State Council on the Arts;
  • Online with Libraries (OWL) and Live Homework Help;
  • WWAMI Medical Education;
  • Public Broadcasting; and Senior Benefits.