Quite a show

By all appearances, the Alaska legislative session beginning in January could be a barn-burner.

With the ballot counting just completed, unofficial numbers indicate Republicans were elected to 21 seats in the state House, giving them numerical control of the 40-member House chamber.

A few of that 21 seat majority likely are a little squishy when it comes to budget matters and may vote with Democrats and independents on difficult budget questions – and there will be plenty of them.

How will they fill the $1 billion to $2 billion budget deficit looming next year? Where are we going to get needed revenue now that we have drained our savings?

Will they tax Alaskans or Raid the Power Cost Equalization Fund that helps rural residents with power costs? Will they cut education funding? Cut programs? Which ones? Will they slash the Permanent Fund dividend to pay for government? Where is the Legislature going to beg, borrow or steal the needed dough?

They seemingly have few options as our betters repeatedly tell us cutting government to size is simply, absolutely impossible.

But years of profligate spending have put Alaska’s back to the wall.

House’s independents and Democrats are itching for a coalition similar to the one that has handed Democrats control of the House since 2016, despite larger Republican numbers.

When the dust settles it may be quite a different Alaska.

It should be quite a show.

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