Dunleavy pitches his budget plan to Anchorage seniors
Gov. Mike Dunleavy continues to take his budget proposal on the road, as he tries to gather more support for his plan to solve the state's $1.6 billion deficit.
The latest stop took place Friday at the Anchorage Senior Center, as a full house turned out to hear the governor's option for fixing Alaska's finances.
Dunleavy also answered questions from those who attended, which included why he wants to privatize some state services. He wants to reduce spending without raising taxes.
"I'm not trying to harm these things," he said. "Again, the issue is that if we don't control our rate of spend, we'll go through the [Permanent Fund dividend], we'll go through taxes, we'll be in the same situation we're in, in a few short years because of our rate of spend."
He said that he doesn't think the state does everything better than the private sector.
Alaska's Marine Highway System of state ferries is another service the governor is considering whether to privatize.
Earlier this year, Dunleavy unveiled plans to cut nearly $100 million from the ferry program — a blow which state Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, called an "elimination budget." The state Office of Management and Budget said ferries carried 250,000 passengers in 2018, just over half the number who rode the system annually at its peak in the early 1990s.
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