When you give someone a reward, it is inappropriate to take it away. Many "old timers" were proud of the reward given for their pioneer spirit. In the early days of Alaska, there were many hardships to endure. There was limited electrical service, public water and sewer, telephones, or year around roads. Most people now take these for granted, but it was the pioneers who built everything that Alaskans enjoy today.
Gov. Frank Murkowski took away the Longevity Bonus and replaced it with a welfare program. His veto was a slap in the face of many older Alaskans, and a very bad decision. Then, Republican leaders in the Legislature refused to call a special session to address this issue, and kept their positions a secret! What are they trying to hide? Are they ashamed to tell their parents and grandparents how they voted?
Now, Gov. Murkowski has set his eye on the permanent fund. Under his percent of market value POMV plan the fund's principal will no longer be protected by our Constitution. It says nothing about inflation proofing or dividends, so we must assume he plans to eliminate them just like the Longevity Bonus program!
These decisions should be made by a vote of the people, because our governor and many in the Legislature can no longer be trusted to look out for the interests of ordinary Alaskans.
Agnes G. M. Derkovorkian
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