To my friends in GAS: 1) Education already is the single largest category of state spending, 2) Already nearly 25% of the total operating budget, 3) While the House proposed to cut other programs in order to maintain the BSA/Foundation, in response to popular outcry the Senate restored some of those (think Best Beginnings), cutting the BSA/Foundation as an offset. Now, some of those seeking the restoration of the other cuts want to restore the BSA/Foundation also -- sort of having your cake and eating it also at a time when overall revenues have drastically fallen, 4) Any increased spending today will come at the expense of draining the state's financial assets, reducing the revenue from those assets available to future Alaskans. Undeniably, those seeking to increase spending today are doing it on the backs of future Alaskans, 5) Here is the Education budget in all of its glory. Want to increase the BSA/Foundation? Fine. Identify the offsets. Cut transportation? The library? WWAMI? Or look in the broader budget, cut Corrections? Fish & Game? Natural Resources (which helps produce current revenues)? Take responsibility, want to increase spending in one category, find the offset (both in this and future years) in others. 6) And keep in mind this is just the first year of cuts, We need two more rounds of $500 million in cuts from the total budget ahead in order to reach sustainable budget levels. Start being part of the solution, not just another piece of the problem.
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