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.