Dunleavy delivers his budget decisions - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, December 6, 2019
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Dunleavy delivers his budget decisions

HAS COURTS NOW PAYING FOR ABORTIONS THEY DEMAND

Gov. Michael Dunleavy, without getting some of his key legislation passed by the Legislature, is balancing the State budget with savings.

Even then, he said today, the budget is only halfway to being in line with revenues, with $444 million in additional cuts made for a total of about $700 million, which includes the cuts made by the Legislature. The budget excludes a Permanent Fund dividend appropriation.

The deficit remaining is about $850 million, and that money will come out of the Earnings Reserve Account of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

The budget for 2020 is $4.9 billion in general fund spending, a 12.8 percent reduction from the Gov. Bill Walker budget, and the lowest spending level since 2005.

The original budget proposed by Dunleavy would have trimmed 21 percent from the Walker budget, which had grown from the previous year.

Here are some of the highlights of the cuts to state spending:

ITEMS OF INTEREST

MEDICAID ELECTIVE ABORTIONS

The governor vetoed $335,000 from the administrative costs of the court system. It was his way of saying that if the state’s judges insist on standing by their ruling that the State of Alaska must pay for elective abortions with State funds, they’ll have to pony up the money out of their own budget. It’s a small cut to the Judiciary of less than one percent.

$334,000 is the amount the State spend last year on elective abortions. Both the House and Senate passed a budget with intent language that said no state funds may be used to pay for abortions, but an existing State Supreme Court ruling says otherwise.

The federal government prohibits paying for elective abortions with federal funds, due to what is called the Hyde Amendment. And the governor is also opposed to the public treasury being used for elective abortions.

MEDICAID (IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES)

The legislature reduced the State Medicaid program by $75 million, and the governor added another $50 million in cuts, for a total of $125 million. This leaves $2 billion for Medicaid spending in Alaska.

UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA

As expected, the entire cut to the University of Alaska system is $130.2 million, which includes the $5 million that was cut by the Legislature. This is a huge haircut that will require structural changes in how the university operates, and is something the Board of Regents has begun to tackle, as their funds become scarce July 1. The university system currently has 17 campuses.

SENIOR BENEFITS / WWAMI / PUBLIC BROADCASTING

The entire senior longevity bonus is vetoed. The Senior Benefits Program was established in 2007 and pays cash benefits to Alaskan seniors who are age 65 or older and have low to moderate income.  Cash payments are $76, $175, or $250 each month depending on income. Already the State had suspended some of the April and May payments for the higher-income recipients because of a shortfall in funds.

WWAMI survived the veto pen. The University of Washington School of Medicine’s multi-state medical education program for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) gives medical students access to training, and is used to recruit doctors to Alaska.

PUBLIC BROADCASTING: The only portion of public broadcasting money not vetoed is for the emergency broadcasting provided primarily to rural areas. Vetoed: $2,036,600 for Radio, $633,300 for TV, and $46,700 for the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission.

SCHOOL BOND DEBT REIMBURSEMENT

Half of the debt service the State has been paying on local school bonds was vetoed. That means school districts will have to rely upon local taxpayers to pay the full debt service for the schools they built or renovated. The veto totals $48,910,250. Future debt incurred by districts won’t be paid off by the State.

EDUCATION

The Legislature’s attempt to forward fund education for 2021 was vetoed. The governor doesn’t believe it is constitutional to encumber future legislatures or future governors with spending promises unless the money is actually set aside for the purpose, which it is not under forward funding schemes. This is an issue that will likely go to court next month.

ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAYS

The State Ferry System was spared. The governor accepted the plan by Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chair of Senate Finance, to only fund the ferries at $46 million. Stedman has been working to reform the system. This allows the ferry system to continue through the fall, winter, and spring.

POWER COST EQUALIZATION

All funds like the Power Cost Equalization Fund will be swept into the General Fund. From there, the Legislature can reissue those funds to rural communities to help with their power costs when it works on the capital budget in a special session.

EARNINGS RESERVE ACCOUNT 

The governor is putting $1 billion into the corpus of the Permanent Fund to help with inflation proofing and an additional $4 billion, for a total of $5 billion. The Legislature had put $9 billion into the corpus. The veto amount is $5,579,800.

