25 January 2007

$150 Million Memo

Further to yesterday's post, I hope you read Karen Rehfeld's budget-cuts memo and realize how outrageous this budget-cutting zeal is.

Basically, Sarah Palin wants to have it both ways. On the one hand, it wants to "hold harmless" the politically popular programs she got elected on - municipal revenue-sharing, PERS/TRS help, longevity bonus, education funding. On the other hand, she wants to make a statement as a "fiscal conservative" and cut spending. But her pool of spending to cut is slashed in half by her promises, which means the cuts go extra deep.

As always happens with budget cuts, the programs that are going to get the ax are the ones that don't have vocal political constituencies (PERS/TRS and revenue-sharing have the AML, education has parents, etc.) but are important to the state nonetheless. Who's going to stand up and say we shouldn't cut juvenile justice and have over-crowded detention facilities? Who's going to say we need more (and better paid) VPSOs, not fewer? Who's going to say rural airports need better lighting and paving?

I realize a lot of lawmakers are acquiescing to Governor Palin's enormous popularity and momentum but I sure hope someone starts standing up soon and calling this the travesty that it is.

1 comment:

First Alaskan Man said...

I don’t think we will see cuts as she would like. The next best thing is concentrate on how much more we banked last year and apply the budget as a percentage based program. This way, Ma’am Governor can “cut” percentage-wise, as opposed to cutting any dollar figures. As it is, we, and I include you Nome, don’t get even more cuts to services out here in Rural AK.