House District 4 - Tim Lamkin

Name: Tim Lamkin

District: House District 4

Area: North Fairbanks

Party Affiliation: Nonpartisan

Where were you born? Louisville, Kentucky

If you weren't born in Alaska, when did you come here? Arrived in AK in 1979, 39 years.

Age on election day: 47

If you've attended college, which schools did you attend? What's your highest degree achieved?
University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Class of 1993-94, Political Science, International Business, Minored in Theatre and Scandinavian Studies

What is or was your main career?
Legislative Aide, Alaska Legislature

If you've held or run for public office before, which one(s)?
University of Alaska Board of Regents, Vice President

If you have a spouse or significant other whom you live with, what is their name?
Takenya Lamkin-Ponchione

If you have children, what are their first names and ages?
Mari (17), Oliver (11), Nico (9)

Why are you running for office?
I believe this is a public service and civic obligation to Alaska. It is a role that must be fulfilled by the most experienced and qualified, and least politically motivated individual.

I am the best candidate for this job. There is no “party” here. It is work. I will not accept per diem, nor the perks others embrace, nor be motivated to develop the resume of a family dynasty.

I support term limits. I reiterate: this is a public service and a civic obligation, not a game nor for a “party”. I was compelled to offer my services and enter the race as the best candidate.

What are the most important issues facing Alaska?
State finances and budget
State resources management and conservation
Public safety
Crime & hard drugs
Education reform and funding
Public Health

What would you do to reduce crime in Alaska?
Get people into school, or employed, and off hard drugs. Invest in community service organizations, particularly those working in drug rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, and mental health assistance. Encourage the development and improvement of neighborhood watches.

Should dividends be paid under the original dividend formula?
Yes, at least currently.

Should Permanent Fund earnings be used to pay for state government? How much?
We should consider increasing the oil royalty contribution to the Permanent Fund itself. Grow the Permanent Fund in such a manner so as to reach a level that investment income can not only sustain dividend payments, but potentially also to support core government services.

What, if anything would you cut from the budget?
Every state program has a constituency. I will not name specific program cuts at this time. General, flat unallocated cuts to be absorbed across various agencies has perhaps reached its limit. It is time to examine more and more closely whole programs which are effective and worthwhile, and others which may need to be shut down. Reducing or eliminating programs or services is inevitable and must be approached carefully.

Should Alaska have new or increased taxes? What would you suggest?
No new revenue measures until we correct our oil tax structure. SB 21 and the “initiative” was a disgrace of voter manipulation by media campaign. If we fail to correct our existing oil tax system, balance our state budget quickly enough, and are forced into new a revenue (tax) measure, I would lean to support a sales tax before an income tax. I understand there are sharp arguments for and against any approach we take.

Have humans contributed to climate change, and if so, does the state bear any responsibility to undo some of the effects?
I am inclined to believe the earth’s climate is changing. It is unclear whether or not humans have directly contributed to that change. What is important to recognize, is how humans should choose to respond to climate change. It is every human’s responsibility to contribute to that discovery. State leaders can act accordingly. Rather than fix the blame, let’s sort out how to fix our future.

Do you agree or disagree with Gov. Walker's decision to expand Medicaid in 2014? How much do you believe that decision cost the state treasury?
Governor Walker did what most governors and states would do (and did) when faced with a budget option of decreasing the number of uninsured people. It was at least initially entirely funded through the federal government and by American taxpayer dollars. We were (are) being taxed for the program, we might as well utilize it fully. However, as the State of Alaska begins to pick up a larger portion of the tab, amounting to approximately another $100 million annually, we must face the choice of continuing to fund an expanded program, or restore stricter eligibility limits. While I am supportive of using tax dollars to assist our most vulnerable citizens, I also want to preserve the integrity of Medicaid and see that it is indeed reserved for Alaskans most in need of health care assistance.