Alaska Legal Services funding restored for domestic, sexual assault cases


Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson and the Alaska Legal Services Corporation today announced an agreement to use to-be-restored FY20 funding – totaling $759,000 – towards providing legal help to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Gov. Michael Dunleavy has agreed not to veto state grant funding to Alaska Legal Services in the Operating Budget, and said   it is “an important step in protecting Alaska’s most vulnerable.”

“Helping survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is a vital service provided by our organization,” said Nikole Nelson, executive director of ALSC. “We are relieved that this funding will remain available and excited to continue our efforts in addressing the unacceptable rates of domestic abuse and sexual violence that plague our state.”

Nikole Nelson, Alaska Legal Services Executive Director, recently approached Attorney General Clarkson following his remarks on the revitalization of the Department of Law’s pro bono program at an event celebrating the enactment and implementation of Senator Dan Sullivan’sPOWER Act .

The discussion centered around focusing resources on Alaska’s high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I am committed to making inroads on this issue, and ALSC and I have common goals in that regard,” said Attorney General Clarkson. “I appreciate Ms. Nelson coming forward on this, and I appreciate the legislature and the governor’s actions to restore this vital funding. We must bring down our rates of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Attorney General Clarkson earlier this week announced his plans to reinvigorate the Department of Law’s Pro Bono Program and partner with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence to assist with its hotline, among other initiatives. He has vowed to continue looking at ways to make an impact, both within the department as well as in the community with the Choose Respect initiative that was launched by Gov. Sean Parnell.

The grant funding for ALSC comes from two appropriations: an estimated $309,090 from filing fees received by the Alaska Court System and $450,000 from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. ALSC also receives funding from other grants and private donations.


  1. Why in the hell did Dunleavy go through all the gyrations of proposing a budget, fighting like hell to get cuts, get the legislature into a frenzied chaos about dueling venues, and use his veto, just to hand it all back?

    This is not leadership, and definitely not the motive of a person who is fiscally minded.

    Very very disappointed in Dunleavy and frankly just as disappointed in myself for trusting him.

    • So Scott, do you think Dunleavy buckled to the stress of:

      1) failure to get strong legislative support for the budget cuts;

      2) taking a terrible beating in the media, and by Democrats;

      3) worrying about a recall;

      4) purposely going high on budget reduction, knowing that a compromise would be in the works since day one, and that by stringing his constituents along for the ride it would make him appear to stand his ground until the end;

      5) knowing that a $3k PFD payment would not he attainable, but put up a good fight to show the voters he tried????

      • My guess is that he was under the impression that his “base” would stick with him through thick and thin and a sell out or two would go unnoticed. Maybe he figures he can win back some of the moderates with some of those sell outs.

        Either he is mistaken, his advisors are terrible, or both. I think the only thing he has managed to do is infuriate his base. Winning back that trust is near impossible. Certainly can’t do it with campaign promises or words anymore. As for those supporting a recall and beating the big government drum? Doesn’t matter how much he gives them they will vote for the devout liberal every single time.

        I hope I am somehow wrong. I really supported him. I just cannot reconcile his campaign, proposed budget, and vetoes with the backtracking of the past two weeks.

  2. Scott,
    Without the “production” and gross amount of vetos we may of actually had a chance at that “full dividend”.
    Problem for the GOP is if things are going smoothly then the real issues like climate change, the pension “crisis” and oil taxes are brought up.
    The way it has been going all Alaskans can do is “re-act” instead of “pro-act”…
    Smart Alaskans should start a grass roots effort to bring the PFD issue to a vote and protect the dividend in the State Constitution for future generations to come.

    • Steve,

      Your overuse of quotes or “quotes” renders your posts meaningless since there is no way to maneuver through your maze of thoughts or is it “thoughts”. I do know that “pro-act” is not a word let alone a thought. Your list of real issues doesn’t have and “quotes” other than “crisis” in regards to pensions, so maybe you think they are “real” or fake…who knows with the way you are writing?

      You’re last paragraph makes some sense, I haven’t been a fan of a constitutional amendment for the PFD since it opens up myriad issues, but with the way our elected representatives have been spending it might not be a bad idea if it were coupled with an amendment that restricted spending and taxation. Wait isn’t that something that Dunleavy ran on???

  3. Good for the Attorney General and the Governor.
    We have an enormous problem in Alaska with vulnerable individuals being abused.
    This is short money derived from court fees that assists individual Alaskans who need help.
    This holds jerks accountable and protects victims.
    Good move here helping break cycles of violence.
    Nice work here.
    Thank you.

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