To the editor: The ripple effects of the Dunleavy-Arduin vetoes have already begun to turn into a tsunami. Several weeks ago, I applied at a local credit union for a loan to refinance our home and to replace our roof. Our roof is a mess — missing shingles, rotted plywood, rotten spots on the trusses and massive squirrel damage. I have good credit and was approved for a loan with favorable terms. We set a time frame for closing. And then Dunleavy issued his vetoes that included the $130 million cut to my employer, the University of Alaska. Last week, the loan officer called me. They were retracting the loan offer, putting it “on hold” because of the likelihood that I will be laid off. I met with the loan officer again and was told that the credit union’s board of directors has decided to put all loans for UA employees “on hold” because of the probability of furloughs and terminations.
Here is how the ripples turn into a tsunami: I had hired a local contractor to do the work. Now he won’t get the job. He hires only local guys. Now they won’t get the work. He was going to purchase 100% of the materials locally, including from a small, locally owned company. Now they won’t get the contract. This scenario is happening all over Fairbanks. It will not be long before these employers will feel the squeeze and have to lay off or furlough their own workers.
How many other homeowners are unable to obtain home loans? How many small businesses are going to close because workers are unable to purchase goods and services from them? How many families are going to flee Alaska for stable jobs Outside? How many houses are going to flood the market just as winter sets in? How many students are going to go Outside for college? Or worse, not attend college at all?
We can stop the tsunami. We must urge our legislators to pass House Bill 2001 that restores funding not just to the university but also funding across the state. Legislators have to find the courage to pass it with a veto-proof majority.