What Will $430,000 Get You?

WC had a meeting at the End of the Road™ and used it as an excuse to take a break from blogging. But it’s okay, the Alaska Legislature accomplished exactly nothing to address Alaska’s self-created fiscal crisis while WC was away.

Actually, that’s not quite true. The Legislature – and specifically the majority caucus in the state senate – managed to slightly aggravate the financial woes. Because $430,000 has been expended financing the two special sessions so far. That’s $430,000 that Alaska didn’t have and that could have been spent on something more worthwhile. For example, it could have been burned as fuel in Bush Alaska and generated some useful heat.

The House majority caucus very nearly accomplished something. The House majority caucus reached a compromise with the House minority caucus and passed a budget. But the Senate majority caucus refused to report the compromise bill out of its finance committee.

Let’s be very clear about this: any accusations that the “problem” is the minority caucus is patently untrue. The House reached a compromise. Our state senators’ majority caucus is an remains the group that is provoking the gridlock and threatening Alaska’s economy.

There was still an opportunity for resolution; a committee of House and Senate members could meet and compromise. But the Senate members of that conference committee couldn’t find time on their busy schedules to meet until today. Yet another bit of evidence that the majority caucuses value those per diem paychecks more than Alaska’s economy or the voters’ well-being.

And that’s what $430,000 gets you: a couple of weeks closer to shutting down state government.