Minority House Republicans hold the key - Must Read Alaska
Connect with:
Sunday, December 5, 2021
HomeColumnsMinority House Republicans hold the key

Minority House Republicans hold the key

gif ad for must read alaska donations

By REP. BEN CARPENTER

It’s been more “business as usual” in Juneau.

The House Majority continues its bullying of Alaska’s people with the most recent “compromise” to the people’s request to pay a full Permanent Fund dividend.

House Bill 1005, as presented, is a false dilemma to create demand for spending the Permanent Fund dividend on government largesse.

The “compromise” is smoke-and-mirrors to create demand for doing something (anything!) other than approve Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s budget. What is clearly demanded by the people is a full PFD, not just this year, but into the future.

What is clearly demanded by the people is for the Alaska State Legislature to reduce government spending to a sustainable level, something that has yet to be accomplished. What is clear is that the people are fed up with business as usual as evidenced by the election of Gov. Dunleavy and eight new members in the House.

What we are witnessing, however, is a continuation of pride, power, and partial truths that present a compromise on the PFD as what is in the best interest of the people.

This from the same people who just days ago said the PFD would be “what ever is left over” after government is done spending it.

This from the same people who refuse to even have a conversation about a constitutional spending limit.

This is from the same people who refuse to appropriate current year funds to fully fund education and instead will spend funds on an unnecessary lawsuit.

The reality is that the House Republican Caucus has identified a compromise to end this session very quickly. Leadership in the House and the Senate are fully aware of this compromise but have chosen to ignore the offer. We, the House Republican Caucus, have agreed to fully fund education and fully fund the statutory PFD. We have dropped demands for the three proposed constitutional amendments and reducing education funding this session. These are huge compromises for many constituents.

Education and PFD funding can be addressed with simple amendments by either body in either of the appropriation budgets yet to be passed. With these simple actions and the approval of HB49, the special session is over. It can be done before mid-week next week.

The 15-member House Republican caucus and like-minded members in the Senate are the only thing standing in the way of bigger state government and a smaller PFD.

The 15-member House Republican caucus members are the ones who can make the required votes happen to pass the budget. It’s this minority caucus that holds the key to the Constitutional Budget Reserve.

It’s time you tell your representatives to stop bullying Alaskans and support the House Republican compromise to bring this special session to an end.

Rep. Ben Carpenter was elected in 2018 to serve as the representative for House District 29 — Seward, Moose Pass, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Funny River, Salamatof and Nikiski.

Donations Welcome

Share

Written by

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

  • The only way to “fix” the State Legislature is to move them to a more accessible part of the State where they have to face us instead of hide from us. I say the most cost efficient move would be to Anchorage because they already have offices in Anchorage.

  • It is unfortunate that many of the legislators feel threatened by special constituencies such as the education industry. These legislators would rather take a single parent’s PFD and the child’s PFD and give it to the state coffers. Then the state would provide new “programs” to help that single parent and child–after skimming 20% off the top for bureaucratic management. So, many legislators believe that the government know how to better spend the money than any single parent in Alaska. We need to call them out on this or it will never stop.

  • It’s great to see this kind of thinking going on in Juneau, even while realizing that the minority doesn’t have much chance of success.
    The Education funding will have to happen.
    The poor Dividend needs Constitutional protection, and a legal solution for the amounts already Cut.
    Ben Carpenter has the necessary vision, and the wisdom to compromise when necessary.
    I still think more special sessions are to come… Hang in there !

  • There was a time some years ago when the Democratic minority in the House could extract just about ANYTHING it wanted from the Republican majorities in exchange for the votes to access the budget reserve. Even from a extreme minority position, these thieves could make the budget GROW. I doubt if the current minority Republicans will stick together. It is only a matter of time before the Majority buys the soul of a Republican or two. I could name names right now.

  • Hang in there. You are protecting us, and we recognize how difficult it is with the majority that wants to steal from our Fund. With so many of us out of work, we desperately need our full Dividend just to pay our bills! Please, please, please, don’t give in.

  • Gov. Michael Dunleavy was elected for a reason, the people are tired of politicians spending the people’s money any way they want, and robbing them of their PFD. One thing is for sure – career politicians are great at spending every penny and more on the backs of hard working people. Either get on board or get off – your not going to be allowed to keep your jobs if you think you can spend like drunken sailors.

%d bloggers like this: