Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you for taking the time to complete and submit the fiscal survey we mailed earlier this session. Of those who completed the survey, 89% are concerned about the budget shortfall. An overwhelming 71% of the survey respondents said we should make efficiency cuts to the budget and figure out new ways to generate revenues. We are listening and have advocated this position during the session. Our neighbors also said we should cut funding for mega-projects. We have repeatedly offered and voted in favor of budget amendments to cut funding for these unaffordable projects.
In other funding areas, such as education, troopers and the university, most survey respondents said we should keep funding the same. The only exception was oil and gas tax credits. Of those who completed the survey, 93% said we should reduce funding for these tax credits. We have been working hard to reform our overly generous oil and gas tax credit system.
We have been busy working on Governor Walker’s revenue proposals and numerous other bills, currently under consideration by the legislature. Taking on all pieces of the Governor’s fiscal plan and rethinking the budget, made necessary by low oil prices, was too much to complete in the 90 day session. That made it necessary to go into overtime to make sure we create a plan that is fair to all Alaskans, stabilizes our economy and does not send our state into a recession. We are working as hard as possible to get the job done as soon as possible.
Until next week,