Cutting us to the bone with this.
Courtesy of ADN:
Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday cut $444 million from Alaska’s state’s operating budget, slashing services beyond the cuts already made by the Alaska Legislature in order to move closer to a balanced budget without raising taxes or reducing the Permanent Fund dividend.
The action drew immediate and impassioned criticism from many Alaskans, including those who rely on those services and those who provide them, and there were calls on lawmakers to override the vetoes. But the governor also drew praise from Alaskans who believe state government is too large.
The University of Alaska is the biggest target of Dunleavy’s line-item veto pen, losing $130 million in state support atop the $5 million cut approved earlier by lawmakers. The resulting reduction is nearly 41% of the state’s support for the university system. University officials said the cuts would be devastating to the UA system.
“I believe they’re going to be able to work through this … I don’t believe they can be all things to all people, and I think that’s generally speaking, the state of Alaska. We can’t continue to be all things for all people,” the governor said Friday morning in a news conference that was broadcast statewide.
For the fiscal year that starts July 1, Medicaid spending was reduced by $50 million, the state’s senior benefits program was eliminated, a cruise ship pollution inspector program was eliminated, the Village Public Safety Officer program lost $3 million in funding and most state support for public broadcasting was erased.
There is still a chance that the state legislature will override this, but who knows if they have the votes?
Dunleavy is buying the support of Alaskans by promising to increase dividend payments to as much as $4,000 for the next three years, but in the end, the cost will prove much too high.
After the oil boom of the ’70s and ’80s, I used to see bumper stickers all over town that read “Please God just give us one more oil boom. We promise not to piss it away this time.”
But that is the problem with Alaskans, we ALWAYS piss it away.
We went from a state full of people who understood the importance of patience and conservation, to a state full of newcomers who want everything right now with plans to fly away once things get too hard in the years to come.
But those who were here before will remain here after, and it will be left to us to make the hard decisions that the Dunleavy’s of the world are too incompetent and cowardly to make.
Of course, we will someday have to start paying state taxes again, just like someday the PFD will be a thing of the past, and become an allegory about mismanagement and greed that we tell our great-grandchildren.
But this will still be a great place to live, and nothing that these idiots do will ever change that.