Listicle: The vetoes; and the restored funding in the budget - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 23, 2019
HomePoliticsListicle: The vetoes; and the restored funding in the budget

Listicle: The vetoes; and the restored funding in the budget

DEMOCRAT-LED HOUSE UPSET ABOUT VETOES

Gov. Michael Dunleavy restored numerous programs in the HB 2001 spending package that was sent to him by the governor.

These are programs that he had originally vetoed when legislators Key programs and services restored in HB 2001:

  • $21.5M to Senior Benefits Program
  • $110.25M to the University of Alaska
  • $8.8M to Early Learning Programs, including Head Start, Early Childhood Grants, Parents as Teachers, and Best Beginning
  • $759,100 to Alaska Legal Services Corporation
  • $809,100 to Online with Libraries and Live Homework Help
  • $3.8M to Alaska State Council on the Arts
  • $100,000 to Office of Veterans Affairs for an additional Veterans’ Services Officer
  • $2.2M to Human Services Matching Grants and Community Initiative Grants
  • $533,500 to reopening the Utqiagvik (Barrow) Law Office
  • $2.7M to Agricultural Programs

A restored items of interest document can be found here.

*A restored items summary can be found here.

Line-item vetoes in this bill include:

  • The elimination of unconstitutional commitments of future year funding;
  • The elimination of optional Medicaid services to ensure adequate funding for federally required Medicaid programs; and
  • The elimination of debt payments on behalf of other entities, which are not a core function of the State.

*A vetoed items of interest document can be found here.

*A vetoed items summary can be found here.

It is the largest budget cut in state history and only paid a little more than half of the statutory Permanent Fund dividend to Alaskans. The budget, with the vetoes, eliminated just one-third of the deficit with the $650 million in vetoes.

The Democrat-led House Majority was not satisfied with the number of restored programs.

Speaking for the Majority that includes a few Republicans, Speaker Bryce Edgmon said: “In a way, the signing of HB2001 represents good news for Alaskans. We will officially receive a $1,600 dividend, more than we have received in many years since the program’s inception. The governor also decided to follow the Legislature’s leadership and restore programs and services that are essential to elders and children across our state. At the same time, the governor made many cuts without analysis to determine impacts on people and our economy, and he continues to perpetuate the myth that we can afford the largest PFD in history without significant negative consequences.” 

The governor also took heavy fire from his pro-PFD base, the people who voted for him when he said he would fight to restore the dividend. Several commenters indicated disappointment and said that Dunleavy “caved.”

“I disagree with the governor’s caving on the PFD,” wrote Larry Wood, expressing the views of some who were disappointed in Dunleavy not vetoing the $,600 and calling a special session for the $3,000 full dividend. “I also disagree with his caving on so many of the Left’s pet programs. Dunleavy’s concessions will be viewed as a victory by those who support the House Dems. The Legislature took the governor’s measure and denied him his centerpiece promise. Dunleavy should have understood real politik, the Left plays to win no matter the cost. He was unwilling to weather the storm, and caved. Another special session is pointless, the Left won.”

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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

  • Bryce says in a way, which means in a way it sucks for Alaskans. Spin master he is. He keeps saying the same ole crap. I’m the first native soh. Not sure what degree he is. If he says it enough he hope folks will believe him. He just won’t shut up.

  • The libs and rinos could still steal it all away so wait till we get the money in the bank and then get the rest!

  • I blame the people of Anchorage for this whole thing being the largest city in the state they made fool’s of the rest of the people who supported governer Dunleavy because they hold the majority of seats they stole our money Anchorage is nothing but a socialist city and I wouldn’t go into that he’ll hole to get all my back PFD money.

    • Ten watt comment.

      • Hi Joe. I agree with you on the case against borrowing to pay for the oil tax credits. I believe it should be paid out of the Earnings Reserve (at a discount possibly) immediately.
        Also, the “borrowing” from the CBR is similarly wrong when we have the funds to begin repaying it as required by the State Constitution. The deficits of the past 4 years should have been funded from the PFER instead of the CBR. This has not been done because of the sacrosanct hypocrisy in the use of the PF Earnings.

