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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I want to thank everyone who has come forward to tell their stories about how Governor Dunleavy’s budget vetoes will affect our state and the people who call it home. Every legislator has received thousands of emails, phone calls, and personal visits over the past weeks from people who want to tell of how they or someone they care for will be denied the opportunities and services which a functioning society ought to provide to its citizens.
It is difficult to put any kind of well-intentioned motive to the Governor’s efforts to tear down our essential state functions while he ignores the reality that we are losing over $1 billion per year in tax credits to the oil industry.
The promises made by the oil industry which led to the loss of our progressive oil tax system--more oil in the pipeline, more jobs for Alaskans, more money for state services, and bigger dividend checks-- have all been broken, yet Governor Dunleavy says nothing and blames our most vulnerable citizens for problems they have no ability to fix.
Protesters rally at the Capitol against the Governor’s budget vetoes.
The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports that Conoco Phillips, just one of the Big Three, reported between a $462 billion and $381 million share in profits from North Slope Operations in the last quarter alone. The state separately received from them a cut of $278 million for the same time period.
That means we are getting far less than half of the profits generated by the sale of our own oil.
The Governor says we cannot afford basic needs as the federal match for the Medicaid Adult Dental program (dentures for the poor), help for the mentally ill, the senior assistance program, and even public schools, yet he allows huge multinational corporations to siphon billions in pure profit from the public resource.
The Legislature has given Mike Dunleavy another chance to “Stand Tall for Alaska.”
On Monday, my colleagues and I pulled together enough votes to reinstate the majority of the Governor’s budget vetoes, fund the capital budget, reverse the CBR sweep, and pass a $1,600 dividend which is consistent with an inflation adjusted average dividend over the last 36 years and will protect the fund for future generations.
Here is a partial list of vetoes which have been restored by the Legislature:
It remains to be seen if Governor Dunleavy will truly “Stand Tall for Alaska.” He has 20 days from transmittal of the bill to decide whether he is going to reinstate his vetoes, or whether he is going to continue to try and tear our state apart in the name of a manufactured crisis.
Now more than ever, we need you to keep coming forward to demand that the Governor do the right thing. Please call the Governor at 269-7450, or write to him at the following link:
As always, please call or email with any thoughts, ideas, or concerns.