FAIRBANKS, Alaska - We recently had an opportunity to ask candidates Dave Talerico and Ed Alexander what they thought about the current state of the budget.
"It's really important that we keep some down pressure on the budget so that we don't end up in a worse situation than what we found ourselves in just a few years ago when we had basically the collapse of the oil market, which has always been the lion's share of our revenue," said Talerico.
"Since SB 21 was adopted, we've seen the budget just kind of go right off of a cliff. Every year we get less and less money from SB 21, and we're paying more and more out. That has to stop. We have to be real... we have to adjust those oil taxes. I think the system that we were under before, under ACES, seemed to work really well. Maybe we should go back and revisit that... maybe adjust it a little bit," said Alexander.
The candidates also told us what they think about bringing affordable energy to the interior.
"Affordable energy is really critical for the economy and particularly for people who want to develop and grow businesses... or, quite honestly, just be able to afford living here. There's probably not one silver bullet to all of our energy needs, but having a diversified portfolio is vital," said Talerico.
"We need to fix the bottom line, we need to fix the structural issues with oil taxation before we can start [on] 'where are we going with this project, or this mega-project'. I think Alaskans are tired of that boom and bust cycle, and they're looking for responsible leadership," said Alexander.
Talerico and Alexander will face each other in the general election in November.