In this Jan. 8, 2019 photo, Gov. Mike Dunleavy meets with his cabinet members and gives attending media a list of his administration’s priorities at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

In this Jan. 8, 2019 photo, Gov. Mike Dunleavy meets with his cabinet members and gives attending media a list of his administration’s priorities at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Opinion: Governor’s budget is disrespectful to Alaskans

Our needs are being pushed aside.

It’s not every day that a governor puts balancing the budget before Alaskans’ needs, but that has certainly happened in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget. The budget was created by an outsider who has never lived here, has contributed to financial crises in other states and has now been hired to do the same here.

[Senate Finance grills OMB, education commissioner over budget]

This governor has no respect for Alaskans, young or old. The cuts in his budget show that. When people have moved south because of Alaska’s situation, businesses will have to close as well. It could be that the PFD promise is what will keep people here, but they need to know that the PFD is now theirs to pay for health care, education and staying at the Pioneer Homes, as well as airline tickets because the ferry system will be gone. We’ve had a ferry system for over 50 years. The ferry system was not designed to pay for itself; it was designed to be a highway for people of Southeast and the Aleutians chain.

[Frank Murkowski: Here’s how to fix the Alaska Marine Highway System]

This governor refuses to tax the oil and gas companies. He refuses to create an income tax. We have hundreds to people who come to Alaska for two weeks to mine our minerals, but pay no tax on their income and leave the state taking their wealth with them. Ages back, before the governor lived here, our first paycheck had money taken out for education. That happened every year until it was done away with because we were flush.

This governor and his budget person feel that privatization of everything should balance the budget, but at what cost to the state? And to the people? Will our legislators feel this is the route to take or will a sense of doing what is best for Alaskans prevail? The governor needs to be told that this is so disrespectful to Alaskans and that his budget is not worth the risk of sabotaging all that we have worked for. I have a feeling that those of you who voted for this governor had no idea what he was going to do to you and our state.

Janet Kussart,

Juneau


• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.


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