Gov. Dunleavy gives sit down interview about budget

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska We sat down for an interview with Gov. Dunleavy at our newsroom to talk to him more about his proposed budget.

"To start, is there anything specific you want to say?"

Gov. Mike Dunleavy:

"Our approach is a little different than what has happened in the past, and our approach is a little different than what is happening right now in the legislature. In the past, we've been concerned about putting together a budget that goes year to year, I should say year by year, so you almost start over brand new every year on the budget. A similar thing is happening this year, we don't know how it is going to pan out in the legislature but they're kind of looking at this as well. We're looking at that, but also what we're doing is we want to have a permanent fiscal plan, so that's why we have constitutional amendments as part of our fiscal plan. We believe that by having the people of Alaska be part of forming what our fiscal plan is going into the future, there is a much better chance that that fiscal plan, that budget will be durable, sustainable, and permanent. We have three constitutional amendments that really differentiate what we're doing, and many in the legislature."

Sara Tewksbury:

"Is involving the people, is that kind of what you're hoping to do with this road show?"

Gov. Mike Dunleavy:

"Yes, and that's exactly what we're doing. So when we dropped the budget on February 13th, it solicited a lot of conversation, as you know. We allowed that conversation to take place for a while and now we're on the road, we've been in Kenai, we've been in Anchorage, we were in Nome last night and we’re here in Fairbanks today. We'll be in Mat-Su tomorrow, but we're gonna continue the road show, continue to have a discussion, so we can at the very least explain to people what our rational is for doing what we're doing, which is large reductions compared to other years, and why these constitutional amendments are very important."

Sara Tewksbury:

"Do you feel like people are misunderstanding your justification behind the budget?

Gov. Mike Dunleavy:

"I think there's questions, no doubt about it, because this is a different way of budgeting. In the years past, really the conversation about the budget has been how much are you going to put into it? This year it's about the fact that we don't have the money, we're running out of savings. Our incline to spend, how much we're spending, 4-4.5% a year, is going to be difficult to maintain, and of course the reductions. As I mentioned, these are dramatic reductions compared to years past, and so a lot of folks are tuning in to the budget discussions and we're having a great conversation."