It’s time to solve our fiscal problem. The price of inaction is too high.
As the Legislature nears the end of the constitutional 120-day session, I am gravely concerned about the possible outcome.
Our state is in a difficult fiscal position. Due mainly to world oil prices and our over-dependence on oil, we have only about one-fifth of the revenue we need to balance the budget. And that’s after several years of budget cuts and almost no capital investment.
Last week was historic for Alaska. Thanks to our state legislators, we took a significant step toward controlling our own destiny.
The Legislature held about two weeks of hearings to examine my proposal to buy out TransCanada’s interest, then almost unanimously approved my request to exercise our option to take over Alaska’s share of the gas pipeline project.
was not quite a teenager when I had my first interaction with the federal government. In 1963, I was awarded the janitorial contract for the Valdez post office.
Every day for an hour before school, I cleaned the building. I was excited because it meant income for my family as we struggled to put food on the table.
Last week, I sent a letter to the Legislative Budget & Audit (LB&A) Committee, giving members the required 45-day notice of my intention to accept additional federal and Mental Health Trust Fund Authority funds to expand Medicaid. Before signing the letter, I met with the LB&A chair to explain my intentions.
Imagine your family’s biggest source of income plummeting by 80 percent in one year. At today’s oil prices, that’s Alaska’s situation. The state’s oil and gas production tax is expected to bring the state $524 million in the current fiscal year, a shocking drop from the $2.6 billion collected last year.