Governor's response to Legislature's budget: 'Puzzled' - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, June 6, 2020
HomePoliticsGovernor’s response to Legislature’s budget: ‘Puzzled’

Governor’s response to Legislature’s budget: ‘Puzzled’

Photo of Governor Michael Dunleavy

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a written response to the passage of the 2021 Operating and Capital Budget, as well as the 2020 supplemental budget and emergency disaster relief.

Dunleavy said he thinks the Legislature missed an opportunity to help Alaskans by not including a cash infusion that many leading economists believe should be implemented as quickly as possible.  

“Thousands of Alaskans are out of work through no fault of their own, due to the government pausing most economic activity to slow the spread of the disease,” Dunleavy said. “It would appear lawmakers missed the opportunity to create a cash infusion from the earnings reserve account into the hands of Alaskans, like hairdressers and restaurant workers, that could have happened in as little as two weeks. I am quite frankly puzzled why they would not do that.” 

“The vast majority of economists worldwide, as well as the President of the United States, and almost every member of congress understand how a quick injection of cash into the hands of workers will do more to stabilize the economy than any other approach at this time. My administration will continue to work closely with Alaska’s congressional delegation and the White House on how to maximize the benefit of the federal emergency relief package here in Alaska,” he said.

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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

  • When did he learn to talk without saying anything? Governor, we voted for you because of what you ran on. Do you still have a supply of red pens?

    • It takes more than a red pen!

      • Maybe 100,000?

      • You are right! It takes guts to stand up to the Alaska Legislature. Governor needs to veto any budget sent to him without provisions to cut state spending substantially by cutting many programs entirely and cutting the size of the remaining programs. He needs to veto any bill that does not include immediately sending our missed PFD payments from the Walker era and restoring the PFD to be sent out this Fall. Dunleavey needs to start getting tough and pissed off at the Legislature and veto their bills that don’t accomplish his goals and call the Legislature to go back to Juneau and try again, and again, and again if necessary.

    • 100%.

      Democrats and Independents did a fine job of spending almost $15 billion from Alaska’s CBR during the previous liberal Administration. Dunleavy has tried to get money to the people and somehow the Democrats now spasm, twitch and convulse as if they are somehow allergic to spending money from the CBR.

      Democrats are Hypocrites.

      • …..and sex predators. Hello, Byron. You’ve been quarantined since October 2018.

      • Because the money is to go directly to the people. Liberals can’t stand that idea

        • People used to complain because ‘liberals’ invented the concept.

          Congratulations you’ve come full circle.

    • He has to keep wobbly freshman along for the ride or the RINOs and Dems will be able to override anything he vetoes. I suspect he will veto this- and maybe these freshman will be brave- but they weren’t last time and that’s why he had to compromise last time— the newer class, while they stood with him a bit—they had reached the end of their courage pretty quickly last summer.

  • Ok. Now, do what you know to be right.
    Challenge the Legislature with a very broad stroked veto pen, cut the budget to nubs and immediately call for a special session.
    You know this is necessary, so do it.
    You let them yard you during the first session, you gave in, concession after concession, with nothing in return.
    Call the session for Wasilla, have the Troopers meet the 37 in Juneau, because they will repeat what they did last summer. Have them cuffed and escorted back. Cuffed. Make the point.
    Then, submit your agenda, call for complete payment of all PFDs from Walker forward to be paid monthly at a rate of $1K per month to spread the payments out as far as they will go in an amount that will have a positive impact upon the fiscal needs of Alaskans.
    The benefit to the people of Alaska and to business will be a godsend.
    You will regain what you lost last session and this session.
    Back off the powers somewhat, they are too encompassing.

    • I agree and second that motion to veto!

      • Veto the Line item in the operating budget for salaries and benefits of the thieving Legislators so they will experience the loss of income like the people who are unemployed due to the Virus. I can not believe they just ignore the hardship of their constituents they supposed to be working for and fund their special interest. like Unions and Democrats.

    • So, veto up a storm, allow the press to further vilify and blame the governor along with the well organized anti-governor groups, and then what? And a special session is off the table because the legislature hasn’t ended, yet.
      Seems like there are a lot of cards in the hands of the legislature. I hear a lot of dissatisfaction about the PFD and big government here and on the call-in shows, but Alaskan’s repeatedly vote for the folks that are there. Or maybe some just want to rant, feel better after, and then stay home so others give to candidates and vote for those who get elected. If you support the Governor, send him some help this next election.

    • Agree 110%!

    • And then sit back and wonder what you will be doing for the next two years with a state that you have sent into bankruptcy.

  • And, Gov, doing a special session takes them away from . . . their reelection campaigns.

