There is a problem in the State of Alaska.
(Just in case you haven’t noticed)
We have a system on governance that has fundamentally broken down.
Our political ‘leaders’ spend endless days in session and special session (and special, special, special session) arguing and squabbling back and forth. During all of this time (and overtime at a substantial cost to the citizens) they argue about a plethora of bills that have no real impact on the largest problem facing the state; our unsustainable budget.
They completely ignore the will of the people, who chose through citizens initiative, to limit the regular session to 90 days. They argue (I’m paraphrasing here) that THEY know better than we do how to go about the business of the state. That WE just wouldn’t understand the pressure they’re under and what they have to do to get those bills pushed through.
And of course why they can’t even take up the most important bill in the Legislature (hint: it rhymes with ‘The Budget’) until the waning weeks of the session (120 days thank you very much).
These same politicians have been ignoring laws as it suits them. They have continually violated the will of the people, under the guise of ‘just following the Constitution’. They do this all while smiling and patting themselves on the back, taking victory lap selfies, and telling us what good job they’ve been doing making those ‘hard calls’ for our own good. Whether that means ignoring the statutory 90 limit on sessions or paying the lawful statutory amount of the PFD to the citizens.
They have passed a monstrous omnibus bill that has made enormous changes to our justice system. Instead of taking on problems inside the DOC and the courts one issue and problem at a time and then allowing time to judge the results and make further adjustments, they draft up a small novel of a bill that makes wholesale changes to the entire system all at once. And when it’s proven that those changes are not fixing the problems but actually making them WORSE, some of those legislators in leadership (I’m looking at you John) refuse to not only acknowledge that there’s a problem, but actively work against any kind of changes to the bill that they championed. This is willful dereliction of duty to the extreme.
Meanwhile through all of these follies, it’s the people, the true and legitimate power behind the government, that are left to pay the price.
In the coming weeks I’m going to be writing (bear with me, speaking, not writing, is my strong suit) about what I see as a set of changes that can be made in our state to fix this broken system. These changes are designed to make our government, especially our legislators, more accountable to the citizens and to bring our floundering budget back on track, and to a level that we all can live with.
I’m calling this plan the “Charter of Changes”
It’s made up of four changes that we, as citizens, can champion and achieve.
We’ll take each one of these in turn over the next four weeks, diving down into what these would entail, into why they’re needed, and what we can do as voters to enact them.
I hope you’ll join me in this discussion, both here on the blog and daily on my show, which (shameless plug) can be watched every morning from 9-11am on Facebook Live or listened to live at MichaelDukesShow.com
Only by working together and by discussing and implementing these changes can we give our children and grandchildren the state that they deserve. (It’s ‘for the children’ literally)