Gov. Dunleavy: Delivering on our public safety responsibilities to Alaskans

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By GOV. MIKE DUNLEAVY

On Dec. 15 my administration fulfilled both our legal responsibility to present a balanced budget for the next fiscal year, as well as our moral responsibility to present a budget that meets the needs of Alaskans.

As it has been since I took office, the No. 1 priority reflected in this budget is public safety. 

We are asking the Legislature for additional funds for 15 more State Troopers and 10 Village Public Safety Officers. We are also asking the Legislature for additional funds to implement the People First Initiative that my administration introduced on Dec. 14 alongside the stakeholders who helped create it and will be our partners to implement it.

We’ll seek a total of $24 million in funding above the current fiscal year to execute our public safety goals along with the tools law enforcement needs such as body cameras, fleet maintenance and replacement, and court system funds to resume jury trials suspended by the pandemic.

This budget demonstrates that we can both constrain government spending while focusing resources on its core responsibilities. Compared to the budget deficit of $1.6 billion that I inherited on Day One, this budget is not only balanced but is 7 percent lower than fiscal year 2019. This is the fourth consecutive budget with lower state spending than the previous administration. 

We will not propose taxes. We will not spend from our savings accounts. We will not exceed the statutory limit on the draw from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve.

We are doing all of this while proposing a 2022 Permanent Fund Dividend in line with my 50/50 plan that would total about $2,564 per eligible Alaskan, as well as the balance of the 2021 PFD according to the same formula that would provide an additional $1,250.

My goal has always been to put the biggest share possible of Alaska’s resource wealth in our citizens’ pockets, and to put the government on a diet.

This budget does both by limiting the government share of the Permanent Fund earnings to no more than half of the annual draw. 

We can propose this from a position of strengthening fiscals and budget restraint. Among the 50 states, only Alaska and Oklahoma have been able to reduce state spending since the 2018 elections. 

Thanks to better-than-forecast oil prices and production, we are on track to finish with a budget surplus for the first time since the 2012 fiscal year.

Alaskans expect their government to live within its means and live up to its responsibilities, and those are expectations I take seriously.

I also take seriously the rights of our state and Alaskans as individuals.

That’s why we’ve been on offense against federal overreach that attempts to restrict our ability to develop our resources or encroaches on our fundamental individual rights as Alaskans and Americans.

And we’re winning. Alaska joined a dozen other states to force the Biden administration to resume federal lease sales, and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is now suing to enforce the legal leases we acquired at ANWR this past January.

But nowhere have we been more successful than our coalition with states around the nation to shut down President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandates.

Alaska and fellow liberty-minded states have won injunctions stopping the implementation of vaccine mandates on employers, on health care workers, and on federal contractors. 

Some have asked me to mandate masks or vaccines; others have asked me to ban mask or vaccine mandates. Under our state constitution I have no authority to do either thing, and no Alaskan should want any governor to have that kind of power.

What I do have is the power to defend every Alaskan’s rights to make their own choices and exercise their God-given rights that are laid out in our state and federal constitutions.

An old saw is that budgets reflect values. As the Declaration of Independence states, governments are formed to secure the rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

I can think of no greater honor than to present a budget that reflects those values and protects those rights for every Alaskan.  

As we speak today, the State of Alaska is in good shape. Oil prices and production are up, the pension gap that was recently billions of dollars has been closed, the Permanent Fund is worth more than $83 billion, and state spending is lower than it was four years ago.

These have been a difficult past few years with a recession, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, destructive wildfires, and a pandemic, but we still have much to be thankful for because we live in the greatest state in the greatest country on the planet.

To all Alaskans, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

Mike Dunleavy is the 12th governor of Alaska.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Go, Governor Mike! Can’t wait for your re-election next year, and the new revelations due out soon on Bill Walker. Oh, it’s going to be merry.

    • Who do you think would be better with the choices we had? huh?? I’m sick and tired of the bitching on Dunleavy.. The other choices we had didn’t offer anything better.. You forget there were other people (AK Leg) that stopped (overrode) many of his proposals…

          • Nice try! Thanks for playing! Your comment might have more validity if he even showed that he cared or tried even a little. Nope. Pure coward and excuses on the subject.
            Weak sauce!

    • Well Joe Biden has buried oil production, mining, printed money, and and restarted travel, so franky I think Biden is Making Alaska depopulated again.

    • Biden has reduced oil production, decreased mining, restricted travel, blocked roads in SE, and printed countless amounts of money so if anything Joe Biden is making Alaska depopulated again.

  2. Blah blah blah.
    Grow a spine.
    Protect Alaskan workers from mandates.
    If you want to know what leadership looks like, there are fine examples like DeSantis and Abbot.
    So the hard thing that is right, not the RINO thing that makes it hard on Alaskans.

  3. “Some have asked me to mandate masks or vaccines; others have asked me to ban mask or vaccine mandates. Under our state constitution I have no authority to do either thing, and no Alaskan should want any governor to have that kind of power.” – Governor Dunleavy
    .
    Let me repeat the most important part, “no Alaskan should want any governor to have that kind of power”
    .
    This guy gets it.