PERMANENT FUND DIVIDEND

The budget presumes a full statutory Permanent Fund dividend, but it’s not in this operating budget. It will need to be a stand alone budget bill or a component of the yet-to-be-enacted capital budget.

POSITIONS REDUCED

Through vetoes, 62 full time, 2 part time, and 4 non-permanent positions have been eliminated, for nearly $12 million in reduced payroll costs.

VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS

$3 million in vetoes to the program, which is already in excess of what they can spend. There are 25 vacancies in the VPSO program and they have struggled to fill those for a long time.

OCEAN RANGERS PROGRAM

The Ocean Rangers program is vetoed, for $3,409,100 in savings.

 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Positions reduced looks odd….. 62 + 2pt + 4 = 67 $12 million in payroll cost including benefits = $179,104.47 average cost per employee……

    • I ran that same calc just before checking the comments. That’s why our bureaucracy costs so much and why they fight so hard to keep their jobs – and one big reason why we’re having so much State deficit. I’m assuming that’s salary, taxes, and benefits… but I don’t make anything close to that – and I’m the highest-paid employee in my industry nationwide. Time to reign in the public sector unions.

    • In my industry there is a payroll multiplier of between 2.5 and 3.5 on what the employee earns to what it costs to employ him. So 179000 per employee could really be for an employee making 75000.

  • Good job! Both Suzanne for the fast and well laid out report and of course Govenor Dunleavy for smart line item veto’s.

  • good start

  • I know the Gov has said he would have been willing to talk to the legislature about an $800 million cut in the budget, which would have been half of his original plan of $1.6 Billion cut. This veto gets to $700 million, pretty damn good overall!

  • Every time I hear Mr. Dunleavy say that there will be “cuts across the board” I am waiting to hear about cuts to his administration’s “six figure salaries” or $5K a month pension pay outs to bureaucrats (of which there is a $6.7 billion dollar recurrent state debt)?
    Instead the most vulnerable Alaskans will see less services (like loss of Medicaid dental for adults) and other cuts to key social services…
    One winner in the new budget is the Carnival Cruise line as the Ocean Ranger program is cut from the budget.
    This is at a time when Carnival and their subsidiary companies are caught “Red Handed” in violation of clean water protections in Alaskan waters.
    “While on probation, according to court filings, Carnival Corp. and its subsidiary cruise lines have sought to avoid unfavorable findings by preparing ships in advance of court-ordered audits, falsified records, dumped plastic garbage into the ocean and illegally discharged gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.”
    (ADN)
    I guess when the govenor says “Alaska is open for business” he really means that outside corporate intrest “Trumps” local Alaskan’s concern for clean water in our Ocean and Streams?

    • More cuts to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Slash about 60% of this non-essential, crippling state agency. Non-producers and environmental belly-achers harm the economy and jobs.

      • Maverick, do you really want to see trash on our beaches or poopsicles? If the DEC is cut completely or substantially, who will enforce the common sense rules, like no dumping waste out of cruise ships? Apply the logic you use when thinking about criminals. If we let them go with a slap on the wrist, no jail time for theft and assault. They will do those things again. If ships can dump grey water whenever they want, how long till black water and how knows what else is being dumped? Have enough courage to apply your convictions broadly, not just where convenient.

        • The DEC harms productive people’s lives by severely regulating industry and making it cost prohibitive to engage in making products that we all need and use. I agree, however, that we should be good stewards of the land and water. We can start by putting trash in proper dispensers, not starting wildfires, and use proper sanitation methods. No pooping outdoors without a shovel. Teach children the basics. Half the problems would be solved. As for letting convicted criminals out early…..we already do that.

