Committee Comments on Longevity Bonus MAY 8, 2003
SUBJECT: LONGEVITY BONUS
The Governpr Murkowski's Commissioner of Administration (chaired by Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch) came before the House State Affairs Committee, and presented the Governor's bill for eliminating the Longevity Bonus. Immediately after the commishion er's presentation, I made the first response in the Legislature to eliminating the Longevity Bonus, and it was before this State Affairs Committee.
Rep. Bob Lynn speaking:
"Two disclosures: I am 70 years old – and everybody who looks at me can believe that. Secondly, I don’t get the bonus longevity bonus.
I support Murkowski’s intent and courageous plan to cut budget/raise revenue, but I also support keeping my personal campaign promises.
I believe the longevity bonus is a de factor contract between Alaska and its pioneer citizens. That’s what I said during my campaign, and that’s what I say now. I made a campaign promise to protect the longevity bonus, and I’m a promise keeper. Folks need to be able to trust their government, and trust those they elect.
In the world of politics, old folks are too often a target of fiscal opportunity, because 18,000 isn’t very large compared to the state constituency of 650,000 - it’s only about 2 or 3 percent. It’s an easy place to pick up 47 million.
Do we need 47 million more revenue? Obviously we do. Could we raise 47 million by a cruise ship tax? Of course we could. Could we raise revenue with a car rental tax”? Sure. Could we raise money from - - well, the list goes on, and on. But in the world of realpolitik, the pickings are easier from the elderly than it is from the big guys.
I was taught to keep my promises and respect my elders, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!