OP-ED It's time for our leaders to act
Find a long-term fiscal solution
Our fellow Alaskans,
As our leaders deliberate in Juneau, the goal that all Alaska’s share - finding a long-term solution to our state’s fiscal crisis – has not yet been achieved.
Rasmuson Foundation has spent the last 12 months listening to Alaskans from across our great state. Today, 72 percent of Alaskans think the state’s economic situation is not in good shape, and only 17 percent of Alaskans think the state’s economic situation will get better in the coming year. In numerous public forums, you have told us that what you want more than anything else is economic stability – your families and businesses cannot live under this cloud of uncertainty for another year or two. Most of you—Republicans, Democrats, and independents, rural and urban residents—have expressed your support for a broad-based state budget that includes significant spending cuts, new taxes and use of Alaska’s Permanent Fund earnings reserve, even if it means a smaller dividend next year.
A stable fiscal future can only be achieved through active public participation and debate. The people of Alaska have held up their end of the bargain.
Now it’s time for our leaders to act.
Alaskans want and expect the Governor and Legislature to find a solution during this special session, because they understand that the hard choices we are facing today are preferable to the harder choices that will come if we do nothing.
The late Senator Ted Stevens said it best, ‘To hell with politics, just do what’s right for Alaska.’