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Wednesday, May 22, 2019
HomeIntel 907Mat-Su Assembly approves full PFD and constitutional spending cap

Mat-Su Assembly approves full PFD and constitutional spending cap

What started out as a simple resolution opposing state cuts to education took on an entirely different look by the end of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly meeting  on Tuesday.

The Assembly took public testimony for over an hour and robustly debated a resolution brought forward by Assembly member Dan Mayfield, which stated that a cut in state funding for education would create hardship for the local district. Amendments were added to the resolution and in the end, the Borough Assembly not only opposed education cuts, but is on the record supporting a full Permanent Fund dividend and a constitutional spending cap for the state budget.

Assembly member Matt Beck commented that the borough has a spending cap for the school district, so should the state. Assembly member Jesse Sumner said that state cuts necessitate a full Permanent Fund dividend because local governments will be picking up more of the costs of services, and those will be passed along to local taxpayers.

The amendments were put forward by Assembly member Ted Leonard.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • This is the only clear-thinking legislative, governmental body in Alaska. Most of the others are run by wacked-out Lefties. And members of the state House all need to check into API. All special sessions henceforth can be part of group therapy. Lock-down! Straight jackets for the majority coalition and drug therapy for the screwed-up, turncoat Republicans. Dunleavy: please fully fund API. Best investment you will ever make. Make Alaska Great Again! MAGA.

    • Your statement ” members of the state House all need to check into API. ” after a full drug screening !

      • LOL. Ed, the ones that don’t pass go into drug rehab..THEN… to API. The others probably couldn’t aim straight.

  • Great,
    Our assembly cannot bring a single “progressive” item forward so they are essentially debating the same talking points we have heard from the state legislature for weeks.
    Maybe assembly members can talk about something they can change like a livable wage in the valley or some new industry that can bring jobs or a way to decrease the huge increase in property crimes to the taxpayers of the borough?
    I guess it is “monkey see, monkey do” these days in AK politics…every monkey wants a “higher” rung on the political ladder in Alaska.
    The fact that they “…robustly debated a resolution brought forward by Assembly member Dan Mayfield, which stated that a cut in state funding for education would create hardship for the local district.”
    This is a “no brainer” and should not take up entire sessions .
    How about some original thinking from the puppets in Palmer these days?
    Seems doubtful to me.

    • Steve,
      What, exactly, is a “livable wage”? And who will determine what a “livable wage” is for everyone? If you’re indirectly pushing a higher minimum wage, read some great studies from Cato Institute and Forbes (amongst others) of how that minimum wage increases actually hurts the poorest and most un-skilled workers.
      I agree with you that it would be great if Alaska can invite new industries, especially more manufacturing and environmental jobs. Making Alaska a Right-to-Work State and decreasing the corporate tax the state levies would help, but those are something the legislature, not the assemblies, can do. Do you have any ideas for Mat-Su though?
      The huge increase in property crimes seems to be correlated with the passing of SB91. Repealing and replacing it with may help, especially tying better mental health, drug addiction, and education in our jails would be welcomed. Alas, this is again something that the legislature needs to do.
      It seems doubtful to me that our legislature is able to produce and Progressive original thoughts though. Those puppets seem unable to do much of anything of importance other than bicker, waste a lot of time and taxpayer money, and maintaining the status quo.

      • S.Evans…
        Thanks for your reply…
        As to the livable wage discussion,
        $15.00 an hour is the amount used in other areas of our country to determine a livable wage at this time in history.
        We have seen this in several states and it began in the Sea Tac area of Washington state.
        Amazon has also followed suit for their employees.
        This helps take low wages workers off of subsidies like welfare and food stamps and helps workers become more self sufficient.
        Raising the “livable wage” also (arguably) cuts down on crime and substance abuse issues as low wage workers have less stress on where their next meal may come from.
        As for decreasing property crime…well that is not only due to SB 91.
        Dan Mayfield’s flyer for assembly said: “will fight for progressive values”
        He also printed: “support policies to reduce crime”
        There are many different avenues in the borough to decrease property crime…
        One idea was for a borough wide police force.
        Another may be supporting more community watch groups or adding lights to public areas where criminals might gather at night?
        I am sure AST would have several suggestions for assembly members.
        Following the tropper dispatch, any resident can see that there are much more break ins and robberies than get reported in the news.
        I am more for resources on “the front end” in crime prevention instead of just more treatment and penal facilities.
        I believe if you give the people better jobs and higher wages, that this helps lift many out of poverty and will decrese substance abuse and Alcohol dependence….which then decreases domestic violence and crimes in the borough.
        Yes, I agree with you that manufacture and environmental jobs are two fields that are lacking in this borough which is the size of Ireland.
        Again, what is the borough doing to invite outside business to relocate to Alaska?

        • Steve,
          Thank you your replying. I respectfully disagree with you regarding the $15 minimum wage. Yes, Amazon and other companies have increased their wages, but in Seattle, other small businesses have seen job losses and decreased hours in work. In New York City, restaurants have also cut jobs, decreased hours, the price for foods have gone up, and others have closed. Several other companies have left the state. Governmental mandates on wages is tricky, especially for the small businesses that are already struggling to compete to giant corporations like Amazon (who, by the way, barely pay corporate taxes thanks to our 14,000 page tax code).
          I agree with you regarding Mat-Su’s and Anchorage’s crime increases is multi-faceted. I like your “front end” approach. Those are great ideas. Have you tried to contact your assembly members?
          And you are right, that if people have decent jobs then there would (hopefully) be a reduction in crime. But we need jobs. I think the state isn’t trying very hard to expand beyond oil, fishing, and tourism and isn’t providing a welcoming environment for innovation. Without more jobs, without better opportunities, crime will continue.
          It sounds like you and I basically agree with the major issues in both city and state. I appreciate your well-thought-our responses (and in Craig Medred too).

  • Using Seattle as an example is ridiculous! https://youtu.be/bpAi70WWBlw

  • On disability they give us a raise from the govt. Them cut our state aide by that amount …so there’s no raise these days , rob peter to pay Paul. But they expect us to live on the same amount but raise prices, rent, etc. Try living on what we get…I bet it wouldn’t even cover your car payment for a month. Hope you enjoy your fancy houses with no worry of going hungry or being cold at night or go without meds that you need to stay alive. Then you can say you walked in our shoes til then…do what’s right and constitutional for All Alaskans…do your job as you stated when you were elected , the wind blows enough wind we don’t need you blowing it up our butts too!!

  • hahaha $15/ hr min. wage is a joke. Cut government spending to include trimming the education budget, cut property taxes, less regulations and no minimum wage. this will lower the cost of living, promote quality in our educational system and make a degree actually worth something again, also more job specific training; all this, will ultimately lead towards ingenuity and bring jobs/opportunities to alaska.