Alaska Gov. Dunleavy replaces budget director

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has replaced Alaska’s top executive branch budget official just as work begins in earnest on his draft of the state’s fiscal year 2025 budget.

The governor fired Neil Steininger, head of the Office of Management and Budget, last Friday. Steininger was replaced by Lacey Sanders, formerly administrative services director for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

The governor’s office declined to give a reason for the firing and switch. In a statement Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter, Dunleavy’s office said he looks forward to working with Sanders and that her experience will be valuable to the state.

Sanders has a long track record with the state, including stints as budget director and with the Legislative Finance Division, which provides budgetary advice and analysis for the legislative branch of government.

Steininger served in the position from January 2020, five months after the end of the tenure of Donna Arduin, Dunleavy’s first budget director.

Originally published by the Alaska Beacon, an independent, nonpartisan news organization that covers Alaska state government.