          • Maverick,
            Maybe you can site just one example where the DEC has “harmed productive people’s lives”?
            I see it the complete opposite as (productive people) in Willow had problems with a contractor/ land developer burning over 300 acres of trees on a “clearing project” and with nearly a dozen property owners complaining to the DEC, no one could even get them to show up after 16 months of smoke and dust through our subdivisions?
            (Let alone stop the contractor from causing a hazardous environment)
            As for the fracking and wastewater currently occurring in the Cook Inlet, the DEC does nothing to “halt production” of oil and gas resources…
            The Ocean Ranger program was different, this was actually a part of the DEC that was working and making progress with getting cruise ships to follow clean water laws….to remove one of the few programs that has integrity shows the path the current administration is on.
            “This program is managed by the Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance Program, which was created in 2001 to monitor cruise ships in Alaskan waters.”
            https://dec.alaska.gov/water/cruise-ships/ocean-ranger/

          • You hit the nail on the head – it starts with the kids and actual parenting which sadly is diminishing as more and more people birth children and expect government to raise them. Ok rabbit trail but all the regulation in the world will not fix that.

          • Rationalizing his way into oblivion.

          • Steve Stine,
            There are many examples of how the DEC has ruined lives and interrupted families.
            1. The DEC is responsible in the 1980s for single handedly closing down hundreds of small placer mines around the state because of trumped-up effluent discharges. Turbidity from these small mom and pop gold mines didnt come within a hair percentage of the same turbidity factors during a typical spring breakup and ensuing runoff.
            2. 2.5 particulate in 2019 from the efficient heating of wood stoves. 2.5 is another arbitrary number designed to discourage woodburners. In the minds of the DEC regulators, effluent smoke is more harmful than freezing to death in minus 40 degrees. And who goes out and breaths woodsmoke at 40 below? Everyone is inside. The DEC does serve some good, but the environmental wacko mentality is the real harm to our society. Critical thinking and reasoning dont seem to be pursued by DEC regulators.

      • Candidate for Darwin Award here.

    • Good point. And there is ZERO savings garnered for State of Alaska with this cut. The funds for this program are derived 100% from a fee collected from large cruise ship passengers. The funds will still be collected but will now sit in the treasury for our state.
      Given this veto, there will not be an Ocean Ranger monitoring program in 2020. This will almost certainly harm enforcement of our water quality laws. Alaska’s fishing fleet and our marine waters will be in jeopardy, which is too bad considering this veto does’t save a dime.
      Oh well………. ideology before practicality is what’s going on here with this cut. Other cuts make some sense. Not this one.

    • Has the ocean ranger program directly lead to any convictions? I don’t doubt the purpose, but has it ever done anything?

      • So, then the Ocean Ranger program has no supporters who can point to any convictions based upon the work and money spent on this program? Yep, it should be line item vetoed…actually it should never have been a line item to face a veto as it apparently didn’t actually do anything.

        • Yessir Steve-O, like a police officer parked at a lighted intersection and no tickets are issued because that officer didn’t actually do anything.
          Some logic there!

          • Bill,

            Are you suggesting we need to post a policeman at every street corner to keep traffic violations down?

            Some logic there!

            Maybe we should put an observer in every commercial fishing boat to make sure there are no violations since you and I both know how environmentally conscious most commercial fishermen are.

          • I’m suggesting nothing of the kind, just showing how your logic is not logic at all.
            There do not need to be observers or other types of recorders on all boats, or street corners, in order to alter the behavior of people. Economics figures into both observer programs as well as how often officers watch motorists at intersections. You have no argument against this Ocean Ranger program so you make something up that shows your ignorance.
            Typical Steve-O logic.

          • You gotta love Bill logic. Cops on street corners stop crime all over the place and observers on cruise ships stop all dumping on all boats.

            Bill, how many gallons of raw sewage have you dumped over the years into our waters? How many gallons of fuel and oil have you spilled or dumped overboard? Did you have an observer on board checking your bilge and your sewage holding tank?

          • Typical Steve-O changing the subject to something you may have an argument against.
            By the way, I’ve had observers on board but only to check on by-catch. And most PWS gillnet boats used deck buckets until 10 years ago. Are you thinking these deck buckets are harming the waters in the Gulf of Alaska?
            All that said, what again is your argument against Ocean Ranger program?

          • Bill,
            Where did I change the subject? The topic we are talking about is the Ocean Ranger program. The Ocean Ranger program monitors marine discharges. So how many gallons of raw sewage have you dumped over the years into our waters? How many gallons of fuel and oil have you spilled or dumped overboard?

            If you don’t understand my argument against the Ocean Ranger program, I suggest you re-read what I wrote above.

