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Opinion: I voted for Ballot Measure 1

Here’s why.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2020 6:30am
  • Opinion

By Gary Miller

I voted yes on Ballot Measure 1 and here are the reasons why.

The group opposing the measure claims it is funded by big money from down south when in truth the top three contributors are all based in Alaska. The opposition group on the other hand, is funded by the oil companies, none of which are based in Alaska. In fact, British Petroleum isn’t even an American company.

The opposition group states that the Department of Law said the proposition is illegal and confusing, but the courts ruled that the Department of Law is wrong and the is why it is on the ballot.

The opposition group states that the proposition was drafted behind closed doors without any hearings or public input. Initiatives by the voters of Alaska do not have hearings the way laws are introduced in the legislature. These are two different processes.

The oil company commercials are right about job losses but wrong about where they are. Thousands of state, municipal and private sector jobs have already been lost because of budget shortfalls. Ballot Measure 1 is not just about oil company jobs, it is about the thousands of people who lost their jobs already because of Alaska’s budget shortfalls. Now with the coronavirus causing even more jobs to be lost, we need to increase the oil taxes for the sake of the workers who have already lost their jobs. We need the measure to pass to bring these lost jobs back.

The opposition, that is the oil companies, state now is not the time to raise oil taxes. They have spent millions of dollars on lobbyists and commercials opposing every oil tax increase ever proposed. For them, there will never be a time to raise oil taxes. Can they afford it? We don’t know because their profits are secrets kept behind closed and locked doors. Proposition one will require them to tell the voters what their profits are.

The projected budget shortfall this year is $2.4 billion dollars according to state Sen. Jesse Kiehl. That puts both the permanent fund in jeopardy and our PFD checks. It also means that our decimated ferry system won’t be fixed.

Politicians call what the oil companies are saying is spin. In reality, it is deceit to get us to vote their way. Voters should not be fooled by the big oil companies. Vote yes on proposition one.

• Gary Miller is a Juneau resident. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a letter to the editor or My Turn .

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