Legislature(2019 - 2020)

2019-10-23 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2019-10-23                     House Journal                      Page 1373
HB 2001                                                                                                                       
The following letter dated August 19 was received at 10:04 a.m.:                                                                
"Dear Speaker Edgmon:                                                                                                           
On this date, I have signed, with line-item vetoes, the following bill                                                          
passed during the Second Special Session of the Thirty-first Alaska                                                             
State Legislature, and am transmitting the engrossed and enrolled                                                               
copies to the Lieutenant Governor's Office for permanent filing:                                                                
            SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 2001(FIN) am S                                                                 
     "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan                                                                   
     program expenses of state government and for certain programs;                                                             
     capitalizing funds; making supplemental appropriations,                                                                    
     reappropriations, and other appropriations; making appropriations                                                          
     for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated                                                           
     comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an                                                                  
     effective date."                                                                                                           

2019-10-23                     House Journal                      Page 1374
     Chapter No. 2, SSSLA 2019                                                                                                  
     [Effective Date: See Chapter]                                                                                              
The budget goals and priorities for my administration have been very                                                            
clear: Alaska needs a budget that is sustainable, predictable, and                                                              
affordable. Cuts are difficult and have a real impact on Alaskans, but if                                                       
expenditures continue to exceed existing revenues, all Alaskans will                                                            
be faced with taxes or much more dramatic core service impacts once                                                             
all savings reserves are exhausted. Keeping this in mind, my                                                                    
administration worked to make a number of difficult, but necessary,                                                             
decisions. This budget was thoroughly evaluated, and my policies                                                                
were applied consistently across the board. It is critical that we get our                                                      
fiscal house in order and provide a secure and stable future for                                                                
House Bill (HB) 2001 as passed by the legislature, added $375 million                                                           
to the FY 2020 operating budget, which represents an unsustainable                                                              
level of spending. Through line-item vetoes to HB 2001, I have                                                                  
reduced the spending by $220 million. With these vetoes, the FY 2020                                                            
operating and mental health budget, including previously enacted                                                                
legislation, is $4,193,039,800 Unrestricted General funds (UGF),                                                                
$883,622,700 Designated General funds (DGF), $702,100,200 Other                                                                 
State funds, and $2,700,205,600 Federal funds. Attached are reports                                                             
that summarize the line-item vetoes.                                                                                            
The line-item vetoes in this bill include: the elimination of                                                                   
unconstitutional commitments of future year funding; the elimination                                                            
of optional Medicaid services to ensure adequate funding for                                                                    
federally-required Medicaid programs; and the elimination of debt                                                               
payments on behalf of other entities, which are not a core function of                                                          
the State. The State's fiscal reality dictates a reduction in expenditures                                                      
across all agencies. My administration also worked with key                                                                     
stakeholders to identify critical items in HB 2001 to retain including:                                                         
early learning programs, the senior benefits program, funding to assist                                                         
victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and funding to the                                                             
Department of Fish and Game that is necessary to leverage Federal                                                               

2019-10-23                     House Journal                      Page 1375
This budget focuses on the State's basic responsibilities, in light of our                                                      
fiscal constraints. This is one step in the right direction – setting                                                           
Alaska on the path to fiscal stability while acknowledging additional                                                           
actions, over multiple years, are needed. This includes working closely                                                         
with the University of Alaska and the Board of Regents on a step-                                                               
down approach to reduce their general fund spending by $70 million                                                              
over three years starting in FY 2020. More work will need to be done                                                            
in the months ahead and during the next legislative session.                                                                    
Finally, this bill appropriates $1 billion from the Earnings Reserve                                                            
Account and funds an estimated $1,600 Permanent Fund Dividend.                                                                  
Again, this is one step in the right direction, and I look forward to                                                           
working with the Legislature to ensure Alaskans receive a full                                                                  
statutory dividend.                                                                                                             
I am committed to working with the Legislature to address state                                                                 
spending, to eliminate our deficit over time, and to put Alaska on a                                                            
path to a long-term sustainable, predictable, and affordable fiscal plan.                                                       
Michael J. Dunleavy                                                                                                             
A spreadsheet from the Office of the Governor, Office of Management                                                             
and Budget, pertaining to budget vetoes accompanied the letter and is                                                           
on file in the Chief Clerk's office.