          • Steve-O, whether you like it or not the difference between a gillnet boat with on person on board is not comparable to a tour ship with upwards of a thousand passengers and another 3-400 crew. Every sport boat without a head would be treated similarly and nobody is monitoring whether/not they dump their own deck bucket over the side (even within 3 miles). Are you thinking these skiffs need to haul their buckets into the harbor? And when you say our waters, what waters are you talking about-nobody is dumping raw sewage into the harbors (though plenty pee off the docks).
            An example for you is a large Navy vessel contracted with Juneau to offload their raw sewage some years ago and when they got the bill the Captain said never again that they would just go outside 3 miles and pump it overboard. There are numerous doughnut holes where cruise vessels can dump but they don’t always adhere to the rules.
            You don’t have an argument against the Ocean Ranger program so quit trying to bullchit us into thinking you do.

          • Come on now Bill, you full well know there is more than one commercial fishing boat in this state. Trying to compare a single commercial fishing boat to a cruise ship is intellectually dishonest.
            There are thousands and thousands of commercial fishing vessels plying the waters everyday. If you support the Ocean Ranger program for cruise ships you should support it for commercial fishermen as well.

            There was a recent case where Carnival got in trouble for dumping in Glacier Bay, it was a nationwide news story…it shouldn’t be hard to figure out if the Ocean Ranger program had a hand in find out about the problem since they were on the cruise ship. If they didn’t have anything to do with it then they only prove how useless the program is.

          • Steve-O, the charter guys have to have a lock on their valve (skipper has key) with it locked inside 3 miles-they get ticketed if not locked. I suspect the seine boats have similar regs. (since they have 3-4 crew) but I don’t know if that’s the case-it would make sense. Coast Guard knows the vessels that would be required to have similar locks but nobody is concerned (but you) about the boats (fishing or pleasure) with a couple of people on board. Even those boats in fresh water would be a concern but in our saltwater there are bigger concerns and if they were all in one place (they aren’t) they could pollute but spread out over Alaska’s coast there is no issue (except in your mind).
            I’ve always considered you to be a low-watt bulb Steve-O but you’ve stooped especially low, here.

          • There’s the Bill Yankee we all know and love, when he loses and argument he resorts to personal attacks and name calling. Don’t worry Bill I find your name calling to be a term of endearment and to be considered a dull bulb from the likes of you a real mark of distinction.

            You think that commercial boats are putting locks on their bilges? Maybe they are putting locks on their poop tanks but that would be news. Ever been to the North line at Egigik, where there can be hundreds and hundreds of boats with 3, 4, or 5 crew per boat and tenders loading and unloading fuel all day long?

            You’ve obviously missed the point, once again. The Ocean Ranger program hasn’t lead to pristine waters, not while commercial fishing boats are dumping raw sewage, oil, and spilled fuel all over the state. Apparently the latest cruise ship to get in trouble for dumping in our waters wasn’t caught by the Ocean Ranger onboard, why wasn’t that Ocean Ranger doing their job?

            I know you big government types have never met a government job you didn’t like and will defend any semblance of fiscal responsibility tooth and nail, but calling me names only further proves just how out of touch you are. You want a big government job to regulate cruise ships but not you or your buddies in the commercial fishing industry.

          • Like I said Steve-O you are a low-watt bulb who doesn’t even recognize it.
            Keep comparing big cruise ship pollution with small fishing boats and you will keep being ignored.

          • Thanks again for the compliments Bill, you still do not understand the discussion at hand. One commercial fish boat compared to one cruise ship is not a comparison that I have made, a fleet of thousands of commercial fishing boats in comparison to a handful of cruise ships is a different story. I know you want to keep on dumping your bilge and raw sewage into our waters, I get it, it’s easy and cost effective for you. What I don’t get is your blatant hypocrisy of wanting to fund a program that hasn’t shown any results (and actually shows that the very thing they are tasked with doing was happening right under their noses), when you should be supporting the exact same thing on the commercial fishing fleet…well that is if you actually cared, which clearly you do not.

            But feel free to keep calling me a dim bulb, it makes you and your lack of an argument for the Ocean Ranger program look so intelligent and well thought out.

