I have lived, worked and raised a family in Kenai for over 47 years. I, like many of you love our state and the beauty and opportunities that it has to offer. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten ourselves into quite a fiscal mess and those opportunities are disappearing. I would think all of us have played some part in creating this debt over the years. I visited the web site “www.plan4alaska.com” as suggested by many of our legislators. Once you begin manipulating the numbers it won’t take long before you’ll be sick to your stomach. So, what now? It’s obvious that whatever we do it’s going to affect everyone in a negative way. Most likely some monies will need to come from the Permanent Fund. For the record — I am totally against that unless one thing is guaranteed from our politicians. Hold that thought, I will get back to it. In 1990 the Constitutional Budget Reserve was established to assist government funding when the price of oil dipped below our projected price.
Heck, just a couple of years ago the CBR had over $12 billion dollars in it earning $1 billion dollars annually for our state. Since it was established our politicians had just a couple of rules to follow. If they needed money from the reserve fund they needed a 3/4 vote from both the house and the senate. Secondly it “needed to be paid back.” Guess what, it’s not happening.
Even when oil was over $100 per barrel our expenditures continued to grow.
The track record is pretty clear, if they’ve never paid it back with high oil prices do we really believe they can make changes to our Permanent Fund so it’s there for future generations. I think you know my answer. Here’s what we do. We set a reasonable projected price for our oil each year at budget time.
We then insist that each legislator take an oath that when the price of oil is over the projected amount we pay the CBR. If that doesn’t occur then the honorable ones will resign. Sure would make the following election cycle easy for me.