Anchorage mayor vetoes most of the Assembly’s budget changes

Dave Bronson speaks with the media
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson speaks with journalists on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Tuesday vetoed a list of items from the next year’s city budget. He cut nearly all of the additions the Anchorage Assembly had agreed to last week when it unanimously passed the spending plan.

Bronson’s vetoes include cuts to funding for police officers in public schools, building inspectors, community grants and some early education grants. Bronson also said no to moving the city’s team of crisis mental health providers from the police department to the fire department. He opted to use alcohol tax funding for epidemiologists rather than paying for them with health department funds like the Assembly wanted to do. 

In a statement announcing the vetoes Tuesday evening, Bronson said he didn’t believe the increases in revenue projected by the Assembly were valid.

“Without a valid funding source and with the new COVID variant and bond rating concerns, my administration cannot validate or certify the funding source increases that the Assembly attempted to provide for in their amendments,” Bronson said.

The Assembly passed its budget last week after hours of debate, adding several amendments to restore funding to programs cut in the mayor’s original budget proposed in October. 

To override the mayor’s vetoes, the Assembly will need a supermajority of eight members. The Assembly passed the budget last Tuesday unanimously.

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