Dunleavy’s supplemental budget tackles needs in law and order, ferries, and food stamp management

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced $117 million in supplemental budget items to the current year’s budget as part of his request to the Alaska Legislature. There were no unexpected items, as additional needs have arisen in the Office of Public Advocacy, the Public Defender Agency, the Department of Health’s Division of Public Assistance, and the Alaska Marine Highways.

“Today’s amended budget proposal reflects that we are listening and responding to Alaskans in real-time,” Dunleavy said. “This budget will fortify that effort by adding resources to the Office of Public Advocacy, the Public Defender Agency, the Department of Health Division of Public Assistance, and the Alaska Marine Highway System match. We are also adding resources for public safety, renewable energy grants, 404 Primacy, Medicaid rates, and more to better the lives of Alaskans.” 

Office of Public Advocacy and the Public Defender Agency

The governor’s amended budget includes $8.3 million across two fiscal years to increase the hourly pay and case caps for contract attorneys to become competitive in the current job market. This provides the same 20 percent raise to contract attorneys as given to state attorneys. 

Department of Health, Division of Public Assistance 

Dunleavy is amending $9 million for the Division of Public Assistance in the Operating Budget to increase capacity for eligibility determinations to help address the backlog in the SNAP program (food stamps). Also, $54 million is included in the Capital Budget to fully finish migrating the Division’s eligibility system from the outdated legacy system and into AIRES, a database, for full implementation into one, more modern system. 

Alaska Marine Highway System Match (AMHS) 

The Administration is using three sources to match the AMHS federal funding: matching the federal grants related to building new vessels with money in the vessel replacement fund, matching the operating costs with existing revenues, and matching capital projects with a toll credit system in federal law.  

Other Notable Amendments 

$7.5 million for a Department of Public Safety patrol vessel replacement $10 million ($5 million each) to Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Alaska Travel Industry Association, $7.5 million for Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) Renewable Energy Grants, $8 million for wildfire suppression, $24.4 million for Medicaid rates, $5 million for State assumption of Section 404 permitting primacy, $2.8 million for 10 more village public safety officers and housing allowances, and $250,000 to assign a dedicated Alaska State Trooper to investigate in-custody inmate deaths and reported felony and misdemeanant criminal cases within the correctional facilities. 

View the Fiscal Year 2024 Amended Budget page here.View the FY24 budget page here.

31 COMMENTS

      • Aren’t you sweet?

        Actually the point of a road system is to increase commerce and allow angry people like yourself a way to visit their capital.

        It’s actually a way to allow us to be less dependent on happy people like yourself.

        Curious: when’s the last time you graced us with your presence?

  1. I know government agencies unfortunately are not known for their efficiency, but $54 million ” to fully finish migrating the (Div of Public Asst.) Division’s eligibility system from the outdated legacy system and into AIRES, a database, for full implementation into one, more modern system. ” seems like an incredible amount of money. I’d be curious what the total cost will be to fully switch to the more modern system. Not saying it shouldn’t be done, the cost just seems really high……

  2. Flip – flop Big Mike!
    In 4 years, a “trans” from a fiscally conservative budget hawk to a glad-handing politician in a straw hat and candy-striped suit (or in your case, skirt?) throwing public money into the wind.

    Where’s your character, Big Guy? Who did we elect??

  3. Can’t wait to see what the legislature does with this. I hope there are enough votes to get it passed, but we already have a fight for more education dollars without asking for how the dollars are spent and what they are accomplishing. And it seems like there are some legislators who just want to throw more money at an educational system that is badly in need of major overhaul. The question remains on all of it, will the legislators act like people who shop for a product and expect results or will they be like those who are spending other peoples’ money so who cares?

  4. There is no need to incur all the problems brought to the state economy by deficit spending. We have very low unemployment so deficit spending adds to inflation, adds to problems like drug abuse, increases demands for long-term commitments (such as returning to defined benefit for PERS and TRS) our economy cannot possibly meet, and above all allows the public sector to take employees away from the private sector – at the worst possible time. Alaskans can afford a statutory PFD but we cannot afford deficit spending. Alaskans send elected officials to Juneau who are then wined and dined by public employee union bosses, capital budget contractors and suppliers (mostly from Seattle), and nonprofits; but those elected officials forget all about what they said to get elected. Again, no need for deficit spending. If you pay taxes to an Alaska municipality that is a member of the Municipal League and/or has union employees you are part of the problem, and statistically you are more likely than not to one day leave the problem behind, rather than fix it, as you move from Alaska.

