Representative of Alaska House District 34
Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, Airport, Auke Bay,
and Out the Road
State of Alaska
Capitol Bldg. Room 432
Juneau, AK 99801
Representative Justin Parish’s
May 1, 2017
28 April 2017
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
I am pleased to announce that Governor Walker has directed the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to not pursue a feasibility study to support the possibility of fully privatizing the DOT&PF design function. In addition to that, the 76 vacant positions previously scheduled for elimination will be preserved in FY18.
I want to thank all the members of our community who reached out to me about this issue. Because of you, I spoke about it with members of the executive branch, from the Commissioner to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to the Governor himself. Several of us in the House Majority and the Senate Minority sent a letter to express our concerns. I am glad that the Governor was persuaded that the costs of privatization to Alaskans far outweigh any hypothetical benefit.
This is a great victory for the many DOT&PF employees who live and work in Juneau and whose positions were needlessly threatened. The department’s plan to outsource all of the design work was proposed earlier this year. Ultimately, it could have cost us 300 state jobs. Most of the work, now being done by our fellow Alaskans, would have gone out of state. We would have lost critical expertise and knowledge. Already, the uncertainty has cost us talented employees.
Furthermore, looking at other states which have privatized functions of their DOTs, I found no solid evidence to support the claim that we would save a dime. Typically, privatization of essential government services leads to cost-overruns and cut corners. I don’t think any plan that would cost Alaskans jobs, money, and safety is worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to study.
DOT&PF employees improve and maintain our road systems, Marine Highway, and public buildings. Our state is better because of your work. I will always stand with you.
- Representative Justin Parish