Did Dunleavy just say that he won’t veto education?



In a live broadcast Facebook event today, Gov. Michael Dunleavy made a surprising statement: If the House and Senate put education funding into the budget, he won’t veto it.

Say again?

During a nearly hour-long interview, where he took questions from viewers and answered them while sitting with press secretary Matt Shuckerow, Dunleavy said twice he would not veto education funding, if only the House and Senate will put the education funding into this year’s budget. His surprising quote comes late in the interview:

“As it regards to K-12, what we have said to legislative leaders here recently is, make sure that you fund education, make sure it’s in the budget, because there’s questions right now whether there’s funding in the budget, and we’re having those discussions, and this year we won’t look at reducing the size of the education budget … if they put the funding in it. So we can have this conversation over the summer and into the fall. Again, make this coming year an education year, an education reform year, where we all work together to see how we can change things to get the outcomes we all know we should have for all kids, regardless of what school, or school district, or part of the state they are in.”

He continued, restating his point about not vetoing education funding:

“Although we originally proposed reductions in education, what we have said to legislative leadership is: Put the funding in, make sure there is funding in the budget and we will not veto that funding in any form or fashion, we will let that funding go through. Again so we can have that conversation going into next year as to what reforms we want to look at for education.”

View his Facebook Live interview and listen to the segment starting at 43 minutes here.

The governor has said, and the attorney general has agreed, that the intent to appropriate education funds last year for this year are not actual appropriations, and are therefore unconstitutional.

Dunleavy has said that without an actual appropriation from the Legislature, he won’t be able to release funds for the coming school year.

The reason the House and Senate have not put education funding in the budget this year is they are afraid the governor will veto that funding. So they’re relying on a budget appropriation from a year ago, a method called “forward funding.”

The problem with the forward funding is that it did not have actual funds attached to it. It was more of a conceptual funding promise, depending on revenues that would come in later.

It’s likely this matter will end up at the Alaska Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of forward-funding when there has been no money actually set aside.

Tonight, the governor removed that concern from their plates by saying he will not veto their education budgets. He put no conditions on that statement.


  1. So, it’s status quo for education if only the House and Senate say so. So much for cutting spending. Education is a huge slice of the financial pie. What a disappointment. Here’s to another year of waste, bloated bureaucracy, and underachievement in publicly-funded schools.

  2. It was a concession, which eliminates the immediate concern of having no funding for Education. The investment income from the Permanent Fund must be having another good year.
    Full funding for the Dividend, and payback of the amounts taken the last three years ? He’s working on it…

  3. Oh GOD – not another wasted vote. So Mike Dunleavy is caving on Education Bureaucrats wasting endless dollars on Education…. lining their own pockets, while Alaskan children rank pretty much last on national averages of intelligence, graduation rates, college preparedness – But at least, all the principals, and vice principals, and administrative people, and unions, get their pensions, pay raises, paid vacations, company cars – the lot. And we are funding this. What a CROCK of S**t!.

    I expected better from you, Mr. Dunleavy, when I wholeheartedly voted for you.

    Is the Alaskan government really that corrupt?? Is there no hope, left, for conservatives? So the next thing, to go, will be the PFD, right? MIKE DUNLEAVY – QUIT GIVING IN to liberals / democrats. WE VOTED YOU IN, FOR A REASON. “Stand Tall For Alaska” … like you campaigned on !@ Please don’t do us wrong, like so many other RINOs have done.

  4. He is the most powerful Governor in all 50 states & has line item Veto power, yet he folds on all his campaign promises before he even gets a first copy of the proposed budget. Seriously? He could have at least sent it back after Red Lining the crap out of the thing to send a message & remind them of what he can do as the Alaskan Governor. Everyone that voted for him was ready for this fight……..guess he wasn’t

  5. Ideally, productive literate Alaskan parents would rise up and say, “No more!”.
    But Alaska’s education industry must be fed, another generation of children must be dumbed down, and life in workers’ paradise must continue as prescribed by Alaska’s public-employee union-management cartel…
    unless Alaskan parents decide they want something different…

  6. Get a grip, it’s a carrot to get them to the table. A tactic, he’s not surrendering. We got to this point over many years and it doesn’t get reversed in one veto.

    • Exactly. Calm down, people!

      Alaskan constituents are so reactive. Check your facts before flying off the handle for goodness’ sake. Alaskan conservatives are going to throw out every politician based on hearsay.

      • There must be someone else using the name Emily on these threads – I wrote the Oh GOD not another wasted vote comment – somebody else wrote this. Don’t use my name ~ whoever you are~!!! Maybe it’s not a good idea to voice my opinions in this comment section, if somebody else can use my name to write their own opinions, as if they are me?

        • I think there is another Emily. You can adopt a pen name for this comment section; might be something to consider. Thanks for your comments. -sd

          • Thank you, Suzanne. So let me get this straight – anybody, can take somebody else’s name, and pretend to be them, here in these comments? And voice opposite views, of the original person? That’s a problem.

          • Yes, it appears that I need to do some work to ensure that there is only one of each. I will look into it. I’m sure it involves coding. :-/ Thank you! -sd

  7. Bottom line: EVERY PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER in Alaska will otherwise see a huge increase in their property taxes starting this year, if Dunleavy doesn’t fund education. All the local municipalities will blame the governor for the property tax increases due to lack of state funds to municipalities to fuel an over-bloated education budget.

    • With respect, a huge increase in property taxes might be just what’s needed to get the education industry under control.
      Might be fun if property owners then organized and pulled off a property-tax strike to make it happen.
      Think about how much money could be poured into Alaska’s education industry if all nonprofits were forced to support the education industry with payments in lieu of taxes.
      This could get interesting.

  8. If i am going to pay a education tax, i would much rather pay it to the borough than to the state. Better able to see what i am getting for my money.

    • Mary, you know well that the FNSB will spend on projects that are not going to benefit the majority. Case in point: the proposed, super swim complex that was wisely reconsidered and pulled off the table. Another: more air quality regulations for us Interior folks at forty below. FNSB spends wastefully, and I don’t need to remind you of this fact.

  9. I would like to see education cut as much as anybody. but I can understand the governor honoring the forward funding that the legislature already passed last year. As the school districts were counting on that money already. I think he also said that future cuts were coming.

  10. I didn’t expect to see the Governor under the bus. The entertainment value here is going to be getting a big lift.

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