Senator Tom Begich Comments on Governor Dunleavy’s FY 2023 Vetoes
By Noah Hanson | AKLEG on Comments Off on Senator Tom Begich Comments on Governor Dunleavy’s FY 2023 Vetoes
Anchorage – Tuesday, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced his Fiscal Year 2023 budget vetoes. Major accepted budget items include full funding of public education, one-time $57 million Base Student Allocation increase, $2.5 million in additional pre-Kindergarten grants for a total of $5.7 million, and full funding of School Bond Debt Reimbursement and the REAA fund back to 2017.
Vetoed projects and services that were priorities of the Alaska Senate Democrats include portions of the Alaska Long Trail, public broadcasting, $27 million in deferred maintenance for the University of Alaska, and Sealaska Heritage Institute’s workforce development program. Senator Tom Begich (D-Anchorage) issued the following statement in response:
“Working with 61 other lawmakers to craft a reasonable budget for the state is no easy task. The process the legislature took at the beginning of the year was one of inclusion with robust discussions. In the end, this budget included a significant number of the priorities of the Senate Democrats and Alaskans.
“After Governor Dunleavy’s vetoes today, I am happy about the retention of forward-funding for public education, full funding of school bond debt reimbursement and the REAA fund, $3,200 Permanent Fund Dividend to help Alaskans with high energy costs, expansion of food bank infrastructure, and long-needed teacher public health and public safety housing in rural Alaska. These were critical components of the budget.
“It is unfortunate that not all priorities were funded. Projects like fully funding the Alaska Long Trail and services like public broadcasting did not survive the Governor’s red pen. These are widely popular projects and services that Alaskans have come to rely on.
“No one gets everything they want in a budgeting process, but the negotiation process was fair. I want to thank the Governor, legislative leadership, and the co-chairs of the Finance committees for including me and the caucus in this process. Alaska can move forward with this budget.”