  5. Meanwhile, national news on our school board meetings. ‘https://www.foxnews.com/media/alaska-board-members-brawl-silencing-dad-exposing-book-kinks-porn-im-going-interrupt-you

  6. Supplemental budget requests generally show where the Governor’s previous budget was inadequate, his amended budget has the same inadequacies.

  7. Food stamps should be limited to WIC eligible items. No chips, soda, gatorade, energy water. No cookies, cakes, ice cream. No prepared foods. Nothing in a gas station convenience store. No restaurants, no fast food.

    • Why is that? Do you want to punish the unfortunate and deprive them of The simple pleasures of life like eating a good steak once in awhile or eating in public? When you’re poor, you have very little things in your life that in some cases makes life worth living. Maybe never going to own your own home, or have a new shiny car, but for the reason God gave us taste buds, you want to deprive the poor people of one of the only sensory satisfactions they have. How cruel.

      • The point of food stamps is so poor people don’t starve to death, not to give them “sensory satisfactions”. If they want the latter they can…gasp…earn the money to pay for it like the rest of us.

          • Perhaps you can start and fund a charity. Call it Take a poor family to lunch. I would contribute. The reality is a person capable of passing grades in high school is capable of obtaining a decent job given a certain amount of work ethic. Quite often people are victims only of themselves.

      • Food stamps need stricter eligiblity which won’t happen. The current socialists are richer because of more government dependents recieving benefits. I feel sorry for those who are raised under that notion that government, churches, and non profits will always be there for assistance; they only hurting theirs and nation’s futures.

        • As a Christian isn’t it your duty to feed the hungry, close the ragged enrich the poor? Once there was a time when there were no good jobs to get. People were unskilled laborers. Some resorted to going to the local dump and picking aluminum cans out of the slop to go sell at the local recycling center for a penny a piece. Occasionally they came across food that had been dumped there by the local grocery store because it was out of date. I would say that those people were doing what they could and should be looked down upon from the white Ivory Tower that you reside in. In the end those people pulled themselves up kicking and fighting and became educated and made a fortune. It was a hard life though.

          • So who promised you an easy life Greg? Working and earning your own food isn’t always easy. You make some pretty big assumptions about others, except the “poor”. And “poor” is being used loosely here. Our “poor” are the envy of the rest of the world. It’s not supposed to be a lifetime lifestyle choice. Everyone can do something and earn their keep. In closing, you know what the difference between a politician and a drunken sailor is? The drunken sailor is spending his own money.

    • Corporate lobbyists keep processed foods eligible to make people obese and profit again on the back end through subsidized health care scewing the taxpayer twice

      • Cheaper to eat unhealthy vs the opposite. Sometimes it’s all about a full belly.
        Ever ate expired dump food? Ever begged food for a church?ever ate on $20 a week? I didn’t think so.

        • So Greg, using WIC as a standard more healthy and much more nutritious food would would be available to the recipient at a reduced cost to society. Sounds like the answer to your problem. I, as a child, was on the commodity program and at times food stamps. I know what I am talking about. Then there was a certain amount of understanding that these were temporary assistance programs. If people want steak there are solutions as well, jobs come to mind. My list doesn’t explicitly exclude steak. It does exclude cookies, doughnuts, freezer meals etc. High cost low nutritional value fillers.If it acts as an incentive to return to work so much the better. After being a poor kid, I never have taken welfare as an adult. There just might be a lesson there. There should be stigma attached to welfare for otherwise able bodied adults.

          • Going to have to disagree with you there pard. You can’t control what people choose to eat. That kind of sounds like some sort of a communist socialist Soylent Green program. Commodity food was always meant to be supplemental. Leftover peanut butter and figs and hard beans. Whatever the government chose to buy from the farmers to keep the prices steady. When I ate it it was the most unappetizing food I had ever tasted. But it did make a turd. People are entitled to more appetizing food. To deny them that is cruel. To stigmatize them of that is evil.

      • Wrong, obesity is driven by carbohydrates, SUGARS, and processed foods. Our bodies prefer protein to carbs and even veggies. Do some research

  8. Amazing how supportive people are of using other peoples money to support people who live by choice off the road system. And to make it convenient for young able bodied people to live at a higher standard by not working. I am not saying that there are not needy people that need our charity. Maybe not the ones who drive the expensive cars and trucks to the supermarket, park in the handicap space, and hop out and use their food stamps to buy tomahawk T-bone steaks. Unfortunately, I am not imagining this. Mostly, it’s the elderly who are forced to eat beans and rice as this woke society taxes them out of their homes.

      • Don’t know what that means. Don’t think I want to. Just stating the facts, no racial dialogue intended. Soaking my non-government beans and trying to finish on my pension. My kids bring me moose, sometimes fish as well. I am no burden to anyone and don’t expect anything. But observe I do.

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