"I believe itís ill advised to spend any portion of the Permanent Fund on government. I fear that once the Legislature gets a taste of it, they will be back for more in the future ..."
- Rep. Kohring
(JUNEAU) Ė Rep. Vic Kohring (Wasilla/Mat-Su) has expressed concerns that the Legislature is on the verge of spending substantial Permanent Fund earnings on government. In particular, heís alarmed that the cost of Senate Bill 155 is expanding unnecessarily with additional projects. SB 155 is the proposal to tap Fund earnings and spend them on various construction projects in the state.
"I believe it's ill advised to spend any portion of the Permanent Fund on government," said Kohring. "I fear that once the Legislature gets a taste of it, they will be back for more in the future, and eventually, the Fund will be greatly depleted. In addition, accessing this money will reduce incentive to streamline government and make it more efficient."
Kohring said he recognizes important capital projects are needed throughout the state including new schools in the Mat-Su, and appreciates those who are trying to accomplish that. However, he feels other funding sources can sufficiently meet those needs, such as bond proceeds or re-directing dollars cut from eliminating inefficiencies and non-essential programs in the operating budget. "Letís not rush into tapping the Permanent Fund and jeopardize its financial stability, especially when other options exist," he said.