        • For their own reasons, the Legislature doesn’t agree with you about funding deficits from CBR, rather than ERA, and remember it takes more legislators to get at that CBR than it does to get the money from ERA. They clearly had their own reasons and I suspect it had to do with keeping that money in the earnings portion of PF to pay for things in future years. They eventually will need to pay back that CBR money but no timetable on it.

          • Very good Bill. I agree with you but I disagree with their legal rationale. There is no guarantee that waiting to address the debt will be a better time than now. Will you help sponsor my case all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court?

          • For example a stock crash / recession could erode the total PF value and the Earnings without having a healthy CBR for a true “emergency” (natural or man-made). The current balance in the CBR is woefully inadequate.

          • So what? That’s always been the case as those earnings only show realized earnings. Taking of any of ERA would be a loss of PF earnings no matter what the markets do.

          • Bill,

            That isn’t how investments work. If you pull your investment with a positive earnings, you make money. If you pull it with negative earnings you lose money. To say “Taking of any of ERA would be a loss of PF earnings no matter what the markets do” shows a complete and total lack of understanding of how markets work. If the market is up and you sell you make money if the market is down and you sell you lose money. This is basic math.

          • Bill,
            Go ahead and call me names now since it makes you feel better.

          • Four-flusher, your example only works if you sell at a loss. Nothing requires one to do that but people do it all the time. The PF earnings work on realized earnings-those earnings that result from selling assets (whether at a loss or profit).
            Your basic math is dependent on selling when the asset is under water but that is no requirement of PF. Granted there are times when selling at a loss is prudent if the asset is on its way down but you talk like it’s required. Not so. Your basic math is like most of your assumptions-out to lunch.
            My comment was relative to the taking of principal out of ERA that ordinarily result in a loss of earnings but if the markets show a negative earnings rate (they occasionally do) then the removal of assets would result in less of those negative earnings. However nobody plans on investing money in any market by thinking along those lines. We would all be better with 20/20 hindsight and would invest differently if we knew the outcomes.
            So again, the problem with your basic math is that you assume selling at a loss-not a requirement.

          • Bill,

            Nowhere, at anytime in anything that I’ve ever written did I ever say that there is a requirement to sell anything at a loss. Before you start making things up and falsely attribute them to me, please do yourself a favor and read what I wrote it’s right up there^.

            You on the other hand said “Taking of any of ERA would be a loss of PF earnings no matter what the markets do.” Which is clearly a false statement.

          • Without getting into who said what about the other, Four-flusher, there are only two ways to reduce the value of a fund: 1) reduce the value of the assets in said fund and 2) reduce the number of assets (of like value) in the fund. Obviously if there are other factors, over time, it does get dicey but all other things being equal those two instances are what rules.
            This is a little more complex because the ERA earns money similarly to the PF yet those earnings stay in ERA, unless transferred to PF. Anyway, my comment above is in reference to the taking of assets from ERA which results in it’s value automatically going down instantly. Obviously if the markets tank or jump afterwards everything changes as in 1) above as the assets of the fund often change (greatly) in value.
            That said, realized earnings or losses would change the earnings of PF for purposes of both statutory PFD and POMV limit.

          • Bill,

            Now your talking in circles. You were talking about PF earnings and now you are talking about PF value. Obviously removing a portion of the fund lowers the value, that is simple math. The only way to realize any earnings of the fund is to remove that value otherwise they would be called unrealized earnings. Technically the entire corpus of the PF is unrealized earnings, meaning it could all theoretically vanish. By providing a dividend we as shareholders realize the earnings of the fund. Even the Permanent Fund Earnings Account is managed this way, funds that are to be distributed as a dividend in any given year are not treated the same as what will remain since they will be paid as realized earnings.

          • Four-flusher, this is just gibberish: “The only way to realize any earnings of the fund is to remove that value otherwise they would be called unrealized earnings.”
            Your words, by the way. Not only doesn’t it make any sense it shows you know nothing about either realized or unrealized earnings.
            Get back in school, say economics 101 and pay attention.

