WEEKS BEFORE IT’S DUE, HE’S LAYING A POLITICAL TRAP — IN PUBLIC
Gov. Bill Walker is the featured speaker at the “Make it Monday” Forum on Nov. 26, a weekly event produced by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.
The Walker Administration’s 2020 budget. The one he will not be implementing.
No governor has ever tried to paint the incoming governor into a corner the way Walker is about to do on Monday. He’ll likely give every group and constituency a going-away gift and set the stage for discord. He’s already told the Alaska Travel Industry Association that the budget will contain $12 million for the association — a promise he cannot keep.
The budget is not due until Dec. 15. Generally, a simple working budget is left by the outgoing administration for the incoming one to work with.
For Walker to make a presentation about his budget seems to be his way of sandbagging Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy, perhaps not for the last time.
When Walker took office in 2014, outgoing Gov. Sean Parnell left him a budget to work with, but did not attempt to back him into a corner by rolling it out in a public fashion. It was a “work in progress” budget that was handed over to the new administration privately as a deliberative document. Walker had two weeks to work with it before it was statutorily due to the Legislature. Rather than use that time and format a budget, Walker just filed it on Dec. 15 without his endorsement.
“As part of our commitment to having an open and transparent government, we are releasing the Parnell administration’s Work-In-Progress budget,” Walker said back then. “We appreciate the effort that the previous administration put in to giving us a starting point.”
Walker further indicated that he would make significant amendments to that Parnell budget, which were due in February. By then, he had eliminated most of the capital budget, including the shovel-ready Juneau Access project.
“Make it Monday Forum” is held at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage on Nov. 26, starting at 11:30 a.m.