House Democrats call for taxes before big cuts
Members of the House Minority say they’d rather see new taxes than extreme cuts. House subcommittees have proposed millions of dollars in cuts to the state’s university system and big hits to senior benefits.
“When you see some of these massive, draconian cuts to things like the university system — $62 million in one year when they just sustained three previous years’ cuts, cutting all research, all athletics — those are cuts that kind of leave me saying, ‘what kind of state are we going to live in?'” said Rep. Scott Kawasaki at a press conference Tuesday.
Fairbanks senator and finance co-chair Pete Kelly said he’s ruled out taxes altogether, citing a lack of time to address all of the governor’s proposals. Rep. Les Gara shot back Tuesday.
“It’s not rocket science in putting together a fiscal plan,” Gara said. “So the idea that we don’t have time, I don’t accept. What I do understand is that going beyond cutting waste, which we should cut waste but going beyond that and raising the economy to the ground, with $500 million of cuts as some people are talking, that’s a recession.”
House subcommittees are expected to wrap-up work this week, with specific proposals on cuts.