Gov. Dunleavy managed to reduce the final budget by around $34.7 million, cutting a number of legislative, community, and local projects that the state simply cannot afford under the current circumstances.
Tom Begich, the Democratic leader of the Senate, stated that among Gov. Dunleavy’s vetoes are homelessness assistance, the Interior gas project, addiction treatment facilities, and weatherization. The Senate voted unanimously on the bill.
Sen. Begich stated that Anchorage has prepared for a civil emergency due to the Governor’s reduction to behavioral health and homelessness services. He called the vetoes antithetical to the Governor’s calls for a safer Alaska. He called the homelessness issue a statewide one, which deserves a statewide response.
He called the passed budget proposal a bare-bones compromise and voiced his frustration about the Governor vetoing parts of such a proposal. He stated that he was disappointed in Gov. Dunleavy’s action, and claims that he will only hurt Alaska’s economy.
SB 2002 reinstates various funds for programs such as Alaska Performance Scholarship and Power Cost Equalization. These proposals were included in Gov. Dunleavy’s budget proposal but were subject to “reverse sweep,” a system that returns money to the state’s savings if the legislature fails to use them.