    • He doesn’t get it and neither do you. If he can’t protect Alaskan families and their breadwinners from being harassed, coerced, and fired for not taking a useless, dangerous, experimental clot shot, then he’s worthless.
      This is not hard to figure out.

  4. I wonder how the State of Alaska closed the billions of dollars state worker’s pension gap? Did they steal that money from the PFD? Just asking.

    • Genius, PERS/TRS provides retirement benefits to every public employee in the State and to employees of quite a few non-profits. The State historically was among the most conscientious employers in paying its employer obligations to the retirement system and collecting the employee obligations and transmitting them to the retirement system. A major factor in the decision to abandon the legacy defined benefit plans during the Murkowski Administration was the fact that so many political subdivisions had such significant arrearages that we didn’t believe it was politically possible to recover the arrearages.

      The unfunded liability of any defined benefit pension fund is a chimera, at best a somewhat methodical guess. You have to guess how many employees will choose to retire and when. You have to guess what the investment markets will do. You have to guess how many employees will quit and take their retirement contributions with them.

      When the State was a little more flush, it put several billion dollars into the PERS/TRS reserves; none of that came from Permanent Fund earnings. In dealing with these issues, knowledge is much preferable to ignorance, suspicion, and paranoia.

      • Ok, so when the State was flush with oil revenue they took money from the General Fund to fund pension liabilities. Now when the state is short of funds in the General Fund they take it from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve. Funny how that works.

  5. Thank you Gov. Dunleavy. It’s refreshing to read such common sense in today’s political circus we now have in liberal states and DC. CA, OR, and my former home WA have fallen to the liberals and Alaska is in their crosshairs. We were immediately attacked with executive orders soon after the Biden inauguration. Keep fighting and if you need a reminder of how things could be, take a trip to downtown Seattle, Portland, or San Fran.

    • Nope. Refreshing would be a governor with a spine that protects families and their breadwinners.
      DeSantis has a spine. So does Abbott.

  6. So says the governor who thinks he has the right to close businesses and destroy livelihoods around the state. But, it’s an election year coming, so propaganda for those with short memories.

      • To be fair Art Chance, Dunleavy did force the closure of what he deemed “non-essential” businesses, restricted travel, etc. etc. Go back and reread all of the mandates Dunleavy and Adam Crum put out. #11 is referenced here. Lots of people lost their jobs. Dunleavy also helped replace hundreds of Alaskan health care workers who refused to get the clot shots with workers from out of State.

  7. This governor is the best we’ve got. Compared to the corrupt, disgraced Bill Walker, we should be thankful to Big Mike for all he has had to put up with. Can he do better? Certainly. And he will. Merry Christmas, governor, to you and yours.

  8. No easy day being governor in the State of Alaska. ADN radicals. Corrupt Left. COVID. RINOs. Union boss goons. Traitorous legislators. Malcontents in the Bush. Lisa Murkowski. Juneau. Environmental hypocrites. Big Mike has to fight them all, and he does it willingly, while some continue to bitch and moan.
    .
    God bless Dunleavy and his family and wish him a victory in 2022.
    .

    • Not to mention that he cannot appoint any Conservative Judges to help in turning around the direction of the Judicial System that keeps us from acting like Texas and Florida. We need a State Constitutional Convention to fix the Judicial System that has been broken since day one, and move the State Capital allowing the citizens to participate in Government!

  9. Great speech Governor. Would that the Legislature will let you implement your budget. We’ve got your back. Whiners on this comment thread need to grow up, get a civics education, and get a real life.

  10. If a governor with principles and an actual spine can even figure out how to back down Disney and protect Florida workers and families from clot shot mandates, so can spineless Mike.

  11. Hot Damn!!
    Up and till now I liked our current Gov. He was in tune to MY Alaska. The Jay Hammond Alaska. The Alaska that benefits the people of Alaska AND this fine nation.
    But then I read this post.
    Now I truly LOVE this Gov!!

  12. Biden has reduced oil production, decreased mining, restricted travel, blocked roads in SE, and printed countless amounts of money so if anything Joe Biden is making Alaska depopulated again.

  13. I want to THANK YOU ! Gov Dunleavy for sticking up for ALL OF US. us….We have small pocket areas with good/excellent candidates running, but are they KNOWN to ALL of Alaska?. People, remember we have people spread all over Alaska in small pockets of communities that may have heard of these others, but don’t really know them. They will VOTE for the people they know and trust and Dunleavy is one of them. Yes, there are others they have heard about, but don’t really know, they’ll be least likely to vote for who we think might be better. Dunleavy has been sued many times and hung out to dry from the very beginning by our legislators and the other liberal-crats. Please, as it has been stated so much better then I. (quote, may I?) from Art Chance “The Legislature runs the state and the governor just follows orders.” So for all you complaining that Dunleavy isn’t doing enough..(Some might NEED to reread his article in the MRAK(12-29th) Just remember, maybe he isn’t perfect, but we’re all human too. Humans are not all perfect either.

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