JUNEAU – Today, the governor announced significant vetoes to Alaska’s operating budget and to his own supplemental budget acting under the assumption that reductions could be backfilled with federal COVID-19 relief money.
House Speaker Bryce Edgmon (I-Dillingham) released the following statement on the governor’s budget decisions:
“From our initial understanding, federal funds can only be used for expenditures incurred due to COVID-19, not expenditures unrelated to the COVID-19 response. The governor’s vetoes gamble with vital programs like Medicaid, community assistance, school bond debt reimbursement, K-12 education, homeless grants, the Alaska Marine Highway System, public broadcasting, the university, and more. There is no guarantee that the federal government will pick up the tab. This approach is incredibly troubling to me.
Unfortunately, not only did the governor veto his own supplemental budget requests, he is also using the COVID-19 crisis as justification to veto items he never supported.
We need to hear more from the administration on the conversations they’ve had with the federal government about the sideboards around the federal money Alaska is receiving. The governor needs to ensure Alaskans that these essential services will be paid for by the CARES Act.”
Alaska House Majority