Anchorage Daily News
After the terrible devastation COVID-19 wreaked on Alaska’s economy the past year, the one area where Alaska’s elected officials at all levels and of all political parties should reach agreement is getting our economy back on track.
The pandemic has killed more than 300 Alaskans and infected nearly 70,000 more, cost thousands of our fellow citizens their jobs, pushed many into poverty and bankrupted scores of small homegrown businesses.
Thankfully, the new administration of President Joe Biden has stepped forward with a comprehensive “Build Back Better” plan to create jobs and invest in America’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, water and sewer – after too many years of neglect. While disagreement about some of the details is expected, our political leaders should unify behind the notion that these facilities sorely need repair and creating millions of American jobs to fix them is exactly what our economy needs now.
Alaska stands to benefit enormously from this historic investment, if we focus on the right priorities. We welcome federal dollars to improve our roads, bridges, housing and sanitation systems, especially in rural Alaska. Major investments in two areas are vital for our state’s long-term prosperity. The first is rebuilding the Port of Alaska, through which most of the state’s fuel and goods are shipped.
Second is expanding internet broadband across rural Alaska, essential for public health and future jobs.
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