Dunleavy signs budget that prioritizes public safety, education, savings, and a huge PFD

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Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed the Fiscal Year 2023 state operating and capital budgets into law on Tuesday.

The spending plan moves Alaska into a new direction with prudent and fiscally responsible investments in public safety, public education, the University of Alaska, and infrastructure projects that create jobs and economic development, his office said. It also saves $1.6 billion dollars, which is being paid back to the Constitutional Budget Reserve for future use, when oil prices gyrate lower.

In addition, the budget includes a historical 2022 Permanent Fund dividend for every eligible Alaskan. 

“This budget is more than a spending plan; it’s a blueprint for Alaska’s future,” Dunleavy said. “Budgets should reflect the values and ambitions of the people they are designed for, and I believe this legislation accomplishes that. It strikes the right balance by continuing my administration’s commitment to rebuilding state services like public safety while holding spending in check, adding to our savings, and pointing the economy in the right direction.”

The Dunleavy Administration’s fourth state budget invests in the following:

Protecting all Alaskans – Public Safety, People First Initiative, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons

Protecting Alaskans has been Governor Dunleavy’s number one public policy priority since taking office in December 2018. His public safety budget reflects his unwavering commitment to keeping all Alaskans safe from crime.

·        The budget authorizes 10 new Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers and 10 Village Public Safety Officer positions

·        Higher salaries for VPSOs and Troopers to attract the most qualified and motivated candidates to a career in law enforcement

·        New housing for public safety officers in rural communities

·        Additional funding to hire more criminal prosecutors and support staff

·        Creates an innovative Crisis Stabilization Center test program to treat Alaskans experiencing a mental health crisis 

Public Education – Accountability

The FY23 budget not only increases funding for Alaska’s public school and university systems; it also brings long-overdue accountability for students’ and parents’ sake.

·        $117 million investment in education, including funds dedicated to the Alaska Reads Act, a comprehensive reading intervention program so all students can read at grade level by the end of third grade. Increased resources include $57 million in one-time funds to schools, $2.5 million for Pre-K and an increase to the BSA.

·        The Alaska Reads Act will be culturally responsive to rural and Alaska Native students

·        Forward funds K-12 education in FY24 with $1.2 billion

·        Delivers tax relief for local taxpayers by funding school bond debt reimbursement

·        Enhancements to Alaska’s student loan program

·        Innovative research in drone technology, critical minerals, heavy oil, and mariculture at the University of Alaska 

Investing in Alaska: Ports, Bridges, Airports and More – FY23 Capital Budget

·        Funds critical repairs to the Port of Alaska

·        Invests in a new deep-water port in Nome – a strategic Arctic port for the United States

·        Upgrades and improvements for multiple airports across the state

·        Funds repairs for roads and bridges statewide

·        $117.3 million in state and federal funds for the Village Safe Water program, so more rural communities have safe, clean drinking water and sanitation

·        Sets state on course to pay off oil tax credits once and for all by this year. This honors the state’s commitment to pay off debt abandoned by a previous administration 

·        Invests in the Alaska Marine Highway System with a new mainline vessel and maintenance funds to keep ships on the water serving coastal communities 

Fiscal Responsibility – Savings, Endowments and Line-Item Vetoes

Governor Dunleavy carefully examined the increased spending made by lawmakers this year. His objective was to preserve the temporary surplus from higher oil revenues to the greatest extent possible. Reductions were made without harming essential state services. The line-item vetoes total $400 million, and those unspent funds will be deposited into the Constitutional Budget Reserve, a rainy-day savings account for years when state revenues are down. Funds taken from the CBR have to be repaid, which has not been done for several years.

·        All state agency budgets, except Public Safety and Education are down 10% from 2019

·        The FY23 budget deposits $1.6 billion in the CBR

·        The bottom line: Alaska’s CBR account balance more than doubled, from $1.3 billion to approximately $3 billion – enough to cover the state budget if oil prices collapse

Alaskans Accessing Alaska – Agriculture and Mariculture

·        Funds the development of a mariculture industry in Alaska

·        Increases food security with the Nenana-Tokchaket Agriculture Project  to produce more food, fuel, and fiber for in-state consumption

Rural Alaska

The FY23 budget addresses many long-standing issues with infrastructure, public safety, and technology in rural communities.

