Dunleavy Administration Releases FY24 Budget
December 24, 2022
The Governor’s commitment to a statutory PFD is represented in this budget. His FY24 budget calls for a full statutory PFD payment in 2023 to every eligible Alaskan.
As a result of Governor Dunleavy’s commitment to not raise state spending substantially, the FY24 budget has a 4% reduction in the operating budget UGF compared to the FY 2019 operating budget.
“This budget is a starting point for discussions into what Alaska will look like over the next four years and the next 50 years,” said Governor Dunleavy. “The budget we are forwarding to the incoming legislature builds on the progress we made together in my first term with practical investments that make Alaska safer, increase our self-reliance with sustainable energy production, food security and much more. Alaska’s future is bright, if we continue working together on policies that will make the most positive impact in our lives and create new opportunities for the next generation of Alaskans.”
Following a private meeting with Governor Dunleavy and the Governor’s subsequent press conference, members of the Senate Republican Minority for the 33rd Alaska State Legislature met to discuss the Governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024. Overall, the Republican Senators agreed with the Governor’s efforts to continue to put downward pressure on the state’s operating budget, maintain a reasonable capital budget, and provide for a statutory dividend in the midst of a sluggish economy which is teetering on a recession while Alaskans are being hit with record high inflation.
Senator Shelley Hughes had the following in reaction to Governor Dunleavy’s proposal. “As I have stated before and will continue to do, our efforts must continue to be focused on finding ways to decrease our operating budget to a sustainable level while providing for essential services and meeting our obligations including the dividend. Unless the law is changed - which it has not been - we should adhere to the formula prescribed by law. The carbon monetization is a positive opportunity as are efforts to bolster student learning through evidence-based reading instruction, the drone industry for national security purposes as well as for economic diversification in our state, food security as an important life/safety matter, legal pushback from federal overreach regarding resource development and other state rights, and an increase in troopers in the field instead of at desks. I will be advocating for additional operating budget efficiencies and a bit more robust capital budget in the upcoming session, but Governor Dunleavy and his team have done a good job and the overall proposal is an excellent starting point. I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues in the coming months.” Senator Robb Myers of North Pole added, "It's good to see the governor's proposal includes the statutory PFD and increased personnel for Troopers. A drop in debt characterized as an operating budget decrease isn't the type of agency reduction I'd hoped to see, but I believe Governor Dunleavy's proposed budget is a good starting point, and I look forward to working with him this session."
Senator Mike Shower of Wasilla concluded, “I am pleased to see the Governor's initial budget proposal takes the path of fiscal restraint. It prioritizes funding state programs with no implementation of new taxes on people or business. Public safety, education, PCE, to name but a few, are included as well as a capital budget taking full advantage of federal money to continue investment in Alaska infrastructure. Interestingly, it still fully funds a PFD helping average Alaskans in our struggling economy, while providing a needed boost to our private sector. It includes a unique proposal of carbon offsets to eliminate budget deficits, again, with no new taxes. It’s a very good start for Governor Dunleavy's first budget of his second term. Along with my conservative minority Republican members, I look forward to working with him and our House Republican colleagues on producing a better future for all Alaskans with a reasonable, balanced, and sustainable budget.
Incoming Senate President Gary Stevens (R-Kodiak) issued the following statement: “This initial budget proposal is a good starting point for the upcoming legislature to begin their work. We look forward to working closely with Governor Dunleavy and our colleagues to have a successful legislative session.
“With any proposal, we won’t agree on every principle. I do have some concerns with the proposed PFD amount, no additional resources for education funding, a skeleton version of a capital budget, and the possibility we may need a supplemental budget for FY 2023 because of the decline in oil revenues. As we go through the process, we will continue to focus on revitalizing Alaska’s economy, improving education, and addressing the state’s high energy costs to provide paths for Alaskans to succeed.”
The Republican Senate Minority remains committed to being an effective representation of the 65% of Alaska voters who voted for a right-of-center, fiscally conservative senate majority.
Governor Dunleavy’s FY24 budget plan includes:
“I am so excited that this year’s budget gives DCCED $5 million to promote Alaska: our resources, our people, our opportunities. We have the highest standards in resource development safety and environmental protection. The quality of life and recreation opportunities in our state are unmatched – it’s time we go out and tell that story,” said DCCED Commissioner Julie Sande.
Alaska State Defense Force
Public Health and Wellness
o Alaska Tuberculosis Elimination Plan (DOH)
o Elimination Congenital Syphilis (DOH)
o Extend Postpartum Medicaid coverage (DOH)
o Recruitment and Retention of Health Professionals to Alaska (DOH)
“Strong families are the foundation of a healthy society and vibrant economy,” said Health Commissioner Heidi Hedberg. “The Healthy Families initiative has three pillars: Healthy Beginnings, Improving Access to Healthcare and Healthy Communities. This is a whole-of-government, 4 -year plan that will emphasize improved collaboration and coordination across our state. It will focus on making Alaska the healthiest and best place to raise a family and the greatest place to work.”
“We must continue the good work of statehood defense as the federal government persists in refusing to recognize State rights through its aggressive policies,” said Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor. “Without the ability to manage our own lands and natural resources, we lose the ability for Alaskans to determine Alaska’s future.”
“In this budget Alaskans are seeing the full benefit of the bipartisan infrastructure funding. This is our time as a state to invest in our communities—by maintaining our highways, investing in our transportation network to increase safety, support business and industry, and making our roads, bridges, airports, and highways more durable. This budget allows us to accept those federal dollars, with a state match to invest in all manners of transportation infrastructure across Alaska,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson.
Capital Budget Highlights
The FY24 budget totals $4.8 billion in Unrestricted General Funds. The capital budget is down $460 million dollars from FY23. Due to lower than expected oil prices, the budget does call for a modest draw from the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR) of $245 million, and $20 million from the Statutory Budget Reserve (SBR). The combined balance for the SBR and CBR accounts is $2.1 billion dollars.
“I recognize the state budget is a negotiation between legislators and my administration. We are fully prepared to have meaningful discussions with lawmakers on education funding and how inflation is straining the delivery of services and programs across the state, so I look forward to us working together to craft a spending plan that meets the needs of as many Alaskans as possible,” added Governor Dunleavy.
Source of News: