The Latest: Spokeswoman: proposal would involve deep cuts

July 26, 2019 GMT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the Alaska Legislature’s special session (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

A University of Alaska system spokeswoman says the system is a long way from securing a “reasonable budget” from the state.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told reporters there have been talks about a step-down approach that would help soften the blow from cuts. He said officials from his budget office would provide details to the Board of Regents.

Dunleavy recently vetoed $130 million from the university system, on top of a $5 million cut approved by lawmakers. The Legislature failed to override the veto but the House has proposed restoring $110 million.


University system spokeswoman Roberta Graham says Dunleavy’s budget office has put forward a spreadsheet of suggested cuts over the next two years. But she says those call for deep cuts.


4:15 p.m.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy says his administration is making attempts to “soften the blow” of budget cuts.

He told reporters Thursday his administration is working with the University of Alaska on a multi-year “step-down approach.” He did not get into specifics but said budget officials would present a plan to the Board of Regents next week.

Dunleavy vetoed $130 million from the university system’s budget, a cut the system president has called devastating. A bill that passed the House this week that seeks to reverse many of Dunleavy’s vetoes would restore $110 million of that cut.

Dunleavy says he’ll wait to see what the Senate does with that bill.

Dunleavy credits his vetoes with forcing a conversation about the path Alaska needs to go down to address its ongoing deficit.


9:05 a.m.

The Alaska House has passed legislation to restore significant spending vetoed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, without minority support and with no indication whether Dunleavy will accept the spending or cut it again.

House Speaker Bryce Edgmon says he doesn’t know what Dunleavy will do. The bill, among other things, restores $110 million of the $130 million Dunleavy vetoed from the University of Alaska.

The bill, as it reached the floor Wednesday, proposed a dividend to residents of around $1,600. But that was split off, to be addressed later.

The dividend, traditionally paid with earnings from the state’s oil-wealth fund, the Alaska Permanent Fund, has been a sticking point.

Dunleavy and minority House Republicans have pushed for a dividend of about $3,000, paid according to a calculation critics say is unsustainable.