The health care reinforcements are much needed, but it does nothing to meaningful curb the unchecked spread of covid-19 in Alaska. Alaska’s leaders have at worst actively fueled the vitriol that has made the entire situation that much worse and at best have refused to confront disinformation in any meaningful way.
“We’re on top of this. We’ve always been on top of this,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy as he downplayed the severity of the pandemic, noting that more people have died from other non-covid causes.
Isn’t doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results the definition of something?
Ah, right, Alaska politics.
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.
It’s likely that this whole thing could end up in the court again while Alaskans are left waiting for resolution.
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.
The big problem is Gov. Dunleavy argues that balance isn’t needed.