OPINION: Senate offer on oil payments is no compromise at all

Rep. Les Gara

Published in the Alaska News Dispatch July 11th, 2017
We have to end unaffordable oil company cash subsidies that are estimated to cost the state $1.5 billion over the next 10 years. Some legislative leaders say they will only end those unaffordable subsidies during this special session if we “replace” them with new subsidies that cost Alaskans almost as much.

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OPINION: Senate leaders put oil company profits first

Rep. Les Gara

Paying oil companies billions from our dwindling state savings, while cutting schools, help for seniors and those who battle disabilities, isn’t an Alaska I believe in. This is one of the little-reported and major sticking points between our Republican-led Senate and our bipartisan House majority coalition. The Senate budget cuts help for kids, students, seniors and disabled Alaskans, but deficit-spends handsomely on subsidies for our oil industry partners.

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OPINION: Here’s some real math to ponder in Alaska budget debate

Rep. Les Gara

Political soundbites that propose easy fixes to Alaska’s massive budget deficit get votes. They’ll also get you one of the worst recessions in Alaska history, and a state where your children can’t find a job. You deserve real information instead of soundbites, so you can tell your legislators the path you prefer. Politicians who seek to get votes while the economy sinks are tempting to listen to, but they are doing you a disservice. We lost 9,000 jobs last year. Letting that continue isn’t a future.

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OPINION: Alaska can’t afford the oil industry’s sweetheart deal

Rep. Les Gara

This coming year Alaska will pay more to oil companies in “tax credits” than we receive in oil production taxes — for the third year in a row. It gets worse. The Department of Revenue forecasts that tax loopholes will provide Alaskans with no oil production tax revenue for the next decade — from any future oil fields, and from any fields that started after 2002. That’s a great deal if you can get it.

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Note from Rep. Gara: 4,000 New Jobs: Medicaid Expansion Can Help Prevent A Recession

Rep. Gara Newsletter

I hope you had a great Fourth of July weekend! Now for some sobering news – a big wallop to hit you with after a long weekend. And a solution so you hopefully don’t ever feel that wallop! A recent study says Alaska is either in a recession, or is on the possible brink of one. That’s a big concern. Standing still isn’t the way to address this news. Here’s something we should do to help avoid any protracted recession.

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