          • Bill,

            You are correct, those were my words, but you are wrong about them being gibberish because they are correct.
            You really have no idea what you are talking about. “A realized gain results from selling an asset at a price higher than the original purchase price. It occurs when an asset is sold at a level that exceeds its book value cost. While an asset may be carried on a balance sheet at a level far above cost, any gains while the asset is still being held are considered unrealized as the asset is only being valued at fair market value. If selling an asset results in a loss, there is a realized loss instead.” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/realizedprofit.asp

          • And here is some more gibberish Four-flusher: “It occurs when an asset is sold at a level that exceeds its book value cost.”
            Unless you have some secret definition of book value, your comment doesn’t mean a thing. You are just full of helpful explanations of something you appear to not understand. Heheh!

          • Bill,

            The first step to getting out of a hole, stop digging.

            “What is Book Value?
            An asset’s book value is equal to its carrying value on the balance sheet” https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bookvalue.asp. You should note that what you are calling gibberish is well established nomenclature used in accounting and investing all the time. There is no secret to any of it, in fact the interwebs is full of this information hence the link I posted to that you seem to think is gibberish.

            Inform yourself Bill, and stop digging that hole you are in. It’s ok to be wrong Bill, it’s ok.

        • We aren’t talking about accounting here Four-flusher. Your gibberish about “book value” has nothing to do with realized gains.
          Nice try there though. Heheh!

          • Hahahahahaha we aren’t talking about accounting here, hahahahahaha. What do you think we are talking about? Bill, you willfully choose to remain ignorant because you want so bad to be right. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence you choose to remain ignorant. Keep thinking that “Taking of any of ERA would be a loss of PF earnings no matter what the markets do”. Knock yourself out buddy. Not talking about accounting…sheesh too funny Bill, too funny.

          • Well Four-flusher you may be wanting to talk about “accounting” but my comment had to do with earning (both realized and unrealized). Nothing about accounting but you, being the expert on your own opinions, can choose to call it a white elephant but doesn’t make it so.
            Glad you think this is funny. Heheh!

          • Keep digging that hole Bill. How do you figure for these earnings that you were talking about? Do you think that math is involved at all in this process? Maybe a ledger book, with positive and negative columns to figure out how much or how little earnings are made? This whole process is governed and monitored by accounting Bill. Earnings, losses, investing, value, balance sheet, asset, bought, sold, realized gains, unrealized gains, earnings, fund, dividend, etc, etc, etc. Accounting, that’s how. Math, that’s how.

          • While there is certainly math involved Four-flusher, there is no “book value” involved no matter how much you would like it to be.
            Tough noogies!

          • Have it your way Bill, remain as always willfully ignorant.

          • It’s not my way Four-flusher it’s just the way things are.
            Heheh!

          • Finally something we can agree upon, you are willfully ignorant. It might not be your way, it’s just the way things are. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

          • Four-flusher it sure doesn’t take much to amuse you but why do you have to make stuff up? Heheh!

  • While not happy with the caving on restoring funding to many programs, I am not a Democrat, and will be happy with the vetoes that continue, rather than whining that I didn’t get everything I wanted.

    Please, continue to kill the spending, 1000 small cuts at a time, each time.

  • Totally disagree with Wood.
    I would have liked not reinstating the arts out of that list. Mike gave nothing to the Dems/Socialists/RINO’s. They are screaming about the line-item vetoes. Like he said, he was not going to give the left what they wanted, no PFD! All smart moves, gave nothing to change votes as to a veto over-ride.

    • Mr. Coons: what is basis that the “left” wanted PFD appropriation vetoed?
      The comments re: veto of PFD on this and other sites mostly flowed from individuals who seemingly supported big cuts to government, not big government lefties.

      • I got that from Rep Johnson. Bryce is all for no PFD, period! Wants all that money in the ERA for government.
        I’m not one of those calling for the veto of the PFD. Don’t like what the legislature did, but I fully support what Mike is doing.

    • We know the Gov did ok if there is still complaining about the cuts he made. If you support the Gov the best thing to do now will be to support him at the next legislative special session, ask your local legislators to do the same & when we have the next elections be sure to chose people who will support the Gov. I hope we have learned this here in Kenai. Just because there is an “R” next to a name on a ballot does not necessarily mean that person holds the values you might expect.

