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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: Alaska's Fiscal Situation

By David Nees


December 04, 2017
Monday PM

In a December 1 opinion piece Rep Ortiz opines that he is unfairly being accused of wanting to implement an income tax and has not done enough to cut spending. He then lays out exactly the same argument as the Walker administration with the inaccurate misleading cuts of 44% and huge loss of state jobs.

"Because we have reduced the combined capital and operating budget by 44%, there are significantly less state jobs. Today, 2,800 less people working for the state than 3 years ago, which equates to a 12% decrease in the state workforce. Department spending has decreased on average by 23%.”

Now let's just look at the facts, the combined state operating budget/ capital budget has indeed fallen, we are not spending as much as we did in 2015, the year the state put $3 billion into the PERS/TRS account to make it less likely to collapse.

If you look at just the operating budget, the FY2018 budget he voted for is actually larger than the previous years.

The actual amount of layoffs in the previous year according to Budget Director Pat Pitney was 17. If that is accurate, then for Rep Ortiz to be correct the state would have fewer than 100 employees, a far reach from the 26,000 funded positions.

His math is just not accurate, unfortunately the Legislature funds by positions, not butts in seats.

The departments chose where they will enact cuts because the Legislature has not defined mission critical elements.

There is a website Mission Critical, that details most of the discretionary spending waste, we suggest the people of Sitka ask Rep Ortiz if he has read it.

If Rep Ortiz wants to protect F&G jobs he needs to enact Legislation that manages the discretionary spending of F&G.

Your information to Constituents Rep Ortiz is factually inaccurate.

David Nees
Alaska Policy Forum
Anchorage, Alaska


Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received December 01, 2017 - Published December 04, 2017

Related Viewpoint:

letter Alaska's Fiscal Situation By Rep. Dan Ortiz




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