To the editor: Dear fellow Alaskans, it is with a sense of urgency that I ask you to contact your elected Alaska representatives (www.akleg.gov/poms) and encourage them to override the governor’s line-item vetoes to their bipartisan budget. These budget cuts will cause irreparable harm to many important state functions. Even one year of cuts like this will require decades for our state to recover. The level of these cuts, and the range of targeted entities, is simply mind-boggling.
The Institute of Social and Economic Research has estimated that budget cuts of this magnitude will cost our state almost 17,000 jobs (bit.ly/2ZYqsNK). Our fragile economy was just recovering from a five-year recession. This budget is not in the best interest of Alaska. It will deepen our recession, cause the unemployment rate to soar, throw our real estate market in the tank, cause property taxes to rise and hurt our schools, elderly, communities and transportation sector. This budget is not biased. It will hurt all of Alaska and every Alaskan.
Our governor says he is reacting to a budget crisis, but he forgot to mention that it is a crisis he created. He bought the election promising $3,000 permanent fund dividends, which is the reason he must implement these terrible cuts to the services Alaskans need, deserve and depend upon. Although many people will appreciate a big PFD, the price is just too high.
Do not allow this governor to destroy Alaska society. Our legislators must override the budget vetoes. Send a message to all legislators. Remind them we will remember the names of the legislators who helped the governor drive Alaska into recession. Contact them at www.akleg.gov/poms.