          • We have to dumb this down for you Steve-O: Dilution is the solution to pollution and that is done with the thousands of fishing boats (and sport boats) that are scattered throughout Alaska’s waters. It is not done for cruise ships where the discharge is the concentrated refuse from thousands of passengers in one place.
            While even you can see the difference, I suspect you will pretend to somehow suggest I’m comparing one fishing boat to one cruise ship. That’s what low-watt bulbs do, Steve-O.

          • Just to be clear Bill, you think your pollution is ok but somebody else’s isn’t. Thanks for finally getting to the point I’ve been making the entire time. It’s called hypocrisy and double standards. I’m glad you’ve finally fessed up to it. And what, pray tell, do you think happens to the waste the cruise ships dump? Do you think it stays in one big mass for eternity and does not dilute in the water? One gallon of waste from any boat is still one gallon of waste, dispersing it across a larger area does not make the amount go down, it simply dilutes it. In other words 1,000 gallons from one cruise ship is the exact same as 1 gallon from 1,000 boats.

            And once again if you want the Ocean Ranger program for the cruise ship industry, you should also want it for the commercial fishing industry…it’s not a hard concept to follow, it’s called being consistent, fair, and logical. But of course you do not want that because it will hurt your bottom dollar, and even though your big government beliefs call out for more and more government you only want that big government to impact others and not yourself.

            Thanks again Bill for putting your true self on full display.

          • I’ll dumb this down for you again Steve-O. No problem when cruise ships dump their waste outside 3 miles-the problem is when they dump inside bays that the Ocean Ranger folks are watching for. One thousand gallons is a problem in areas that don’t flush where as one gallon is no problem almost anywhere in saltwater in Alaska (big tides, big flush). The reason for the double standard is that for one there is no pollution problem so why make for the expense of monitoring. Obviously if folks are dumping in harbors, etc. they need to clean up their act or be fined. There is still the law for sewage and the situation for oil is the same for any boats and coast guard handles those issues as best they can. Tough to restrict all boats for all things but for serious pollution the Ocean Ranger program is necessary to monitor the most serious offenders at their expense.

          • Bill,

            You still don’t understand the conversation. The Ocean Ranger program hasn’t done what it was designed to do, there is no reason for it. The recent Carnival Cruise dumping in Glacier Bay illustrates the point, according to every report I’ve read the Ocean Ranger on board did not find or report the problem. The Ocean Ranger allowed 26,000 gallons of Grey water to be dumped on his/her watch and did nothing. How long do you think it takes the commercial fleet to dump 26,000 gallons of Grey water in Alaskan waters? My guess is it happens daily and in quantities much higher than a one time 26,000 gallon dump. Anchorage dumps sewage into the Cook Inlet daily and in much, much higher quantities just ask Steve Steine about that.

            You see Bill, I am not opposed to you dumping your dump overboard or the guys and gals out in Bristol Bay dumping their dumps overboard, I am opposed to government waste. That is the conversation and you are so wrapped up in your own mind you failed to understand that the Ocean Ranger program is a waste.

          • I understand the conversation perfectly, Steve-O. We are interested in clean water and business is interested in profits and fuck the environment. They are interested in the view from their decks but have no need for any clean water. The Ocean Ranger program is, by design, there to insure those clean waters. You don’t think they are needed so we’ll see if they get over-ridden-it all doesn’t matter because another administration will get it immediately. It’s a no-brainer but hard to fathom for such a low-watter.

          • No Bill, you very clearly do not understand the conversation. When you say “We are interested in clean water and business is interested in profits and fuck the environment. They are interested in the view from their decks but have no need for any clean water.” It only illustrates the point further. YOU are in the business of commercial fishing, you’ve admitted to dumping waste overboard. You are as much a part of the problem as you think the cruise ships are, the cruise ships with an Ocean Ranger on board who wasn’t doing the job you think is so crucial, while you want a pass for your commercial pollution activities.

            You very clearly do not understand the conversation.

          • Steve-O I haven’t commercial fished for 10 years and the amount of waste I’ve dumped overboard has never polluted any waters, unlike the dumping from cruise ships. Next you’ll be telling us that you’ve never hung it over the side, like you are some sort of purist but that’s not the issue. You know the issue but refuse to address it and need to muddy the water with some song-and-dance about commercial fishermen doing what? Dumping a deck bucket with maybe 1/4 gallon of waste-maybe we need to diaper the seals and sea lions for defecating inside 3 miles, too? How about sea otters and whales that surely need their own Ocean Rangers on board.

