Gov. Dunleavy’s budget vetoes include $5M cut for seafood marketing institute

a fishing boat on the ocean water
A tendering vessel brings kelp back to Kodiak for processing. (Chris Sannito)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy in June announced more than $760 million in budget vetoes, including a $5 million cut for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

ASMI is a state agency with a mission to increase the economic value of Alaska seafood and create a demand for it.

Jeff Turner, a spokesperson for the governor, said in an email that ASMI received $7 million in federal COVID relief funds and has “a substantial amount of program revenue available to carry into the next fiscal year.”

That leftover amount is $3.1 million.

ASMI’s funding went through several versions leading up to the veto. The governor had included $28.5 million for the institute in his initial budget proposal last December. The House Finance Committee cut that by $7 million. Then the Senate Finance Committee put back $5 million, which was ultimately approved by the conference committee made up of both bodies. The governor ended up vetoing that amount.

“After a thorough review of the agency’s funding, it was determined that the $5 million wasn’t needed this fiscal year for ASMI to promote and advertise Alaska seafood,” Turner wrote. “All the funds that were vetoed from the FY23 budget will be deposited in the state’s rainy day fund, the Constitutional Budget Reserve account.”

ASMI staff did not want to comment on the funding.

The Alaska Legislature could override the governor’s vetoes, but it would take 45 votes. Since Dunleavy has been in office, there has not been enough support for overrides.

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