·        Broadband technology – an integral part of today’s world 

o  Up to $1 billion anticipated for Alaska to connect all Alaskans with at least 100/20 mbps internet service

o  $3 billion for the Tribal broadband program

o  Establishes a new State of Alaska Broadband office scheduled to open July 1, 2022

·        Replaces the K-12 public school in Napakiak threatened by erosion

·        Fully funds the Power Cost Equalization program for the fourth straight year

·        Fixes a technical problem in the state’s school funding formula so the Hooper Bay School receives it fair share of education funding 

·        Funds plowing of ice roads in rural communities off the road system

·        As stated before, funding for new Troopers and VPSOs in rural communities, housing for public safety personnel, the Village Safe Water program, a deep-water port in Nome and upgrades to rural airports

2022 Permanent Fund Dividend

·        The PFD is, and will always be, Alaskans’ rightful share of the state’s enormous mineral wealth.

·        2022 marks the return of substantial PFD payments to all eligible Alaskans and this year’s payment will be the largest in state history. It couldn’t come at a more critical time.

·        Based on Dunleavy’s 50/50 PFD plan, it divides the annual draw from the Permanent Fund equally between state services and the dividend 

·        Families need help now with rampant inflation, record-high fuel costs, and the economic damage caused by the pandemic

·        Dunleavy will announce the distribution plan for the PFD soon

“As Alaskans, we all know the surge in oil revenue is temporary. What it buys us is time to continue working together on a fiscal plan that smooths out the inherent volatility in oil revenue. The result will be that Alaskan families will not experience diminished services when revenues are down, and the business community is assured that Alaska’s fiscal house is in order. The first step in that legislative and public policy process is to end the arbitrary political process for funding the PFD that was used starting in 2016 to this year when lawmakers turned to the 50/50 formula. However, a permanent, sustainable solution requires giving the people of Alaska a chance to vote on any change in the formula to be protected in the Constitution. I look forward to working with lawmakers and Alaskans on a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan,” Dunleavy said.

The budget documents are at this link.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Time to dump Dunleavy!
    Charlie Pierce and Edie Grunwald for governor and lieutenant governor!

    • The 2022 PFD if following the original statutory formula should have been $4,200

      The AK Senate approved a $4,200 FULL PFD + $1,300 energy relief = $5,500

      Energy relief should not be confused as being part of the PFD, it is not. The relief stimulus was proposed as a response to record energy prices and inflation. These people cut the relief while knowing that inflation and gas prices would continue to increase.

      The AK House refused to approve $5,500, $4,200, or even $3,800.

      Instead the amount approved was Dunleavy’s proposed a 50/50 POMV formula PFD of $2,550 PFD + $650 energy relief = $3,200

      ## WHAT YOU ACTUALLY GET

      $2,550 PFD + $650 energy relief = $3,200

      Dunleavy could have and should have used his line item veto to slash the majority of government funding for special projects in the budget except the PFD, signed that budget, then called the legislature back.

      He could have leveraged his approval of special projects if the legislature paid out and additional $1000 to $2,300.

      It’s an election year. He could have forced their hand.

      For the past four years Dunleavy has done nothing. It was all a scam and theater. Every year he caved and signed a budget that gave the legislature and special interests exactly what they wanted while they stole from constituents PFD checks.

    • A small fraction of what Walker and the lawlesslature have stolen from each and every Alaska – man/woman/child! We can’t afford a spineless governor anymore.

  2. Very impressive, however I find it difficult to see how they can justify INCREASED public education funding until the results demonstrate substantial improvement.

    • They keep throwing more money at public education for what? cross-dressing story hour? Gender-confusion instruction, boys in the girl’s bathroom and competing on girl’s athletic teams? CRT indoctrination? Meanwhile, students are gushing out the doorways and instead flowing into private schools or home schooling. I wouldn’t give schools a dime at the moment.

