Governor: Trying to end Groundhog Day



Gov. Michael Dunleavy told the capitol press corps today that his “roadshow” took budget discussions directly to Alaskans and revealed that some agree, and some do not agree with his proposed budget cuts.

But he was overall pleased that Alaskans are having a discussion about the size of the budget and the available revenue to pay for it.

“We want to get rid of this Groundhog Day concept on the budget, that we do the same thing every year, we have the same arguments, we have the same discussions and we get a budget for one year. And then we stumble to the next year,” he said. What Dunleavy wants is to make big cuts now and put constitutional amendments in front of voters to keep the size of government growth in check.


The House of Representatives had its own operating budget on the floor for debate, and today the Democrat-led majority voted down amendment after amendment offered by the Republican minority, most of them by Rep. David Eastman, the arch conservative of the House.

Speaker Bryce Edgmon said yesterday: “For the body’s knowledge, House Bill 39 will be held in second reading for the purpose of taking amendments tomorrow. And as is tradition, we will entertain all amendments, no matter the length of time involved.”

[Watch Speaker Edgmon say he’ll entertain all amendments]

But today Edgmon had changed his mind and disallowed some of Eastman’s amendments.

The main amendment he disallowed was just one line that said: “It is not the intent of the legislature through any appropriation to create an unfunded mandate.”

Edgmon also disallowed an Eastman amendment that said: “It is the intent of the legislature that membership in a private organization not be a requirement for state employment.” That amendment was a clear shot over the bow of public sector unions, and something Edgmon didn’t want to deal with.


Dunleavy, meanwhile, spoke to reporters while sporting a red pen in the breast pocket of his suit, a not-so-subtle indication the the intends to make cuts to the budget, if it appears in its current state, which is more than $700 million larger than the one he proposed in February.

He indicated he wasn’t afraid to veto, but said, “I don’t want to speculate too much until the Senate has an opportunity to come up with their budget, and then there’s a conference committee. We believe we still have tools.”

In other notes from today:

  • The governor’s Budget Director Donna Arduin said that the House budget has a technical error in it, in that it does not fund education for the Fiscal Year starting July 1.
  • During the budget debate on the House floor, the Legislature’s Budget Director David Teal was reported by several people to be holed up with Democrat staffers working on rebuttals to the amendments being offered by the Republican minority. Teal is a nonpartisan employee of the Legislature.
  • One of the two amendments that passed was offered by Rep. Sara Rasmussen, which saved the State $33,000.
  • On Wednesday, the debate continues the budget, and may debate the defunding of the Alaska Human Rights Commission.
  • All of the Permanent Fund Dividend amendments have yet to be debated; that may happen on Wednesday.
  • Speaker Bryce Edgmon has delayed a Second Amendment amendment to Wednesday’s floor session.


  1. Governor Dunleavy might need a bigger red pen, one that says VETO on the cap, for some of these legislators to get the idea.

  2. Mike Dunleavy is a smart guy. He knows that the people who voted for him have a long memory.

    The PFD promises he made must be kept in order for him to have a chance at a second term.

    We NEED Dunleavy to have a second term to clean up all the nastiness that has been seeded throughout our state government offices over the last 5+ years.

    The cold, hard reality is that ALL the little piglets need to to be separated from their bloated Alaska government sow.

    • He can’t keep the promise. He’s a one termer, if that. We need a lot of things, things we’re not going to get.

    • He will need the support of the people because he does not control the purse strings. The only way he will hold true on that promise is to Veto the entire Spending bill to bring the message back to the Idiots in the House.

  3. He’s going to have to do a lot more cutting than proposed in his budget if all of his proposed laws don’t come to fruition if he’s going to balance the thing. I have two questions.


    Which agencies get taken behind the chemical shed first?


    And when do the lawsuits and Federal grant clawbacks start?

  4. I once worked with someone who had an 8.5 x 11 inch rubber stamp for bad deals that read: NO #@$%&!$ WAY!

  5. When comparing the difference between the Governor’s budget and the House budget, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
    Specifically, Dunleavy’s $3000 Dividend versus the House’s reported $1400 Dividend. Mike has a way of leaving his proposed Dividend off-budget.

