The governor said the chief concern is preparing for the virus, saying economic impacts would come second.
The Dunleavy administration tried to make the case that breaking the spending limit on the permanent fund’s earnings to repay last year’s PFD isn’t the end of the world.
Coronavirus-induced market panics have erased billions of dollars in value from the Alaska Permanent Fund, oil has plummeted amid a emerging price war between Russia and the Saudis, and the summer tourism industry could be slammed with cancellations, putting the pinch on nearly every corner of Alaska.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, and neither does a status quo budget.
It didn’t help that state officials struggled mightily to explain the decision to skirt the state’s competitive bid process or what, precisely, Clark Penney has been doing for the state.
In a two-page order issued today, Bolger said his public statements such as his address to the Alaska Legislature where he pledged “to do our work independently of any outside political interests or financial influence” could cause someone to questions his fairness in the case.
Did the governor’s office have anything to do with the contract? Dunleavy says he can’t be sure but lashes out at legislators who dared question the contract.
The ruling finds the Recall Dunleavy campaign would face “not inconsiderable” injury if the signature-gathering process was delayed any further.
Bolger said it’s critical for the judiciary to remain independent.
The Legislature is unable to put a stop to the contract because it was awarded by a state corporation that’s outside of legislative control.