3 things, like a perfect storm, drove up our crime rates: the recession, drugs, and SB91. Unfortunately, SB91 did not “reform” the criminal justice system in Alaska as it was touted. Instead, it de-criminalized offenses, removed mandated sentencing, and increased the threshold for a criminal to get prison time. It must be pulled back. We must give our police and our judges the ability to arrest and sentence criminals appropriately.
Alaska’s GDP is down. Business revenues are down. Ironically, state spending is not. It increased 15% this year. Imposing an income tax and reducing the PFD is not how we fix state spending. We have the resources here, in the people and in the land, to keep the Alaskan dream alive. We are a frontier state built by visionaries and leaders who believed in Alaska’s greatness. I carry that optimism and innovation to expand our economy and stabilize our finances.
Alaska’s future is rooted in how we educate our youth. Unfortunately, we spend on education at the 2nd highest rate in the nation yet get 46th in results. Education is a long-term approach to making Alaska great again. We need to promote infrastructure for online learning. We can develop vocational training. We need to get the value we expect from the dollars we spend on education. We should be not settle until Alaskans can we get the best educational opportunity in the nation.