Alaska Governor Now Murdering Head Start, Medicaid, Universities
The Alaska state legislature is meeting in Wasilla for some fucking reason. Oh, and it is also fucking meeting in goddamn Juneau like it's supposed to be. What the fuck is going on? I'll tell you. Hold onto your bootstraps, it's gonna be an ugly ass ride.
So far this year we have had our mystery ballot demystified, a shitty ass budget proposal, AK state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux ejected from the House Majority Caucus, a regular legislative session, a Crime Bill, a special session, a compromise operating budget passed by both houses, a second special session called for by the governor, a veto, protests, the special session meeting in two different cities, the senate majority leader repealed and replaced, Rep. Tammie Wilson leaving the House Majority Caucus (led by a former Dem who flipped to an Indy in order to lead it), which contains both GOP and Dems, and a failed veto override. WE HAVE BEEN BUSY IN ALASKA, OKAY?
That brings us to the current day in this messiest of messes, aside from the horrifying budget proposal Governor Mike Dunleavy, our own off-brand Tim Robbins, laid on us like a dollop of poo in our root beer float. How did we get to this batshit place? Dunleavy promised our dumb asses we would get our full PFD -- muh Permanent Fund Dividend! -- if we voted for him. Members of both parties in the Alaska state legislature oppose the steep cuts our governor has proposed for the new budget. The budget is the source of ALL KINDS OF DRAMA, probably because it is a weaponized assassination document that Governor Dunleavy will be using to murder us all. Allegedly.
Gavel Alaska: Governor's Press Availability - Feb 13, 2019 www.youtube.com
I would have linked you to the budget proposal rather than forcing you to hear his stupid face talk at you, but wonder of wonders, his proposal is
nowhere to be found. This prickface is so determined to give us $3000 fucking dollars instead of $1600 in Permanent Fund Dividend money that he is willing to break the entire fucking state. He also wants to time travel back to 1992 and swipe Joe Biden's long since disavowed crime bill, and shove it up OUR asses, while at the same time cutting 40% of funding to our state university system, UA, and then reducing Medicaid.
Office and Management Budget Director, Donna Arduin, said Medicaid would see a cut of around $275 million while the Base Student Allocation would be reduced by $280 million.
The public safety increase is commensurate with Dunleavy's previously proposed crime bills, including investigators being consolidated in the Department of Law.
In addition to the cuts to education, Dunleavy's budget includes big cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System. $98 million, or 75 percent of the state ferry system's budget would be cut.
Dunleavy said the cuts to Medicaid would not repeal the expansion to the program that was signed into law by previous Gov. Bill Walker.
Like I said, the guy is a real humdinger.
Unfortunately for us, our governor has a line item veto, which enabled him to cut whatever he doesn't want, and keep whatever bullshit he DOES want.
Here are a few things he vetoed from the budget, from Anchorage Daily News.
Medicaid dental coverage has been eliminated for adults, a cut of $27 million.
The governor vetoed $6.1 million in behavioral health treatment grants, leaving $61.5 million in the mental health budget.
Funding for Head Start, early childhood education and Parents as Teachers has been eliminated, cutting $8.6 million.
The Alaska State Council on the Arts has been defunded, cutting $2.8 million, and the governor also vetoed a $1.1 million increase in the council's budget that would have been funded by private foundations. (The money would have been distributed in grants.)
The Ocean Ranger cruise ship pollution inspection program was defunded, cutting $3.4 million. (This program was entirely funded with fees from the cruise ship industry and the veto does not save tax dollars.)
The state's senior benefits program, which pays cash to poor elders each month, has been fully eliminated, cutting $20.8 million from the budget.
The entire budget of the Alaska Legal Services Corp., about $750,000, was vetoed by the governor. The corporation is the only organization that provides free help to poor Alaskans in civil lawsuits.
Jesus. I will stop here because I'm crying again.
The University of Alaska system will have to lay off up to 1,300 faculty and staff, cut programs and close campuses as a result of the cuts, officials have said. The university system will likely lose about 3% of its student enrollment, Klouda and Guettabi's report says.
So, we have legislators who are loyal to our Tundra Trump meeting at Wasilla High, while pretending that the rest of the lawmakers, who actually went to our actual fucking capital where they have offices and shit, are the ones not doing their jobs. The governor doesn't, in my correct opinion, have the right to decide where the legislature holds its sessions. Imagine Trump ordering Nancy to hold a House session at Mar-a-Lago?
Protesters showed up in Wasilla to tell the assholes who went there to take their asses back to Juneau, and override the governor's budget line item vetoes. Also, there were protesters in Juneau telling THEM to go the fuck to Wasilla and get them their FULL PFD check.
Former Rep Al Vezey has decided to sue that lawmakers who went to their usual workplace, because he is an asshole too.
Yes, we have Black Republicans in Alaska, and yes, they are unhelpful as fuck, just like Regular Republicans. Like, dude, if you didn't come to help, then...??? Bye.
The Board of Regents will discuss options for UA system restructuring and plan to further consider those options on July 30. "This declaration reflects a sharp turning point," Johnsen said "financial exigency is an action I never anticipated that this great university or its regents would need to take. But every day we delay increases the size of the cuts required."
"As we face this action, I want to acknowledge the legislature for passing a responsible budget with a manageable $5 million cut, and recognize those legislators in Juneau who stood up for the university. To those 37, I say thank you. We appreciate your confidence in UA and your informed and inspired statements of support.
I'm fucking speechless. We are fucked, okay?
I usually ignore what's going on in Alaska state politics until it's time to make a sign and hang out on the Park Strip until the cottonwood swells my eyelids shut. Let me give it to you straight, our state is fucking insane, our residents all wanna live like some kind of macho, self sufficient (with muh PFD check!), Paula Bunyan tall tale, but in reality, we, like all the other dead red states, are welfare recipients. The untaxed with PFDs on tap, Ayn Randian, Neo-Libertarian fantasyworld lifestyle comes with costs to bear. So, who wants to pay? Nobody, of course. So, once again, our children will pay, those who can least afford to pay will pay, and the sick may pay with their lives due to Medicaid cuts. I hate this shit.
When people quiz me about Alaska politics, I usually try to find myself in a place as far away from that person as physically possible. How does one explain that the state is batshit, therefore our legislature is batshit, but even more problematic, our governor is the most batshit of all? Who knows? It's not easy being Wonderbeezy.
Here, enjoy this moose getting cool in the sprinkler, it will make you feel a little better.
Moose Stays Hydrated During Heatwave || ViralHog www.youtube.com
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