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Governor Dunleavy Directed Immediate Funding of Student Scholarships, WWAMI Program, Other Critical Programs

By Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN


September 02, 2021
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Governor Mike Dunleavy recently directed his Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to implement the remaining outstanding appropriations passed in the FY22 state budget that were eventually subject to the reverse sweep. This directive brings certainly to a number of valid appropriations including the University of Alaska Performance Scholarship Awards ($11.7M) and the WWAMI Medical Education Program ($3.3M).

“Alaska’s students who worked hard and excelled and chose to stay in Alaska deserve stability in their university education. Performance scholarship recipients and WWAMI students can rest assured the funding for their secondary education is secure,” said Governor Dunleavy.

Governor Dunleavy’s decision came after his administration’s analysis on the recent court decision on the Power Cost Equalization Program and Endowment. The review, which included both the Alaska Department of Law and the Office of Management and Budget, determined the appropriations made in the general fund budget were enacted prior to the sweeping of funds into the Constitutional Budget Reserve, and therefore should be funded.  

The Governor’s direction to OMB was effective immediately.

The Interim University of Alaska President Pat Pitney in a prepared statement responded to the Governor's announcement.

Pitney wrote, "The University of Alaska appreciates Governor Dunleavy’s action to release $21.4 million in funding for the Alaska Performance Scholarship [APS], Alaska Education Grant [AEG] and the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho [WWAMI] Program. By recognizing the validity of FY22 budget appropriation this action provides certainty for UA’s universities and students."

"You’ll recall that in July, I announced the university would honor funding for these state scholarships and grants, by delaying receipt of payment from the state. My purpose for doing so was to ameliorate our students’ concerns about the outcome of the legislative special session. This action today assures stable year-long program funding," wrote Pitney.

Further Pitney wrote, "With this year’s scholarships and grant funding secured, we will now focus our attention on ensuring the source of funding for these programs, the Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF), is restored so these programs are funded for the long-term."

"This decision recognizes these programs as critical to the future of Alaska and the wellbeing of our students who want to study and earn their degree or job training at one of our three universities. On behalf of the thousands of students who are counting on these funds for their future education, we are thankful for this outcome," Pitney concluded.


Source of News:

Office of Gov. Michael Dunleay

Interim University of Alaska President Pat Pitney
University of Alaska


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