The Governor’s Vetoes

On Monday, August 19th, Governor Dunleavy released his full list of Special Session budget vetoes. The Alaska Legislature passed two special session budget bills in July with the primary intention of restoring the Governor’s original vetoes and protecting certain funding sources, such as the Higher Education Investment Fund and the Power Cost Equalization Fund.

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Rep. Tuck’s Community Connection: A Partial PFD and a 3rd Special Session

Alaskans from Barrow to Ketchikan have been waiting to see what Governor Dunleavy would do with the partial Permanent Fund Dividend payment approved by the Alaska Legislature. The Governor announced today that he would allow the $1,600 payment to go forward. However, the Governor intends to call a 3rd Special Session for the fall where lawmakers will consider a bill paying out the remaining $1,400 to equal the PFD amount set out in state law.

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Rep. Adam Wool e-news update: Operating and Capital budgets signed

Today, the Governor signed the operating budget (HB2001) which restored $110 million of vetoed funding back to the University. Other cuts that were reversed include the Alaska State Council on the Arts, senior benefits, community services grants (homelessness assistance), early learning, Alaska Legal Services, Online with Libraries, and agricultural programs. I’m glad to see these cuts restored. However, the Gov did keep cuts that I do not agree with to: Alaska Public Broadcasting, Ocean Rangers, Medicaid, VPSO program, Civil Air Patrol, and the Alaska Marine Highway System.

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Budget Whiplash: Cut, then funded, then vetoed, then funded again, and now vetoed again…

I’m calling this the Budget Whiplash Edition. So many important items in our state operating budget have been proposed to be cut, then funded by the legislature, then vetoed by the Governor, then re-funded by the legislature, only to be vetoed again. Who can keep up? This is no way to run a state. It’s not ok that the budget is being signed in late August, again with major implications and lasting changes for Alaskans. While it’s not all bad news, there are reasons to be concerned.

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Yes we can have jobs and a large PFD

I never would have expected so many people would come up to me and complain about the PFD over the last year. I get it: Since the Governor is burning down our state for $600 additional dollars in a PFD, many Alaskans have turned against the PFD itself. But the reality is we can have both a healthy economy AND a large PFD…provided we generate reasonable revenue.

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Working Together in Difficult Times

Vetoes, Pioneer Homes Rate Increases, and the Loss of A Colleague
On Tuesday, after having taken significant actions last week, the legislature adjourned the second special session of 2019. Just yesterday, with the ball in his court, the governor acted, vetoing nearly $35 million in projects and programs from the capital budget. Along with the Pioneer Home rate increases approved by the administration this week, and the great loss of Senator Birch, it was a week for contemplation and decisions on how to move forward.

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Rep. Matt Claman’s Alaska Matters: Governor Makes Vetoes to Capital Budget

On Tuesday, August 6 at 11:59 PM, the second special session ended after the legislature voted to restore essential programs and services. On Thursday, August 8, Governor Dunleavy signed the capital budget, Senate Bill 2002, into law. But the governor included more than $30 million in line item vetoes to SB 2002, including cuts to homeless services, drug treatment, and public safety.

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Rep. Tuck’s Community Connection: Mourning a Great Lawmaker and Citizen

We lost a great Alaskan Wednesday with the passing of Senator Chris Birch. Chris and I were colleagues in the Alaska House of Representatives before he moved over to the Senate. Senator Birch will be remembered as a forceful advocate for his constituents and a man of principle. I will remember Chris for his sense of humor as we faced stressful political times. As Alaskans, we should grieve the loss of Senator Birch while cherishing his work and memory.

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