We are lifelong Alaskans with many vested interests in our state, including children and grand children. We are grateful for Governor Walker’s determination to set our state on a sustainable fiscal path.
Bill Walker wants to preserve the PFD, not “steal” it as some claim. In the ADN candidate questionnaire published on 10/11/14, Walker said: “I have no intention to implement a statewide tax or … reducing PFD checks. IF we properly develop our natural resources and put in place a sustainable budget that should not be necessary.”
In 2013, when our financial picture was robust, no one complained about a $900 dividend. Now, our oil income is a fraction of what it was and we need to adjust accordingly.
During the 2014 campaign, the price of oil hovered around $100 and there was a $1 billion deficit. Walker viewed the state’s finances as a challenge that could be resolved; but neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen that oil would plummet to $30 per barrel, that the deficit would explode to over $4 billion, or that Alaska would lose 80 percent of its revenue resulting in an annual state income of about $1 billion.
Walker plans to keep the PFD alive in the face of decreasing revenue, but in order to keep the state afloat and return it to some level of prosperity changes MUST be made.
Our families are content to receive $1000 in light of this grim financial picture.
As a state we elected Bill Walker to balance our state budget and put Alaska back on a secure financial footing; let’s not be angry at him now for doing what it takes to get that job done!