Governor issues vetoes to 2024 fiscal year budget

Governor issues vetoes to 2024 fiscal year budget
Published: Jun. 19, 2023 at 2:46 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - A press release sent from the office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy revealed the items vetoed when the governor signed the Fiscal Year 2024 state operating and capital budgets yesterday.

Funding intended for Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program Partnership, Head Start program, the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Southeast, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks were among the items slashed.

The funds earmarked for UAA were intended to replace or repair outdated and aging systems in campus buildings, and specific items like the replacement of doors at the school’s social sciences building. UAF’s funds would have gone towards repairs of the Cutler Apartments and remediation of issues with the pool located at the Patty Center.

Cuts to primary and secondary education were also made, with marked increases to the base student allocation having been greatly reduced by the cuts. A major school maintenance grant will also be cut, leaving only enough funds for the completion of five projects on the Department of Education and Early Development’s list of major maintenance projects.

Security services at the Anchorage Legislative Office, additional appropriations for Alaska Legal Services, and funding for reentry housing programs were also cut.

“This budget is a responsible path for Alaska’s financial future,” Dunleavy said in a press release. “Budgets should reflect the values of Alaskans; the FY24 budget accomplishes that. We continue to invest in public safety, public education, and economic development. While this is a responsible budget for FY24, I look forward to working with lawmakers and Alaskans to establish a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan.”

Dr. Jharrett Bryantt, superintendent of the Anchorage School District, said in a statement that he was “extremely disappointed” in Dunleavy’s vetoes as it pertained to education funding cuts.

“This year’s historic support from the legislature was a critical investment in the future of Alaska’s schools,” Bryantt wrote. “We will review what this decision will mean and how it will impact our classrooms. We remain committed to solving the structural funding issues that have plagued the Anchorage School District (ASD) and other districts. ASD currently faces a structural deficit of approximately $90 million in FY25 if additional, recurring investments in education are not made.”

The 2024 fiscal year budget saw a general fund increase of $26 million compared to the previous year.

A full list of vetoes on the Office of Management and Budget’s veto summary can be found below.