    • $1.2 billion to forward fund the following year’s education. Ridiculous!
      Only bright point I can see out of that is when Kurka or Pierce are governor plus half the legislature gone, they will have an even bigger budget surplus and get out statutory PFD plus previous years PFD.

  3. Yeah
    He refused to answer the question on when the PFD will be distributed.
    Which probably means he is going to wait till October…after all his talk about how we need this money.
    Second time he was asked, he said he will make a decision in the next week.

  4. So was this a paid political advertisement for Dunleavy ?? He had his chance and blew it. Lets give Pierce a chance. Charlie for Gov.

  5. I’m so glad we have such a strong socialist leader that delivers on his promise that the state will carry us through these hard times.

  6. How can the state budget 1 billion for ALL Alaskans broadband service, yet budget 3 billion for “Tribal broadband service” ?

    Does the state plan to lay fiber optic cable everywhere, or repeal the laws of physics ?

  7. More money down the Alaska education rathole? There is truly nothing exceptional about this Governor!

  8. Well Governor, there are some tough questions to answer concerning this budget. Here we go again throwing allot of money at education without explaining the complete details. As most Americans know, the teachers unions have left the parents out of their children’s education. There has been and continues to be a push to groom kids for the LGBTQ agenda and push racism, also called Critical Race Theory, on our kids. Now there is a push to have Drag Queens read to and dance around for our kids without parental consent. When the government pushes this stuff on kids without parental or taxpayer consent, it is called indoctrinating children into a value system not consistent with the values of the parents. Where are the protections for children to shield them from unwanted grooming and indoctrination? When will the education system get back to reading , writing and arithmetic? Other issues you are not addressing as Governor,
    1. Dominion Voting Machines that wirelessly connect to the internet and can be hacked as admitted by CISA.
    2. Mass mail-in voting that can be manipulated by State Voter Rolls that haven’t been cleaned up. We can’t have 110% voter registrations in the State because it allows fraud. Watch the 2000mules documentary. Why is Dunleavy ignoring this information?
    3. Ranked Choice Voting that allows machine manipulation to choose the winner.
    4. Massive abortion funding in this budget (not mentioned) and continuing the extermination of little Alaskans, a crime in my opinion.

    Alaska needs leadership in every category Governor and I do not believe you are capable of being a Ron Desantis who does not bow down to the lefts demands. I believe Chris Kurka can be that leader who will make the tough choices you refuse to make. Alaska, we have an opportunity to elect leadership that will place us on a path of less government and more freedom. We need school choice and schools that educate, not indoctrinate. We need to value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as codified in the U.S. Constitution. The America First movement is well underway and Alaska can be part of this movement or be relegated into the next California, which is a cesspool.

    Alaska America First Candidates are Tsibaka, Palin and Kurka. There may be a couple other underdogs I’m unaware of but know that Murkowski, Begich and Dunleavy are not America First but rather what is politically correct for their careers. America is under siege and Biden is purposely killing our country with his unconstitutional policies. We need leadership that will not back down.

  9. Leave the Governor in place… it is time for the bleeding heart liberals to take a back seat and stop demanding that free-bee programs get more and more! How about verifying that people going to food banks are actually in need of their services. Can’t tell you how many times that it has been viewed first hand people driving up in their escalades and Volvos just to play the “oh poor me” story when it comes to getting something for free. Those who have, but like to take advantage of the system, need to stop their arrogance. ALL FOOD BANKS NEED TO TIGHTEN UP THEIR POLICIES AND ENFORCE VERIFICATION OF THOSE COMING THROUGH THEIR DOORS.

  10. Stop complaining about Dunleavy. We could have some screwballs like CA’s Newsome or WA’s Inslee in office. We’d really be up a creek then.

  11. I will prioritize a commitment to get Trump to remove his dunleavy endorsement
    Saturday afternoon you will here very loud boos when Trump announces dunleavy’s name.
    Trump will then recognize his mistake and rethink his association with dunleavy

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