Scott's solutions to the challenges facing Alaska
Arrest the Alaska Crime Wave
When Governor Walker signed the criminal justice "reform" bill (Senate Bill 91) in 2016, he touched off a crime wave. Our communities are much more dangerous than they were just two years ago. Public safety has deteriorated.
The reasons are not complicated. Refusing to prosecute first and second time offenders -- and even many repeat offenders -- has led to more crime, plain and simple.
Even minor crimes must be taken seriously. We can impose heavy fines, community service, loss of dividend privileges and home confinement, to name just a few options, and reserve prison time for habitual offenders or violent crimes.
Protecting citizens is the first job of government and I will make it a top priority.
My plan? Strong deterrents and diligent prosecution of criminals. This will untie the hands of our police, prosecutors and judges so they can do their jobs.
Increase and Stabilize the PFD
Governor Walker erred gravely when he vetoed the Permanent Fund Dividend amount by half. Rather than being determined by a formula, like it was for more than 32 years prior to Bill Walker taking office, the PFD has become politicized and arbitrary. That must stop.
Alaskans want the PFD returned to a mathematical formula that will substantially increase the dividend, stabilize it, and allow it to grow. We must set that formula firmly into law. The formula needs to be sustainable over the long term and not require us to levy a personal income tax in order to support it.
It makes no sense to tax one another on one hand in order to pay one another on the other hand, as Gov. Walker and the House Democrats have proposed. We must not make that mistake.
Using good financial management techniques, I believe that Alaska can afford a formula that would increase the dividend to somewhere between $1600 and $2,000 per Alaskan, right away. Exactly where we start within that range will depend on financial market conditions at the time of enactment next year.
In any case, the Dividend will be hundreds of dollars higher than today's politically set PFD amount.
- We will restore the public trust that Gov. Walker has shattered.
- We will put the dividend back on a growth path, increasing year after year.
- Alaskan families will be able to plan for the near term, like saving for college or paying high energy costs, and they'll see upside potential in their future!
The dividend has always been intended to be Alaskan families' piece of the action, their direct share of the state's oil wealth. Let's get back to that.
Alaska state government spends more per person than any state in the nation, by far. Gov. Walker has been squandering our savings to the tune of billions of dollars each year.
It is time to say NO to over-spending before our savings accounts are completely drained.
Walker's repeated efforts to impose a statewide income tax are unnecessary and off-base.
Instead, we need to trim down our bloated state operating budget, step by step, year after year. It must and it can be done intelligently.
Let's face it. Alaska politicians like to spend money. Meaningful cuts can only happen with leadership from the Governor's Office - we need a governor who is fully committed to disrupting this culture of spending.
I will put forward a spending cap that steps the budget down over several years, so Alaska will finally live within its means, avoid new taxes, and defend the PFD.
More Jobs and Opportunities for Alaskans
According to independent studies, Alaska's business climate is among the worst in the nation. CNBC ranked Alaska 47th in 2017. Forbes ranked our business climate 49th. Our overall economic performance is dead last.
The reasons are simple. Bad state policy and fiscal mismanagement are killing off high paying jobs and hurting our families and businesses. We can and must do better!
Shaking up Juneau means placing stronger emphasis on filling the pipeline with new oil, bringing new mines into production, and re-prioritizing the promotion of our tourism and seafood industries.
It also means stabilizing our state finances so that our families and businesses are not constantly besieged with new (and unnecessary) tax proposals that paralyze our economy with uncertainty.
These steps, which only require some business sense and courage from the governor's office, will turn our economy around, and quickly.
Shaking up our economic policies also means streamlining job-killing regulations, making workers' compensation insurance more affordable, reducing the ridiculously high cost of medical services in Alaska, and better equipping Alaskans to qualify for the new jobs that I intend to unleash.