  • Bert “gotta make payroll” Stedman explained it rather eloquently.
    “There is a statute that is laid out to pay the permanent fund dividend on the books,” Stedman said. “When we do an operating budget, which has a one-year life, the legislation in question which impairs the operating budget overrides the existing statute for the period that one year.”
    Governor Dunleavy needs to pay attention.

    dou·ble·speak
    /ˈdəbəlˌspēk/
    noun
    deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous, or obscure language.”the art of political doublespeak”

  • Mike, the house majority and the speaker could use some sort of infusion. Mainly some heart, and also a dose of common sense.

  • Uh I like Dunleavy but id like to see him get a bit more PISSED OFF!

    • Bingo.

    • Agreed. I have been supporting him, but the meek and mild leadership style is not working.

      • Dunleavy needs to be more like Harry Truman, and less like Ethan Berkowitz.

  • A missed opportunity is an understatement. It’s selfish and self serving the decision the legislature has made. They want to control the funds and how they are used because they want the power.

  • Promising a relief then withdrawing the promise is what Fascist do to a population they seek to subdue. The ultimate goal of any tyrant is to place the jackboot on the neck of the people. Giessel and crew are not operating randomly in this grab, There is a higher coordination from outside this state that takes these legislators from their campaign promise of protecting the rights of the people as conservatives to power hungry vultures whose only concern is slandering the stands they were elected on. The sold soul is really the only solid explanation… Puzzling yes, But truly there is nothing new under the sun.

  • Governor Duleavy – The legislature is playing chicken with you! Don’t give in. Veto the entire budget (pork and all) and tell the legislature to do it again, but this time include immediate help for Alaskans in the form of the balance of last year’s statutory PFD.

  • Just declare an emergency. Send out the checks. Let them scream, whine and moan all they want when they come back out of their hiding holes. Most will be getting fired in Nov anyway…

  • Bewildering. The quick response of the Alaska Mental Health Trust to redirect $1,000,000 to help beneficiary agencies with their present economic challenges is noble and engaging with Alaskans.

  • Governor Duleavy – The legislature is playing chicken with you! Don’t give in. Veto the entire budget (pork and all) and tell the legislature to do it again, but this time include immediate help for Alaskans in the form of the balance of last year’s statutory PFD.

  • Governor Dunleavy,

    You recently asked Sean Parnell and Mark Begich to co-lead the Alaska Economic Stabilization Team, they penned an article that said in part “Unprecedented events, however, require a big, bold response.” Please take their advice and use your veto power to put this legislature back to work for the people of Alaska, now is the time for a big, bold response. Now is the time.

    • Amen!

  • They are, who we think they are. This current crisis has proved this more than anything. If you live in one of these districts, where these slimeball legislators come from, and you vote for these people? You have got to be nuts…or you just, like them, hate Alaskans.

    These people are sick.

  • I agree with the veto……
    They should go back and get it right this time! Alaskans need relief now and a full PFD this time!

    • A full PFD and some portion of what they have stolen from us over the last 4 years. I think half would be more than fair. I don’t think it should be means tested either. It’s a shareholder check—Not welfare.

  • What do you want the Guv to respond with? Both barrels of a shotgun? Seems to me he penned an rational response. Now Big Mike needs to use the power he has to get the Legislature back in session and address the issue at hand. Dunleavy can lead them to water , but the public has to make them want to drink. Start screaming folks!

    • A well reasoned comment and would make for a good plan of attack by the Governor…

  • Don’t worry about your re-election chances, Governor. The State will be in a terrible mess anyway if something isn’t done quickly. Veto the budget & keep vetoing the budget until you get what you want!

  • A very short response is all that is needed.

    VETO

    • Ya, veto. What are they gonna do, start a recall drive?

  • But public employees not working will get full pay and benefits.

  • Cut the legislators’ pay. Let them experience what the rest of us are.

  • Your hero Big Mike ain’t gonna do squat. He knows they’d jam it down his gizzard. Him doing that (veto) would only please you nut jobs and bind up things further. Yeah, bring them back to Juneau, that will really improve the attitude…

    • And your answer to reducing state spending is……. I know! Keep all the programs and have a huge state income tax, a state sales tax, get rid of the PFD so the legislature can spend the money and not the people of Alaska…after all, the legislature is a lot smarter than the people and in its infinite wisdom, is a much better steward of the PFD funds! Monk, You just violated your probation! Keep cutting Governor and send Mr. Monk back to the slammer where he has no access to the internet.

  • The governor needs to grow a pair and cut the budget and the state payroll. Pull a Reagan and fire them as these are tough times. Quit being a do nothing politicians and show us some leadership. He is as bad as the previous administration was.

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