Legislature(2019 - 2020)
2019-07-08 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2019-07-08 House Journal Page 1210 HB 39 The following letter dated June 28 was received at 10:56 a.m.: "Dear Speaker Edgmon: On this date, I have signed, with line-item vetoes, the following bill passed during the First 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: 2019-07-08 House Journal Page 1211 CONFERENCE CS FOR SS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 39 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs; capitalizing funds; amending appropriations; making supplemental appropriations and reappropriations; and providing for an effective date." Chapter No.1, FSSLA 2019 [Effective Date: See Chapter] For the past several years, the State of Alaska has attempted to operate business as usual under a radically changing revenue picture. Based on Alaska's fiscal reality, fundamental changes to our budgetary process have to be implemented in order to align state expenditures and state revenues. That is what this budget does. With the state of Alaska now pointed in the right direction, this budget moves us halfway toward a balanced budget. With an overall reduction of $678.8 million this year, next year we can close the state's remaining deficit of $730 million. This two-year process will put Alaska in a position of balancing the budget without new taxes or a reduction of the traditional Permanent Fund Dividend. The budget goals and priorities for my administration have been very clear from the beginning: maintain and protect our reserves, expenditures cannot exceed existing revenues, the budget is built on core functions, and no additional taxes on Alaskans. In short, the budget must be sustainable, predictable, and affordable. The operating budget I transmitted on February 13, 2019 for legislative consideration was designed to meet those goals. I appreciate the work and careful deliberation that went into the final passage of HB 39. The attached reports summarize the line-item vetoes. In total, 182 items have been vetoed from the operating and mental health budgets totaling $361.1 million in unrestricted general funds (UGF), $17.7 million in designated general funds (DGF), $12.4 million in other funds, and $22.5 million in Federal funds. With these vetoes, the FY2020 operating budget, including mental health appropriations made in HB 40, is $4,045.2 UGF, $855.2 DGF, $700.4 other funds, and $2,698.2 Federal funds. Included in the items vetoed in this bill 2019-07-08 House Journal Page 1212 are the appropriations for FY2021 K-12 Foundation and Pupil Transportation funding. Per guidance from the Attorney General appropriations of future general fund revenues are not valid. These items have been vetoed to prevent an unconstitutional dedication of funds. Based on the five principles outlined at the time of my initial budget proposal, and a sincere effort to end the cycle of unsustainable deficit spending, my administration worked to make a number of difficult, but necessary decisions, including a veto of the unconstitutional dedication of funds for FY2021 education spending. This budget was thoroughly evaluated, and my policies were applied consistently across the board. No one region, community, or legislative district was singled out or held to any other threshold. It is critical that we get our fiscal house in order and provide a secure and stable future for Alaskans. This budget focuses on the state's basic responsibilities while understanding our fiscal constraints. This is one step in the right direction – setting Alaska on the path to fiscal certainty while acknowledging additional actions, over multiple years, are needed. With this act, we have eliminated nearly 50 percent of the state's deficit; more work will be needed in the months ahead and during the next legislative session. I am committed to working with the legislature to address our state's spending, to eliminate our deficit over time, and to move Alaska forward. Sincerely, /s/ Michael J. Dunleavy Governor"