A new group is hoping to educate the public about the state’s fiscal situation.
Our Alaska member Ian Laing said the group’s first video, which includes both dancing and costumed actors when discussing the budget crisis, takes a light approach to a serious subject.
“This is an issue that is going to affect everybody in the state and it transcends any sort of ideology,” Laing said. “So we’ve tried to adopt a more creative approach. It’s a little silly at times, but even a somber topic doesn’t have to be so boring.”
Laing said the group isn’t recommending a specific solution but definitely believes the answer will include doing just about everything, including new taxes and a change to the permanent fund, as well as budget cuts.
“When you get into the math, it requires pulling all the levers in some coordinated fashion,” he said. “And that means talking about continued spending restraint or budget cuts, it’s using state savings on a sustainable basis and it’s talking about new revenues.”
Laing said legislators are in a tough spot since many of them are up for re-election and may not want to make hard choices that offend voters. Even so, he said the need is there to act quickly.
“We as a group understand the importance of moving forward immediately with some sort of plan and even an imperfect plan now is better than frankly anything later because every year we put off making those big decisions we take options off the table,” Laing said.