In this Oct. 21, 2018 photo, Alyse Galvin, Alaska’s independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, holds a town hall-style meeting to an overflowing room at Centennial Hall. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

In this Oct. 21, 2018 photo, Alyse Galvin, Alaska’s independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, holds a town hall-style meeting to an overflowing room at Centennial Hall. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alyse Galvin: Dunleavy’s budget will leave Alaska morally, economically bankrupt

Let’s encourage our Legislature to make smart decisions.

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 10:37am
  • Opinion

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget proposal presented Feb. 13 will leave Alaska morally and economically bankrupt. As I watched Dunleavy deliver his budget proposal, I saw a man not up to the challenge of his elected office. He completely failed to do any of the analysis or hard decisions associated with building an actual, sustainable budget. Instead he abdicated his responsibilities as a leader and cowered behind slogans and ideological talking points.

[Experts: State could lose tens of thousands of jobs if budget proposal goes through]

By proposing a budget that is so devoid of any basis in reality, or at least any reality that folks would actually want to live in, Dunleavy has simply removed himself from the conversation reasonable Alaskans need to have to appropriately balance revenues and expenses. A budget is not sustainable if the population will clearly revolt within a few years and demand the services that are standard throughout the rest of our country. No business is going to invest in a state with such clearly unmet civic needs. Until we have a truly balanced budget, where actually needs are covered by revenue, no business will subject themselves to that uncertainty.

[Details emerge on proposed job cuts]

Dunleavy has revealed a cynical, nonexistent vision of Alaska’s future that seeks to curtail our potential and simply divide up the spoils of the past generation for those who want a quick buck before they head out of town. It is now up to the Legislature to do the actual work associated with crafting a sustainable budget that protects Alaska’s economy and our most vulnerable citizens — one that provides young families with the hope that their lives are going to improve, and their children are going to succeed.

[Dunleavy: My budget will be sustainable, predictable, affordable]

Alaska desperately needs to move toward a sustainable budget that promotes and evolves with a growing and thriving Alaska economy. We need state policies that will attract investment and provide the services that Alaskans and Alaska businesses depend upon. We do not need a thoroughly bankrupt budget that eliminates items that are cornerstones of a functioning society, such as an adequate (if not high-performing) K-12 education system, a capable university system, and a health care system that cares for our sick, elderly and neediest Alaskans.

Alaska has amazing potential and tremendous economic opportunities. But we have to embrace that opportunity and build a budget that will grow with our economic success. Let’s work together and encourage our Legislature to make smart decisions. Let’s tell them they cannot start the analysis by saying that certain options are off the table. They need to analyze the impacts of the options before them and then show the leadership to take us to a successful new structure.

• Alyse Galvin is a mom, an Alaskan, a community leader, and a fighter for working families across our state. She is a former small business owner and a leader in Great Alaska Schools. Alyse is an Independent who was the Democratic Party’s nominee for Congress in 2018. My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.

More in Opinion

Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

The Stikine River Flats area in the Tongass National Forest is viewed from a helicopter on July 19, 2021. The Stikine River flows from British Columbia to Southeast Alaska. It is one of the major transboundary rivers impacted by mines in British Columbia. (Photo by Alicia Stearns/U.S. Forest Service)
Opinion: Facing transboundary mining, Alaskans shouldn’t buy industry rhetoric

“Rest assured,” writes Michael Goehring, president of the British Columbia Mining Association,… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
Letter: Attorney general’s letter to libraries are an abuse of office

Earlier this month Treg Taylor, Alaska’s attorney general, published a letter to… Continue reading

An aging outhouse overlooks Tenakee Inlet. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
My Turn: Murkowski’s bill will dramatically change map of public land in Southeast Alaska

There has been very little reporting on federal legislation that would greatly… Continue reading

(Photo courtesy of the City and Borough of Juneau)
Opinion: Choosing a seat at the table

To advocates for limiting cruise ship tourism and combatting climate change, partnering… Continue reading

A photo of Juneau featured on the front cover of this year’s annual “Economic Indicators and Outlook” by the Juneau Economic Development Council. (Juneau Economic Development Council)
Opinion: Troubling trends deserve Assembly attention

The economic indicators report published last month by the Juneau Economic Development… Continue reading

Passengers return to the Norwegian Sun on Oct. 25, the final day of this year’s cruise ship season in Juneau. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
My Turn: “Partnering” with cruise ship industry isn’t in Juneau’s interests

Regarding Jim Powell’s lecture at the Evening at Egan event on Friday,… Continue reading

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Opinion: Music to the ears of America’s adversaries

Two weeks ago, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan made a commendable effort to… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire File)
Letter: Thankful to see the construction by local Native organiztions

Sitting in my living room listening to nails pounding into the old… Continue reading

Most Read