To the editor: It has been a traumatic week for many Alaskans. There’s a lot of anger, frustration, worry and sometimes extreme stress over the looming budget cuts created by the governor’s veto decisions. It’s messy and there are more talking points than time. Rather than go into all that, I would like to propose a way forward.
Even if the vetoes stand, maybe there is a way for Alaskans to support the vetoed programs as individuals. There is a program called Pick.Click.Give that is already set up to withdraw a user-determined amount from individual PFDs and deliver them to nonprofit organizations. There are over 600 organizations using this program to help raise funds. What if Alaskans were offered an option, available through their Aug. 31 deadline, to use Pick.Click.Give to give all or part of our PFDs directly to vetoed programs? It is a very short-term solution but would allow the governor and the legislative body to gauge Alaska’s tangible support for these programs when they directly compete with the PFD. There are probably rolls of red tape, but this may be a solution that the governor and Legislature could agree upon and facilitate.
I urge them to consider creating an option on Pick.Click.Give called “Vetoed Funding” that pays out to programs along the same percentages of the total vetoed funds. It would enable individuals to use their PFD to soften the veto blow. Some of us would forego a new snowmachine to ensure that our children can go to a competitive college in Alaska.