The Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors announced its support for the restoration of the Alaska Legislature’s FY ’20 operating budget as submitted to the governor prior to his vetoes and pledged to work collaboratively with fellow Alaskans across the state on a non-partisan basis to promote good government.
“Restoration of the budget cuts is the best course for Alaska,” said AFN President Julie Kitka.
Responding to the needs of Alaskans, the Legislature demonstrated good government when it sent the governor a constitutionally responsible operating budget for FY ‘20, which was the smallest budget enacted in over a decade. During the 2019 regular session, the Legislature spent considerable time working to understand the inner workings of the state’s operating budget and did so with meaningful input from Alaskans.
In a board resolution passed last Friday, AFN reiterated its position on the state budget, that constitutionally mandated core services like education and public safety must be prioritized.
Governor Dunleavy’s proposed fiscal year 2020 operating budget in February contained an unprecedented number of cuts to state government totaling more than $1.5 billion, which reduced or eliminated services and supports for public education, public health, and public welfare.
The governor vetoed or reduced almost 200 line items totaling nearly half a billion dollars from the state’s operating budget without explaining the short-term or long-term consequences to Alaskans. The governor vetoed crucial Village Public Safety Officer funding on the same day U.S. Attorney General William Barr declared a law enforcement emergency in rural Alaska.
AFN stands with the majority of Alaskans in seeking restoration of the budget passed by the legislature.