Republicans in Alaska’s Senate have an interesting philosophy for dealing with the wolf at the door: feed him Grandma and the kids, then hope desperately that the price of oil goes up.
Actually, I’m just guessing about the hope part; they may not have such a detailed plan.
The Senate budget is a plate of cat puke.
They handed it over with a big grin, hoping that maybe no one would notice how bad it was, but it stinks too much for them to get away with that nonsense.
Education, social services – basically everything except oil companies takes a hit. They even managed to come up with a lower PFD amount than the House version of the budget.
Republicans (whether they admit it or not) included a line item (here it is) that, if it makes it through reconciliation, will likely close the Pioneer’s Home in Palmer and possibly get the Juneau one as well. The one Republican who voted against their budget only did so because it didn’t cut enough.
Now, the optics of tossing our elders and veterans out on the streets might keep that particular cut from happening, but the overall problem is that Republicans apparently want to fund popular services (like the Pioneers’ Homes) on a combination of magic beans and anger.
But don’t take my word for it: Here are reports about the different budget versions, from Legislative Finance, so you can do your own research.
Make them own it
I suspect you’ve already been asked to email your Alaska delegation about the budget. That’s a great idea, and I hope you have.
But I want to ask you to do something else, and it might be a little harder.
Our Senator is not the problem: he thinks the Senate majority’s budget proposal is “a nightmare.” Other Senators need to get the memo, though.
So, today, I want to ask you to call your friends in other parts of Alaska. Tell them about the realities of the Senate and House budgets. You can write your own talking points by going to one or more of these links:
Ask your friends to call their Senators and find out how they voted. Ask them to tell their Senators that it’s not OK to go into debt to pad BP’s bottom line. But, most of all, ask them to just call and say that they are paying attention to this.
You can even provide them with their Legislators’ phone numbers (Senate).
UPDATE: Rep. Parish’s new My Turn to the Juneau Empire is worth taking a look at, too: read it here.
Full disclosure: I work for the State. This article was written outside of work hours, represents my opinions only, and is not endorsed by my employer.
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