Letter: Nothing happened to the Senate Finance Committee

It’s outrageous that the Senate Finance Committee refuses to consider new taxes. Instead, they want to deplete Alaska’s savings! For what? Their own political careers? It’s prudent to have savings for dealing with catastrophic events, such as the landslide in Sitka, the recent earthquake in Southcentral, the major fires last summer and the annual flooding of roads and communities. Even with new taxes, some of the savings will be utilized to fund our state.

Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks and chair of the Senate Finance Committee, stated “ … We cut a whole bunch of fat off it (budget) and nothing happened,” probably because nothing happened to him personally. I doubt that others who lost their jobs, who are vulnerable seniors, who have been impacted by limited Alaska Marine Highway System schedules or who otherwise suffered last year’s budget cuts feel “nothing happened”.

The Senate Finance Committee predicted oil prices will increase and that will fix our budget deficit. When will that happen? That was their position last year, too.

Their unwillingness to work with the governor is only hurting Alaskans in the long run. Their inaction to increase revenues will lower Alaska’s credit rating costing us more in the future. Their short-sightedness allows them to see no further than their own paychecks.

Laura Bonner