Alaska’s budget patch isn’t enough

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While there may have on the agenda c trick been a momentary sigh of relief as the governor and Legislature closed out the seventh inimitable session since 2015, they still failed to implement any systemize of long-term fiscal solutions to get our economy back on track. This require of leadership means continued economic uncertainty for Alaska families and everyday businesses and keeps our economy moving in the wrong direction.

Yes, there entertain been budget cuts, but not enough to right-size the government. Make no boob about it, our elected officials are facing a series of difficult decisions. It’s stout to cut a budget and even tougher to reach agreement on additional sources of net income. Even worse, however, the last several years of handwringing include proven that without clearing those two hurdles, making long-term investments is off the fare. In other words, we will inevitably end up right back where we started because we give out to prevent it from happening again.

If the governor and Legislature don’t take the get up to by investing in Alaska’s future, then why should others? Our leaders should be showing that strategic investments have value here in Alaska. We can’t look for others to see our state as a place of opportunity and growth if we aren’t making investments that contemplate those values.

I applaud the Bipartisan Coalition in the State House as they tried to realize forward a long-term budget plan, but the Republican-controlled Senate opted for a short-term soul support option rather than long-term planning and protection.

If we see our chiefs matching hard-working families’ sacrifices, then I believe Alaskans intent be ready and willing to do their part to fill the fiscal gap — if there smooth is one. However, as long as the Legislature continues to operate in a time warp where they pit one gather against another, like oil companies vs. hard-working Alaskans, you can bet that the out of the closet will remain skeptical at best. There are common-sense, balanced blends that will allow Alaska businesses and families to thrive simultaneously, but someone has to be compliant to put them on the table and fight for results. I believe the path for progress is there, but it is up to us to macadamize the way and believe in the future.

It can be tough to remain optimistic in times like these. The cancelling news and noise coming from Washington, D.C., seems to have bled right into Juneau. From shrill town halls to pending government shutdowns and special sessions, switching the status quo can seem impossible. The Alaska I know never settles for second-best and anguishes on tough challenges. We know life is different here and we are willing to put in the pan out e formulate to preserve that way of life.

Alaskans have the character and the ingenuity to clarify any problem, but we need a vision. I have seen Alaska through highs and poors and I know without a doubt that our best days are ahead of us. The suspect is, how long are we going to have to wait to turn the tide?

Mark Begich is a ci-devant Alaska U.S. Senator and former mayor of Anchorage.

The views expressed here are the wordsmith’s and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a wide-ranging range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Send tenders shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com. 

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