Time for legislators to speak up on disastrous Dunleavy budget

In the Fairbanks area alone there are tens of thousands of people concerned about what is going to happen with education, both K-12 and the University of Alaska.

Legislators need to speak up to reassure their constituents that they will oppose the Dunleavy plan to cut back state and local government service on a drastic scale.

This mess appears to be the result of Dunleavy handing over control of state government finances to temporary budget director Donna Arduin, who won’t be here to deal with the aftermath.

I sent the following email to Fairbanks legislators after the disastrous details of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget emerged. I will let you know how lawmakers respond to my inquiry.

Dear legislators:

I am writing to each of you for a clear and definite statement about whether you will reassure residents of the Fairbanks area that the disastrous and reckless cuts proposed today by Gov. Mike Dunleavy will be opposed by you.

The governor is proposing to eliminate thousands of jobs in the Fairbanks area alone.

The scale of cuts to the university are such that only one of the institutions could survive. Two of the three—UAF, UAA and UAS—would not be able to continue with a cut of that magnitude.

If you are not willing to say you are opposing these disastrous and reckless cuts, then please tell me why. I intend to write about this on my blog and column and will include your responses.

Regarding K-12 education, I would like to know if you can reassure Fairbanks residents that you will oppose the cuts as well. If not, please let me know.

The future of K-12 education is vital to decisions about future economic development. I think, for example, that the military might have to reconsider the future for Air Force families in this area with the cuts proposed by Dunleavy.

That would certainly be the case with local employers, as this plan would lead to larger class sizes and other issues.

It appears that Gov. Dunleavy has handed over the government to Temporary budget director Donna Arduin and the consequences so far are dismal.

It is important for every legislator in the Fairbanks area to take a stand on this, as the reckless Dunleavy plan will disrupt life in the community.

Dermot Cole12 Comments