“It’s April. The Governor Promised 17 new troopers to fill a fraction of Alaska’s public safety needs. As of today, he hasn’t proposed a penny to fund even one new Trooper.”
“I believe in funding good police, but this Governor seems to believe in defunding them,” said Gara.
“It’s a pretty easy job for a Governor to grab election year headlines with false promises. He did that. It’s a harder job to govern honestly,” said Les Gara, a former legislator who called for more troopers and more prosecutors when he was a legislator.”
“As I said my whole legislative career, we can’t attract Troopers, police, teachers and others when we don’t offer the basic pension that’s offered in most other states. Without a fair, cost-effective pension, Troopers, teachers and others come to Alaska for a few years, vest in their 401(k) after five years, and then leave Alaska. We shouldn’t waste money paying to be a training ground for workers who then move away,” said Gara.
Gara has been a long proponent of a fair pension system for public employees, including Troopers, police, and teachers. He voted against the law ending pensions in 2006, and has called for, and co-sponsored legislation to bring back a pension system. “We should pass a cost-effective pension plan, which will save money by not requiring the constant, expensive recruitment and loss of new workers,” said Gara.
“It costs $20,000 every time we recruit and train a Trooper or teacher,” and having a system that causes turnover is more expensive than having a cost-effective pension system that would keep the best and brightest here in Alaska.