          • So now your poop is different than their poop, but the same as seal and sea lion poop, too funny Bill, too funny!

            I’ve been consistent with everything I’ve said here, you keep moving the goal post this way and that like you always do when you fail to understand the conversation at hand.

            Have fun trying to explain away how your poop is different than poop that comes from cruise ships but the same as seal and sea lion poop. Does sea and sea lion oil leave the same sheen as what came out of your bilge and all the times you spilled fuel too? Thanks for the laughs Bill, you’re a riot.

  • Not good enough. More needs to be cut and the percentages the governor promised is not there. Not enough! He needs to live up to his commitment and get on with the promises he made to get government slimmed down. Not enough! Dunleavy made promises he is not keeping. He was elected to get past the criminal Walker and his co-horts in the legislative body. So, cut more!!

    • So, he can win a veto over-ride with this. BTW, very close to half of his budget in cuts which he said months ago he would support (2 phase)
      If he were to go more, he most likely would not have maintained the ability to survive a veto over-ride.
      Smart

  • “This leaves $2 billion for Medicaid spending in Alaska.”
    Which is Still $2 Billion TOO Much!

    “The university system currently has 17 campuses.”
    Which is at least 10 more than it needs!

    At least we’re finally headed in the right direction!

    • If Suzanne would have report the budget correctly, she would not highlight the fact that UA has 17 campuses, but the fact that the 130.2 mio cut target UAF and UAA, and that the rural campuses funding is not threaten. Thus, according to you we are not going to the right direction!

      • Of course the rural campus costs have been primarily covered by UAA and UAF, with the cuts UAA and UAF face, will the rural campuses be able to cover costs that roll down to them?

  • Good for Governor Dunleavy. The cuts had to start somewhere. Maybe next budget, he can finish the goal of a balanced budget (adjust spending to revenue). Next goal for Alaskans is to get the municipalities and boroughs to rein in their ridiculous spending policies. As far as the “ocean ranger” expense, isn’t policing American waters the job of the Coast Guard? They are the ones enforcing the pertaining laws. Overall, a very good start, Governor Dunleavy.

    • Ben,
      I would have to do more research, but right now ADN is reporting that the “Ocean Ranger” program was paid for by money from the cruise ship industry and therefore did not cost us anything?
      “The Ocean Ranger cruise ship pollution inspection program was defunded, cutting $3.4 million. (This program was entirely funded with fees from the cruise ship industry and the veto does not save tax dollars.)”
      (ADN)

    • Lack of knowledge about Ocean Ranger program by Mr. Colder evident.
      This guy lives in a world detached from factual context.

      • I have plenty of knowledge about the “ocean ranger” program. I know they have been ineffective, for the most part. To prevent dumping by the cruise ships in State waters, why not just put an anonymous “passenger” on each cruise ship, like a legitimate tourist, and make the fines prohibitive when the “anonymous” passenger reports violations to the Coast Guard. A fraction of the cost. The “ocean ranger” program was nothing more than a cost ineffective ruse put in place by a former administration, looking for political points and too expensive for the results.

        Curb your tongue, knave.

  • Well done. Looks like Alaska is finally open for business. Unless you need an educated workforce, in which case you should take your business to one of those libtard states where they stupidly spend money on trade and college programs. Stupid dims and their books.

  • Who’s paying for this new campaign…..UA Strong?
    .
    Sounds like a bunch of whining university employees and the Board of Regents.

    • Right?! Those losers, with their grey matter and economic development incubator programs. What do they think the economy is made for chickens or something? Get them out of this state. Damn freeloaders. Same with all those freeloading communities that just took it upon themselves to assume the state would stand behind bond reimbursement programs. Punks. The lot ’em!

      • There are reasons to vote yea or nay on any bond issue, but only a fool would vote yes because “…and someone else will pick up half the tab!” I’m pretty sure that reading the ballots made it clear this was never a written-in-stone guarantee and that there was in fact always a possibility that the tax payers could be on the hook for the entire bond amount.

