Senate Majority Set to Push Through a $22 Million Cut that will Cost Jobs and Endanger the Mission of the University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2017
Juneau – The Alaska Senate is scheduled to take up the proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018 on Thursday. The budget that passed the Alaska House of Representatives last month maintained the amount of funding for the University of Alaska at $325 million, but the Alaska Senate Majority is considering a $22 million cut that will be taken up on the Senate Floor Thursday.
“The drastic cuts to the University of Alaska proposed by the Senate Majority are very concerning and could have huge effects on the Fairbanks economy,” said Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks). “The University of Alaska is a vital institution that deserves support during tight economic times, not another round of budget cuts that will result in fewer professors, fewer students, and lost academic opportunities for students across Alaska.”
Earlier this week, the University of Alaska issued a statement labeling the cuts put forward by the Alaska Senate Majority as devastating. In the last three years, the budget for the University of Alaska has been cut by $53 million and over 900 employees have lost their jobs. The cuts have also forced the University of Alaska to make cutbacks to several academic programs.
“I want to reassure everyone who supports the University of Alaska that I and my colleagues in the Alaska House Majority Coalition will stand up and fight to make sure these short-sighted budget cuts are reversed in the final budget deal,” said Rep. Wool. “I am unwilling to let the University of Alaska bear the brunt of the Senate Majority’s unwillingness to pass a comprehensive fiscal plan to overcome our fiscal challenges. It’s time to quit allowing the Senate Majority to use the University of Alaska as a piggy bank just because they don’t want to make the tough yet necessary decisions that must be made to respond to the ongoing recession.”
The Alaska State Senate is scheduled to take up the proposed FY 2018 operating budget on Thursday. The proposed cuts to the University of Alaska will be the subject of a special Board of Regents meeting on April 13th.
For additional information, contact Rob Earl in Rep. Wool’s office at (907) 465-4976.