FAIRBANKS, AK In an attempt to further explain his proposed budget cuts Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has released a letter to University of Alaska staff and students outlining his plan and stating his flexibility and want for compromise, as long as money is being saved.
The letter that was sent out Tuesday morning states that his cuts are not as steep as some would have the public believe. That his administration is “agnostic” to the decided priorities in the budget currently in front of the Alaska State Legislature.
“The legislature now has a balanced budget before them,” the governor wrote. “THEY now can decide priorities of the budget. My administration is agnostic on this. This administration’s primary concern is that the budget does not exceed revenues or use savings.”
He goes on to state his reasoning behind the proposed cuts, including protecting the PFD and a government that can “weather the storm of low oil prices and save for the next generation of Alaskans”.
In addition to the letter a video has been posted on Alaska.gov featuring the Governor once again talking about his reasoning behind the budget. According to the video and the accompanying text his budget is based on 5 main principles.
• expenditures cannot exceed existing revenue;
• the budget is built on core functions that impact a majority of Alaskans;
• maintaining and protecting our reserves;
• the budget does not take additional funds from Alaskans through taxes or the PFD;
• it must be sustainable, predictable and affordable.
This comes after a letter was sent out residents earlier this month outlining possible cost increases at Alaska Pioneer Homes. Correlations have been made between all of these proposed cuts and the increase Dunleavy wants to make to PFDs being distributed this year, while not increasing taxes or spending from the Constitutional Budget Reserve.