To the editor: Thousands of people are mad at Gov. Mike Dunleavy for the sudden and severe $130 million veto cut to the University of Alaska. But their irritation should instead be directed at the handful of Republican legislators who won’t help out to achieve a three-quarters vote override to reverse the governor’s vetoes.
It’s not really the governor’s fault. He is between a rock and a hard place. In order to win the election, he had to promise a massive PFD payout to the citizens. He also promised to strive for a balanced budget. So, in order to protect his reputation of telling the truth during the campaign, he has no choice but to swing the budget ax.
But if the university is significantly disrupted and damaged by the massive budget cut, then Gov. Dunleavy’s reputation will be forever scarred. So the legislators need to come to the rescue and protect the governor’s reputation by providing funding in some other way. No one would be able to say that the governor did not do everything he could to try to keep his promises.
I did not agree with candidate Dunleavy’s plan to pay out a massive, budget-busting PFD. So last year, my plan was to not vote for anyone for governor. I do admire the courage of Gov. Bill Walker on the PFD issue, but he was a little too liberal for me in other areas. But when Mark Begich stepped into the race, and Bill Walker stepped out, I felt forced into voting for Dunleavy.
I don’t work at the university, but I took a few classes there years ago. Should the state take some of my hard-earned money that I work for at my blue-collar job to pay for teachers and research at the university? Well, I’d rather not pay a state income tax.
I’d rather the state use its own money to fund the important work at the university. The state can do this and still hand out $900 of free money to every citizen and have a balanced budget.