May 20, 2022

Press Release: Gara Addresses Governor’s Decision to Leave Alaska With Future Fiscal Gap, Continued Future School, Budget & PFD Battles

Russian War Money, Election Year Spending, Just Take Alaska To Future Battles Over Schools, Energy Projects, PFD, Which Dunleavy Used to Divide Alaskans His First Three Years

Today Former Rep. Les Gara issued the following statement on the Governor’s refusal to use leadership for the fourth year in a row as the 2022 legislative session concludes.

“For three years Dunleavy has harmed educational opportunity, vetoed pre-k, shifted state costs to communities, and paid an average $1,230 PFD – all because he has refused to get the fair oil revenue this state deserves. He’s left us facing more deficits, and more divisive budget battles when this terrible Russian War ends.”

“In an election year, and only because of Russian war money, this year he won’t repeat his 2019 attempts to cut a quarter billion dollars from our schools, or harm the Marine Highway again, or steal $1 billion again from our rural power cost fund, or attempt another $3 billion raid on the Permanent Fund.”

“But when this horrible war is over, he’ll leave us poor again, and continue giving Alaska’s oil wealth away to oil companies that are earning record war profits. Until we end $1.3 billion in oil subsidies Alaska can’t afford, and which deplete Alaska’s ability to build a strong, stable future, he’ll be back to rearranging the chairs on the Titanic if he’s re-elected. He’ll return to his first three years of steering us into every iceberg in front of us.”

In 2012 Dunleavy voted for the current oil company subsidy law, SB 21, and Gara voted against it. Gara warned it would make Alaska too poor to build a future for this and the next generation.

“With fair oil revenue we can build a future for people. By giving the people’s money away to some of the wealthiest corporations in the world, this Governor has made us poor, and caused 20,000 more people to leave this state than have moved here since 2019. Those people saw no future here and left. I want to build a real future for people so they can stay here, and help us build this state. Part of the solution is to end Dunleavy’s $1.3 billion in large oil company “tax credit” subsidies,” said Gara.