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Gov.Walker Urges Legislators to Act Now on Fiscal Crisis

Alaska GOP says Governor is threatening citizens from his official office


July 13, 2016
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - The Walker-Mallott administration today released a six-page report of the dire consequences facing Alaskans as a result of the legislature’s failure to pass a sustainable fiscal plan.

In releasing the report, Governor Bill Walker said, “I thank the 29th Legislature for convening its fifth special legislative session to consider a truly historic Alaskan challenge. I have said many times: our new fiscal reality only constitutes a ‘crisis’ if we fail to act. Unfortunately, after a regular, extended, and special legislative session this year, 90 percent of our fiscal problem remains – with little optimism for reasonable compromise. It’s clear now: We have a serious fiscal crisis."

Walker stated in a press release, "How we deal with this crisis will define us all – with no less than Alaska’s future hanging in the balance. I therefore expect, and all Alaskans should demand, compromise and affirmative action by this Legislature on a comprehensive solution to our massive budget deficit during this special legislative session. I do appreciate the Senate’s good work in passing SB 128 to restructure the permanent fund."

"There are currently three fiscal plans in play, said the Governor. "There’s the Governor’s New Sustainable Alaska Plan, which will continue to force government efficiency while maintaining most current state services. But there are also two alternate plans: The No Action Plan (NAP) and the SB128-Only (Permanent Fund Restructure) Plan."

Under either alternate plan, devastating cuts to state services are required stated the Governor. To view Alaska under either of these scenarios, click here: Alternate Plans.

The Alaska Legislature will choose one of these three plans during this fifth special legislative session. Failure to adopt the New Sustainable Alaska Plan will, by default, mean choosing the No Action Plan (NAP). If the Legislature were to only pass SB128, then the SB128-Only Plan goes forward. One way or another, one of these three plans will go into effect when the Legislature gavels out of the fifth special session.

I will ask every legislator and every candidate for the legislature to choose which of these three plans they support. Failure to choose a plan will constitute support for the No Action Plan (NAP). After Alaskans become familiar with the type of Alaska each of these three plans represents, voters will be much better informed about who should represent them in Juneau.”

Rick Whitbeck, vice chair of the Alaska Republican Party responded to Gov. Bill Walker's press release saying the Governor is using his official office to campaign against citizens running for office if they don’t satisfactorily answer the Governor's questions about his proposed taxes. Whitbeck said, "...He not only threatened sitting legislators, but strongly inferred he would campaign against anyone who doesn’t answer his specific questions about addressing the budget gap.”

Whitbeck said, "He has stepped over the line when it comes to misusing the office. Alaskans have to ask themselves if he’s violated the Executive Branch Ethics Act."

“This governor's ethical boundaries are fuzzy at best. But it looks like his policies are so bad that he has to resort to political threats and strong-arming to try to get his way.” Whitbeck said.

Whitbeck said, “During an election season, the governor should make every effort to refrain from using state resources to campaign. It’s tough because he’s governor full time, but he has to be held to that standard.”

Governor Walker responded to Whitbeck in a prepared statement released this afternoon saying, "While it has been determined that the statement I made about the upcoming election was not a violation of the ethics act, I want to clarify that I am not trying to influence an election. I am trying to inform the public about what the legislature's own analyst has called the 'gravest fiscal crisis in state history.' I want Alaskans to know the consequences of action and inaction. I regret any misunderstanding this may have created.”


On the Web:

A View of Alaska’s Budget Choices if .....there is no action by the Legislature or if only the permanent fund restructure (SB128) is passed but no taxes (Governor's 6 page report)


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Gov. Bill Walker

Alaska GOP
Rick Whitbeck, vice chair of the Alaska Republican Party


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