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Alaska Legislature

Following in House footsteps, Dunleavy plans budget roadshow

  • Author: James Brooks
  • Updated: March 19, 2019
  • Published March 18, 2019

JUNEAU — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy will take his pitch for a reduced budget on the road.

In a notice released Monday afternoon, the governor said he will host a series of meetings, entitled “a statewide discussion for a permanent fiscal plan” beginning March 25 at locations across Alaska.

The governor’s announcement follows one by the House Finance Committee to hold field hearings across the state. Those hearings, scheduled for this weekend, are intended to gather public testimony on the governor’s proposed state budget.

Dunleavy press secretary Matt Shuckerow said by phone that the governor has planned for several weeks to advocate his proposal directly to Alaskans. Dunleavy told reporters in a press conference earlier this month that he intended to take to the road.

Last month, Dunleavy proposed balancing the state budget while paying a statutory Permanent Fund dividend without higher taxes or spending from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. That proposal includes significant cuts to state services.

The governor has also proposed a series of constitutional amendments that would clamp down on future spending increases, he has said.

“We are at a pivotal point in Alaska’s history, a once in a generation moment where we must begin making the tough decisions to put our state on a path towards a permanent fiscal plan,” the governor said in a prepared statement. “One thing is clear, in order to be successful, we must have the engagement and support of the Alaskan people.”

The governor will be accompanied by Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, Department of Revenue commissioner Bruce Tangeman, Office of Management and Budget director Donna Arduin, and deputy chief of staff Jeremy Price, his notice stated.

Events will take place in Kenai, Anchorage, Nome, Fairbanks and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, according to the governor’s statement. In addition to public events, the governor will speak to “stakeholder groups” and on statewide media.

The governor’s schedule:

• March 25, 6 p.m., Kenai, The Cannery Lodge, 2101 Bowpicker Lane

• March 26, 10 a.m., “Talk of Alaska” statewide on Alaska public radio

• March 26, 6 p.m., Anchorage, 49th State Brewing Co., 717 W 3rd Ave.

• March 27, 4 p.m., Nome, Old St. Joseph’s Hall

• March 28, 8 a.m., Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Carlson Center Pioneer Room

• March 28, 6 p.m., Fairbanks Westmark Hotel, 813 Noble St.

• March 29, 6 p.m., Mat-Su, Everett’s Mat-Su Resort, 1850 E Bogard Rd.