Governor’s budget cuts will affect rural Alaska

Governor Dunleavy has gone through the legislature’s budget making cuts to funding for programs and institutions that affect all Alaskans. Below is a glimpse of some of the cuts that will impact those who make Alaska their home and especially those in rural Alaska. Organizers, stakeholders, and concerned citizens are urging folks to contact our legislators. In order to override these vetoes, it requires a vote from ¾ of the legislature. The votes to override will take place between July 8 when the special session gavels in, and July 12.

Among the 182 vetoes are also included:

• Advance funding for K-12 schools in the 2020-21 school year.

• Direct state support for public radio and TV, $2.7 million.

• A $7.5 million reduction in adult public assistance payments.

• $50 million cuts to Medicaid

• Adult dental care under Medicaid, $27 million.

• A $3 million cut to funding for the Village Public Safety Officer program. (Another $3 million was vetoed from a supplemental budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30.)

• $30 million for community assistance payments to municipalities statewide.

• $48.9 million for school bond debt reimbursement statewide.

• $5.4 billion of a $9.4 billion transfer from the Permanent Fund’s earnings reserve to the corpus of the fund.

These are only some of the more than 180 line-item vetoes to the budget which the legislature spent many months developing and put forward as a compromise, collaborative effort. It is time to contact those legislators who can make the difference.