Longevity bonus loss

Posted: Friday, June 27, 2003

The governor says, "This program does not achieve, in my opinion, its original purpose of rewarding our pre-statehood pioneers." Excuse me, but my parents are still alive and receive it. They are the reason it was set up. Now because of his perception of who is worthy, he is cutting off a payment that my parents based their retirement on! Now they have to figure out how to make up for his misguided, hurtful action.

It doesn't matter that they were born and raised here, raised five children here, and counted on the state (primarily the Republican Party) to keep their word!

The governor says "no." It doesn't matter to him? He hasn't lived here in decades, was independently wealthy before he was in the Senate and now has his retirement(s) (far greater than any Alaskan could ever see from their years of hard work) from the U.S. Senate and the state. He's been pampered and doesn't seem to know what it took our senior citizens to make a living, much less what they had to do for their retirement. He wants to set up more paper work for the measly $120 a month for only one year and only for seniors who qualify for public assistance.

How are senior citizens going to feel about being on welfare after so many years of independence?

He should realize the seniors of this state based their retirements on receiving the Longevity Bonus.

They had planned carefully for retirement and now may have to go back to work or go on public assistance. Many will try to go work, as public assistance is not the way they were raised.

What the governor has done is to insult those seniors and the previous Legislature that had passed the law to phase out the longevity program over the next few years based on the demise of seniors.

When Frank Murkowski announced his run for governor, a long-time conservative Republican asked me if I thought Fran Ulmer could win.

I said I thought Murkowski would because of his name recognition and what he has done for Alaska. He countered with, "What has he done? I can't think of one thing."

Reflecting on it, I realized Murkowski had not done anything, except for his special interests and political supporters.

As governor, he has done nothing but hurt the pioneers for whom the longevity program was set up.

His is not acting as a statesman by taking care to ensure the well-being of our pioneers who built this state.

He's placed his daughter in his stead at Washington, brought outsiders into key positions in our government and will see to it his old cronies are well taken care of during his (hopefully one) term as governor.

Patricia Everson


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