Alaskans debate spending priorities and PFD amounts

Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska (KTUU)

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — The governor's budget has been highly debated, and will continue to be as state lawmakers decide what should be a spending priority.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said a $1.6 billion deficit was the driving force behind the deep cuts, which he said would impact all Alaskans.

We have heard from economic experts at ISER that it could mean thousands of lost jobs, but Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said state government spending needs to be smaller, and the state's future is at risk at current spending levels. He also promised during the election to pay back the past three year's worth of smaller dividends.

But what does the average Alaskan think?

We asked our viewers on Facebook what they think the state budget should look like. We wanted to know what should be a priority and how how much average people think the Permanent Fund Dividends should be.

Here's a sampling of responses:

Janelle Otton: "More like: what are our revenue priorities? Nothing is owed to us if we never had the money to spend in the first place (how many billion dollar deficit?)"

Scott Anaya: "Cut oil tax credits and close much of the shortfall."

Amanda Cottle: "Full PFD, income tax on non-resident employees(workers who spend their money and reside out of state except during their work shift), sales tax to help get money from all the tourists that come and spend money in our state."

Marcie N Ben Hinde: "smaller PFD, State income tax, Firm Education Funding."

Angelina D. Christiansen: "A sustainable budget and leave the PFD alone...Dunleavy has a good start."

Joseph Mattila: "Ferries are off limits. Crucial to those areas of Alaska."

Colleen Bridge: "Reinstate Income Tax & School Tax, cut oil rebates, $1200 PFD, stable Education Funding (including UA)."

Mike Shuler: "Public safety. Must get the crime under control."

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus