Ask not what Alaska’s hospitals can do to meet the covid-19 surge, ask what we can do to reduce the covid-19 surge that’s straining Alaska’s hospitals.
In his veto, the governor’s administration claimed that the gap could be made up with federal funds and then in an editorial later claimed that no public health nurses would be laid off due to the vetoes. What he didn’t mention was agency has extreme staffing problems with as much as a 30% vacancy rate when the pandemic started, according to the budget documents.
“Something is not a compromise merely because one says it’s a compromise,” said Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage.
It’s likely that this whole thing could end up in the court again while Alaskans are left waiting for resolution.
“This is way beneath Alaskan standards,” said House Speaker Louise Stutes.
“There’s certainly a lot to talk about if needed but if not that’s fine,” Wool said before the committee held the vote on the measure.
In a deeply wonky combination of last-minute maneuvering and a recent ruling, there would have been nearly twice as much money available for this year’s dividend. It would have been $1,025 instead of the $525. Right now, though, it’s zero.
Now that the state is starting to work out the basics of a new fiscal plan, the governor argues we should start paying out larger dividends even though that plan is far from a reality.
Obligatory: The 2022 election in Alaska will be unprecedented with the brand-new combination of open primaries and ranked-choice voting on the books as well as a court ruling that just took the state’s contribution limits off the books.
Gara doesn’t have a running mate at this point, but said he’s looking to form a ticket that represents Alaska.