Courtesy of Lynn Willis on the story about four Democratic legislators calling on Gov. Bill Walker to re-appropriate $20 million that was budgeted for Anchorage’s U-Med road:
Memo to these four legislators: Good idea to maintain infrastructure we already have built or actually use the money to replenish our cash reserves; however, simply re-apportioning funds for maintenance or other expense is not preventing them from being spent and therefore does not reduce state spending.
Notice that there is a strong sentiment against actually saving the $20 million, as opposed to just not spending it on this particular road. Is this what we can expect this session as we attempt to live within our means – partisan bickering over individual projects without actually cutting spending significantly? If all this does is spend the money on something else, is it now the Republican’s turn to re-apportion $20 million in an equally meaningless gesture meant to confuse motion with progress?
While I encourage this step in the right direction to save the money, if they actually wanted to cut this amount of spending between the two parties they need to find another 49 projects worth $20 million then they will have saved a billion dollars. Next go find another 100 projects worth $20 million each and you have saved the three billion we need to cut.
We need comprehensive solutions to provide the maximum benefit to Alaskans over time, not politically expedient smoke and mirrors.