Gov. Dunleavy unveils line item vetoes and signs operating budget

Gov. Mike Dunleavy this morning unveiled line-item vetoes the administration says amounts to another $391 million in cuts beyond the Legislature’s budget.

“So the budget’s been signed,” Dunleavy said at a Capitol press conference. “We have reductions of about $680 million in that budget. And that includes the work that the Legislature has done … of reductions of about $280 million. Which was somewhat historic for the Legislature.”

The new budget takes effect Monday.

Dunleavy said the cuts close about half of the gap between what the state spends and what it brings in.

“We can’t kick the can down the road, because we’re running out of road,” he said. “And so next year, it’s our goal to complete this process and completely close this gap so that Alaska can put this behind us and get on with um, growing our private economy, adding jobs to the economy, adding new industry, et cetera, et cetera.”

Here are the biggest new cuts:

  • $130 million primarily targeting the University of Alaska Anchorage and Fairbanks.
  • $50 million in Medicaid funding – that’s the federal and state program that primarily helps low-income people pay for their medical bills.
  • $49 million in school bond debt reimbursements to municipalities. These are state payments to local school districts to help pay for infrastructure. Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will take the largest cuts.
  • And $21 million eliminating the senior benefit program.

Additional information about the new budget is available on the Office of Management and Budget’s website.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaking to the press about his line item budget vetos on June 28, 2019 (Photo by Sam McChesney/360 North)

Jeremy Hsieh is the deputy managing editor of the KTOO newsroom in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who’s worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He ran Gavel Alaska for 360 North from 2011 to 2016, and is big on experimenting with novel tools and mediums (including the occasional animated gif) to tell stories and demystify the news. Jeremy’s an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008.

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