  6. Well, let me talk to EDGEMON an ask him why I have his secretary telling me that Alaska is a SANCTUARY STATE. ANSWER ME THAT ONE EDGEMON YOU TRAITOR!!! Oh Yeah EDGEMON I have it recorded. Ya all want to hear it!!! Just let me know. I have so much more on tape of these traitors. Hey Shelly Hughes ya want to hear what your BUDDY has been talking to me about and what he has and has not done

  7. Debra Settje! May I hear your tape? That would be agregious if it is true! Can you message me on facebook?

  8. I for one voted for our Governor Mike Dunleavy, and I am behind him 100%. I don’t understand why the house got their budget from the previous governor which WAS VOTED OUT OF OFFICE AFTER ONE TERM. Do you people get the picture. Or or you taking lessons from Washington, attacking our Governor voted in by the people of Alaska. Let him do his job the one we voted him in to do. You’re not even trying to work with him. You chose the previous governor’s plan and I remind you again we got rid of that person. Work with our Governor Mike Dunleavy who is in office now as the Governor of Alaska.

  9. At least Dunleavy’s BIG RED PEN is larger than the pencil(neck) of Dermot and Terrence Cole, the little errand boys of the Bolsheviks at the ADN and FDNM.
    Ask Dunleavy’s Alaska Constitution advisor, Dick Randolph. Its doubtful that Randolph and the little Cole twins would ever share a foxhole. It would get pretty smelly. [See FDNM editorial 4/10/19].

    • Is that big red pen any good at writing bills for the Governor to sign into law? The reason I ask is that he can line item veto the confiscation of local oil and fisheries taxes.


      What will he line item veto to make up for those deficiencies? Or will he spend our CBR and PFDs on defaulting on Federally participating contracts?


      The one good thing about the red pens is that he’s getting a head start on the red ink. That should save us some change in July.

  10. You bet it would! The Cole twins have always been full of beans. Find another hole, Dick. Pull your pin and run.

    • Those Cole twins (Terrence, Dermot) are unabashed Left-wingers who have been using the UAF and News Miner for decades to preach their propaganda. They snuck into the system via their Lefty professors and media backers. Nothing award-winning or truly notable about any of their works. Just reiterations of the works of others. Their Lefty, idiot friends and colleagues allow them to rant and rage to give an impression of a vast following. In fact, their following is scant.
      Dick Randolph is 20 years older than the Coles, but in a twist of irony, the Coles look 20 years older than Randolph. Why do you suppose that is?

  11. As mentioned earlier, Gov. Dunleavy’s only option will be to veto the whole budget. He can’t line item veto any PFD amount even if lower than his full dividend promised amount at the risk of the Legislature not overriding it and then putting the onus on Gov. as the true enemy of the PFD. If he line item vetos specific budget items, the cuts are squarely on him. If the pubic then hates the cuts Gov. Dunleavy not only didn’t fulfill full PFD, but also cut “my” government service and is responsible for both. His only option will be to veto whole budget forcing legislature’s hand to override to avoid shutdown. If they don’t it will be a standoff as to who blinks first. I see a shutdown and some theatrics in the Valley at the height of fishing season.

  12. Gov Dunleavy, coming from palmer ak the Valleys behind you our past Gov did nothing but flew around the country, we need you as are Gov as are Commander and chief the legislature in Juneau with (EDGEMON) will always have a problem with any budget he is an outsider. they are trying all tactics of getting into our (PFD) years of run-away spending has now met a brick wall and living in District 11 and many others hear in the mat-sue we are tired of it Gov Dunleavy lets do the right thing we stand with you if they can’t come to an agreement that you are asking (VETO) this budget Alaska we want a full PFD thank you Gov Dunleavy L.Z. 04/11/19

  13. Some of you were worried about Tammie’s voting so I asked her about it and she quickly replied:

    We always start with the previous adjusted base budget. An adjusted base budget has the salary adjustments added and all of the one time items removed. We then have a sub-committee for each agency and go line by with every increase and decrease proposed by the Governor. Members can also offer their own reductions/increases they want. A vote on these items happen and then the document is sent to full finance. We then go through the same process with amendments until we have a finished product. The bill then goes to the House floor for debate which is what we have been doing for the past two days.

    The agencies I was over made more decreases than the Governor proposed. I voted to decrease over $250 million and voted on more today on the House floor. I really appreciate the opportunity to answer your email. Thank you for that.

    The legislature as a whole has a hard time making the needed cuts and therefore my trust is with the Governor and his veto pen.

    Please feel free to contact me anytime. I really appreciate your support.



    • Tammie going back to the legislature, for many years I have paid attention to our law makers and most of them past and present are not there’s for Alaskans. I’m a (R) by choice and I live in District 11 palmer we have a great Gov Mike Dunleavy and we support his mission on making these cuts. we must come up with another plan and start working with are oil field, at prudhoe-bay they are our sole recovery for the state of Alaska, Our Gov needs our support make these cuts final and pay-out a full PFD. we have a select few legislator/s that work both side’s of the aisle not good thank you Tammie larry Z. 04/12/19 Tammie let’s get this message out to all.

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