I stand with thousands of Alaskans concerned about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget veto. If the University of Alaska’s funding is cut by $130 million, the consequences could be dire. As many as 1,300 jobs would be lost, and if we average each position’s salary to $50,000, this would mean a loss of $65 million in lost revenue for local businesses, health care, daycare and non-profit groups.
The University of Alaska system has about 35,000 students. The number of enrolled students would likely decrease drastically. If 17,500 students decide not to attend University of Alaska, that could cost the economy as much as $875 million in the long run, because we will have that many people unemployed or leaving the state to obtain an education and a $50,000-per-year job elsewhere.
Gov. Dunleavy’s budget veto doesn’t make financial sense. The Legislature already came up with an adequate budgetary plan for this fiscal year, and I encourage all legislators to override the veto.
— Jessica Saniguq Ullrich
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