2019 Juneau Municipal Elections

State budget cuts

Cuts to school bond debt reimbursement and Medicaid will have significant impacts on communities. What can Juneau do to mitigate the impact of state budget cuts?

Cuts to school bond debt reimbursement and Medicaid will have significant impacts on communities. What can Juneau do to mitigate the impact of state budget cuts?

  • District 2 Assembly

    • Wade Bryson

      Candidate for District 2 Assembly

      When it comes to the state budget cuts, every Alaskan is going to feel them. And so I think it’s very important that we are aware that it is going to have an increased tax burden for us as the citizens of the community. So when we’re planning next year’s and the year after that, and the next, like, five years’ budgets, we have to take into account that we’re going to have to pay some school bond debt reimbursement back that we did not intend to pay. So that is going to change our ability to expand programs or fund programs or build new buildings. We just have to be very careful in what our budget level is. If we go into deficit spending, or don’t take the school debt bond reimbursement into account, we could be potentially looking at increased taxes. And so we have to think about how much we’re spending, knowing that we already have to pay this debt back.

  • District 1 Assembly

    • Greg Smith

      Candidate for District 1 Assembly

      The rolldown affects and impacts from the state budget is probably one of our top issues facing our community and the Assembly. I think we need to preserve our fund balances and reserves so that we have funds to be able to pay these unexpected bills that we may get from the state. I think with the proper planning, we should anticipate some of these type of bills. And then I think we need to work with our allies across the state to say ‘This is how it will impact our community. This is how it will impact our neighbors.’ And to push back and just speak up and let the state know the impacts and work with folks across the state to try to mitigate those.

    • Alicia Hughes-Skandijs

      Candidate for District 1 Assembly

      We’re definitely going to see effects of the cost shifts from the state to the city. I think the best thing the city can do is figure out what our essential services are and figure out how we protect those so we’re not doubling up the impact to any vulnerable population. The state did it in a really jerky, sort of grind fashion that was not really what I would consider the best thought-out way to implement cuts so, at the city level, I think it will be important for us to figure out how we can smooth those out to the residents and to the local economy so that we’re not furthering any impacts of harm.

  • Areawide Assembly

    • Carole Triem

      Candidate for Areawide Assembly

      That’s a fantastic question. I think we’re in a really great position with our budget reserves where we can kind of think out a glide path so that this isn’t really drastic impact to our budget in our town. And we’ll be going over that this fall of how we plan to slowly reducing so that we’re not making the problem worse. If we reacted kind of out of fear, I think that would make a contraction worse than it would need to be. So, I hope we can avoid that.

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