Rocky Knudsen: State needs to be more efficient

  • By Rocky Knudsen
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014 11:17pm
  • Opinion

Deficit Spending: Make cuts to the operating budget by requiring the departments to be more efficient in their daily operations. Stop extended studies for projects that we are not going to build (the Knik Arm Bridge has been studied since before statehood). There have been five new power plants and several plant upgrades in south-central Alaska making the Watana Dam less urgent, to Alaska’s power needs. Stop spending for projects that are not needed (LIO building in Anchorage, Smoking Pavilion in Juneau). Stop giving subsidies to refineries when they don’t even ask for them. We could also cut out retirement for elected officials. I do not believe that politicians should be in office long enough to be eligible for retirement benefits.

Revenue Uncertainty: Make sure we have a market for our natural gas and build the LNG project. The people of the State of Alaska own the gas, are a customer, and a partner in the project and need to have a strong voice in how the project is built. We need to have a project labor agreement with an Alaska hire requirement to ensure it is built with professional Alaskan craftsmen. This project would also help to get cheaper energy to interior Alaska.

Education: School districts that do not already have budget difficulties, soon will. We have to make sure school districts have the resources they need to properly train our children for the future. We also need secondary education that focuses on the industries in Alaska so more Alaskans will be employed. We need to employ and retain the best teachers available. We can do this by allowing teachers and other public employees to return to a defined benefit retirement program. Forward funding for our schools would help the State, and local School Districts, budget for the resources our children need, instead of making cuts which hinder educators.

Leadership: We really need our legislators to work together for the needs of Alaska citizens. If Bill Walker is elected, this could happen.

More in Opinion

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30.
Opinion: Trump’s new fixers

Fixers from Alaska and elsewhere step in after guilty verdict

Ballot booths are set up inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Perspective from an election worker

Here is what I know about our Kenai Peninsula Borough election system

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting transgender rights. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The imaginary transgender sports crisis

House Bill 183 is a right-wing solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now and never will.

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Session ends with budget, dividend and bills passed

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Listen to PAs; support Senate Bill 115: Modernizing PA Practice in Alaska

Health care is rapidly evolving, demanding a more flexible and responsive system

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Opinion: Hilcorp Alaska: Powering Southcentral Alaska — past, present and future

Hilcorp Alaska has and will continue to fully develop our Cook Inlet basin leasehold

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024 (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Collegiality matters

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Juneau Empire file photo
Larry Persily.
Opinion: Alaska might as well embrace the past

The governor, legislators, municipal officials and business leaders are worried that the Railbelt will run short of natural gas before the end of the decade

The Alaska State Capitol on March 1. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Physicians oppose Alaska Senate Bill 115 — Independent Practice for PAs

Alaskans don’t want access to just any health care, they want access to high quality care

Norm McDonald is the deputy director of Fire Protection for the Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service)
The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from above on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alaska Wildland Fire Information)
Opinion: This wildfire prevention month, reflect on ways to protect each other and our communities from wildfire

Alaskans saw what happened in Canada last year, and they know it can happen here too