      . As long as we are working within the system we have that is where our power comes from. And be sure to ask potential candidates how they feel about the caucus scheme we now have in the legislature which penalizes legislators for standing up for the people who voted for them.

      Who knows what the Gov might have been able to do if he had had a friendlier legislature to work with.

  • Politics is not rational and is a game of incrementalism. Governor Dunleavy knows this and has done a good job of reducing state spending while maintaining a reasonable PFD. He has given funding to those special interests who shout the loudest such as the arts industry. Win these policy matters one battle at a time and eventually come out as the victor.

    • Well said, David.

      I can’t recall any other candidates promising any combination of significant cuts and restoration of the PFD. In the GOP primary- Mead Treadwell, is from the same group as Imhoff and Geisel- in that they are wealthy elistists who don’t think Alaskans know what to do with, or deserve, a PFD.

      In the general, Begich was in the same camp as Bryce and the far left- in that they think the money belongs to government and are collectivists at heart. All products-services- action-thoughts- feelings- should all be run thru government with the individual being completely diminished to the point of irrelevance.

      Neither group wanted to make significant cuts and neither group believed that the citizens of Alaska deserved a full shareholder check. Most thought NO PFD was the way forward..

      So, this was the lone candidate with any genuine credibility on those two issues and they were what he ran on. He also campaigned on repealing SB91.

      How did he do? He got the crime bill reform, made historic progress (cuts) on the budget, and got the largest PFD in many years, and says he is going to call another session to continue to fight for the rest of the PFD.

      If he does that, he’s keeping his promises.

      The governor in this state has a lot of constitutional authority, but he cannot create law and he cannot appropriate. When the leadership won’t obey the constitution you have to use the tools you have. To be able to withstand the media onslaught, the left wing outrage, and the betrayals by his own party, and keep his override proof coalition together was a feat of political acumen that is lost on many, but may end up saving the state.

      Those who want to cut off their nose to spite their face do not understand the forces against this agenda, and have obviously not surveyed the political landscape. No one even remotely close to Dunleavy on these issues, has run, or is looking at running. He may not have gotten all that was wanted by those that elected him, but he’s moving that considerablt more in that direction than any other Governor in memory, and he is 180 degrees away from every other candidate on both sides.

      • Well said.

  • Yes it’s all about baby steps but all those Veto’s sure got people talking didn’t it? They brought everyone to the table and the governor got us 700 more dollars than some wanted to give us. Bryce edgmon has Viking blood in him so he’s a fighter and doesn’t play fair. At a recent gathering of a bunch of teachers, rice with so emboldened that he brought up the recall situation and said if the governor doesn’t do what we want we’ll get rid of him. This statement was totally out of place an alienated about half the room. But that’s who he is. He should be relatively easy to replace come the next election cycle because he’s angered a lot of natives in his district by taking $10,000 per family away from them. He claims to have saved the money by delivering the pce but anyone who knows capital budget was that the pce and the scholarships we’re always on the table waiting for him to pass them through the house and on to the governor’s desk for a signature so he’s not above taking credit for someone else’s work. He claims the pce will save families $3,000 a year in the bush, but that doesn’t add up to the $10,000 that he stole.

  • Had the rogue majority met in Wasilla, many of the cuts would have been restored without all the drama. The Governor clearly took a very hard negotiating position with the intent to reach a compromise on a number of the cuts. There are a couple I would have not restored, but overall a good start on reaching fiscal stability. In just a few months, a new budget proposal will come from the Administration and I believe we will see additional savings and lots more drama.

    • I suspect that additional savings and drama will be dependent on how the Recall thing is going!

    • Dan Sullivan (the mayor) I presume.
      I disagree that the majority was “rogue”. And saying the cuts would have been restored is ridiculous. Wasilla was totally unprepared to handle a Special Session. Sitting at school desks!
      You have lost it Man!
      Nice try at saving the Republican Party unless Ben Stevens maneuvers out of it somehow.

      • I agree Chris, it was the amateurs who showed up in that Thrilla in Wasilla. The pros went to Juneau.

  • I think the governor did the best he could with the hand the legislature dealt. Vetoing everything would have left us with no PFD. He’s got a long range plan and has done more to get the budget under control than any that have come before him.

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