Governor Dunleavy emphasizes education, public safety in budget release
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Tuesday, June 28, Governor Mike Dunleavy released his amended budget, including a list of line-item vetoes.
In a press conference, the governor identified public safety as one of the top priorities of his budget, which funds 10 new Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers, as well as 10 positions with the Village Public Safety Officer Program.
His budget also emphasizes education, leaving untouched the Alaska Reads Act passed by the legislature, and forward funding K-12 education for the next fiscal year to the tune of 1.2 billion dollars.
Dunleavy vetoed 400 million dollars in spending, according to his office.
On the chopping block were a million and a half dollars to public broadcasting, and some deferred maintenance for the University of Alaska system.
The budget being released also adds 1.6 billion dollars to the state’s savings. “In the end, we save a lot of money. We save a lot of money for the future. We save a lot of money for potentially, an uncertain future. We don’t know what the price of oil is going to be, but the amount of money that we have in savings, the amount of money that we have in our endowments, we believe that we would be able to fund another year of government even if the price of oil went down into the thirties or high twenties, so in the end we think this is a great budget for the state of Alaska,” Dunleavy said.
State Senator Tom Begich commented on the vetoes in a press release, saying he’s disappointed with the cuts, including about 3 million dollars from a long trail project that would run throughout the state.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have requested that the governor release this year’s 3,200 dollar Permanent Fund Dividend immediately.
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