Now then: Budget shenanigans are not just limited to the Imperial City. Even here in the Great Land, the second most taxpayer-friendly states according to Kiplinger, the state legislature doesn’t seem to be able to cut a budget deal. Here’s what Alaska’s News Source has to say:
With the Alaska Legislature session quickly heading toward the 121-day mark, the House and Senate chambers are yet to pass a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It’s a looming deadline set to expire in less than a week.
In April the state House passed a budget featuring a $2,700 Permanent Fund Dividend payment for qualifying Alaskans, based in part on the so-called 50-50 plan, which splits a transfer from the permanent fund — one half for dividends and the other half for services.
According to Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, the House’s budget as it stands would create an $800 million deficit.
“The last thing we want to do is go out with a big bomb saying ‘Well here’s your great big check but you may not get one in five years,’” House Minority Rep. Alyse Galvin said during a press conference Wednesday. “We don’t want to go down that path because it’s just so irresponsible. We’re not looking at just get re-elected, we’re looking at the future of Alaska.”
You can see Alaska’s 2022 budget here. A quick glance through that budget shows a lot of distributed interests that are probably legitimate items on which the state should spend taxpayer money; some, however, are not. I think we could probably get along without spending a cool million on the “Clean Water Capitalization Grant Subsidy”, never mind almost six million on the “Drinking Water Capitalization Grant Subsidy.” Although, I admit, I’m not terribly familiar with either of those programs, except that nobody from Juneau has ever come around our place inquiring as to how pure our well water is.
A lot of Alaskans are concerned as well as to what the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) payout will look like. And that’s a valid concern; it’s a program that is required by state statute. It’s not as big an issue for Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. than it may be for some lower-income folks, I admit, although we sure aren’t turning it down.
I haven’t gone through any of the issues in the proposed 2023 budget in any detail. I probably will go through the final budget when it’s published. Alaska’s fiscal woes concern plenty of folks here in the Great Land, but they’re pretty small beans compared to the fiscal lunacy in the Imperial City. So we watch, we read, and when November comes, we vote accordingly.