    • My investigation shows that “UA Strong” is a state-wide campaign to save the University of Alaska budget from being reduced by our governor. It appears to be incubated and hatched in Fairbanks by Regent John Davies and UA President Jim Johnson. It’s a political attempt to undermine the governor’s efforts to bring the UA budget to reasonable levels. But where is the money coming from to finance “UA Strong?”
      .
      UA Strong campaign signs are popping everywhere. More investigation needed. Suzanne?

      • That’s right! Hang ’em high. The nerve of these academics — pushing back on the governor’s plan to increase private sector growth by stripping away the infrastructure private sector development depends on. You want an educated workforce? Not here. What about reasonable energy costs in rural communities? Not here. What about support for older folks as they age out of the workforce? Not here. What about social supports that help cities like Anchorage manage low-income-relate social issues? Not here. Wait… where’s the incentive? Oh that’s right, the economy will run on high octane PFD. Problem solved.

        • Most academics are lacking in common sense. They couldn’t find the oil drain plug on their Suburus. And talk about greed. Their
          concern is for the almighty paycheck. They could give a crap about the non-government workforce. Lay them off. They can bike to the bus stop with their “I hate Trump” hats on backwards.

          • These academics are a bunch of freeloaders, Joker. Without the private sector to CREATE WEALTH, they would be eating fruits and nuts off the trees and pooping under the bushes. They get everything backwards and opine about it in the lecture halls. No wonder we have Trump in the White House and Dunleavy in the governor’s mansion. Most American CITIZENS get it.

        • Please, half of the UAA degrees are useless Marxist indoctrination programs where the “graduates” come out more ignorant than they were before, with 50K in student debt and completely without any employable skills. UAA can be good stewards and only keep programs that actually result in workforce ready graduates.

  • Year over year this is about a 5% cut. Last year the operating budget was about 8.8 Billion, this year with these vetoes it will be about 8.3 Billion. While it is good that we are finally actually making cuts, we need to get serious about the amount of waste on the part of government in this state.

    • @Steve-O, are you sure it is overall a 5% cut. For each dollars, the Geophysical Institute got from the state, it was able to secure about 5 from federal, international or private funding. When cutting 130mio out of the UA system, in reality this translate to a loss of 500mio in grant.

      When you they we need to get serious about the amount of waste on the part of the government in this state, what about slashing 50% of the PFD for net income over 50’000USD, 75% for income over 75’000USD and also setting up a state tax ?

      • @Bot…errr marc, it’s called math and English, both are easy to those of us who know how to use them.

  • On your left Turd Bay and ahead is Fecal Glacier. Thanks for keeping Alaska beautiful!

    • Seals and walrus poop too!

    • “And behind the ship, stuck in the prop wash, is……I Art Laughing…..”

      • That would be Dunleavy doin’ what he’s told by his sponsors.

  • Also, the optics of cutting the VPSO program the same day US Attorney General Bob Barr is touring Western Alaska on a critical fact finding mission are rich.

    .

    Derp, derpity, derp. Real leadership play there.

  • Good job Governor Dunleavy. Now its time the the citizens to go do there job and organize a statewide recall of the house majority starting with the Speaker. Alaskans have had enough of these dirt bags trying to nullify our statewide elections and subvert the will of the people. The only way these scallywags make it to power is through election fraud and low voter turnout. Make no mistake, these are the tyrants among us, and should be treated as such. So come on people, and get off the couch and get to work. We got rid of our fraud Deceit’n-Seaton, now its time for you to get rid of your rep. Start a recall now. Otherwise, we will wake up in the not too distant future to discover we are all swimming together in a toilet called Portland.

    • Nullify statewide elections like line item vetoing something put in place by initiative? That costs the State nothing and keeps sewage from being dumped in our tourist destinations?

      .

      No corruption……at all.

  • GOVERNOR STRONG!!!
    With him all the way!

  • The University of Alaska will now throw furloughed employees under the bus.
    When a UA employee is furloughed UA does not have to pay out vacation or benefits. That can go on indefinitely. The furloughed employees will never be called back and UA never pays out the vacation pay.
    If a UA employee is Laid Off they are paid benefits.

  • DUNLEAVY STRONG!!!!!!!

    • Love it, Johnnie. Love it!

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