Governor Dunleavy Signs FY23 State Budget Investments in Public Safety, Education, Rural Alaska, and Infrastructure While Saving $1.6 Billion
(Anchorage, AK) – Today, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed into law the state’s operating and capital budgets for fiscal year 23. The spending plan steers Alaska in a new direction with prudent and fiscally responsible investments in public safety, public education, the University of Alaska, and infrastructure projects that create jobs and promote economic development. It accomplishes all this while saving $1.6 billions budget surplus to protect the economy when oil prices eventually fall. Additionally, the budget includes a historic 2022 permanent fund dividend for each eligible Alaskan.
“This budget is more than a spending plan; it’s a blueprint for Alaska’s future,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Budgets must reflect the values and ambitions of the people for whom they are designed, and I believe this legislation accomplishes that. He strikes the right balance by continuing my administration’s commitment to rebuilding state services like public safety while controlling spending, increasing our savings, and steering the economy in the right direction.
The Dunleavy administration’s fourth state budget invests in the following:
Protecting All Alaskans – Public Safety, People First Initiative, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples
Protecting Alaskans has been Governor Dunleavy’s number one public policy priority since taking office in December 2018. His public safety budget reflects his unwavering commitment to keeping all Alaskans safe from crime.
- Budget authorizes 10 new Alaskan Wildlife and State Trooper positions and 10 Village Public Safety Officer positions
- Higher salaries for VPSOs and Troopers to attract the most qualified and motivated applicants to a career in law enforcement
- New Housing for Public Safety Officers in Rural Communities
- Additional funding to hire more criminal prosecutors and support staff
Creates innovative Crisis Stabilization Center testing program to treat Alaskans in mental health crisis
Public Awareness – Liability
The FY23 budget not only increases funding for Alaska’s public school and university systems; it also brings a long-awaited responsibility for the good of students and parents.
- Investing $117 million in education, including dedicated funds for the Alaska Reads Act, a comprehensive reading intervention program so that all students can read at the grade level by the end of third grade . The resource increase includes $57 million in one-time funds for schools, $2.5 million for pre-K and an increase in BSA.
- The Alaska Reads Act will be culturally appropriate for rural and Native Alaskan students
- Forward Funds K-12 Education in FY24 with $1.2 Billion
- Provides tax relief to local taxpayers by funding school bond debt repayment
- Improvements to the Alaska Student Loan Program
- Innovative research in drone technology, critical minerals, heavy oil, and mariculture at the University of Alaska
Investing in Alaska: Ports, Bridges, Airports and More – FY23 Capital Budget
- Funds essential repairs to the Port of Alaska
- Invests in a new deep-water port in Nome – a strategic Arctic port for the United States
- Upgrades and improvements for multiple airports across the state
- Funds road and bridge repairs statewide
$117.3 million in state and federal funds for the Village Safe Water program, so that more rural communities have access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation facilities
- Puts the state on track to repay oil tax credits once and for all by this year. This honors the state’s commitment to repay debt foregone by a previous administration
- Invests in Alaska’s marine highway system with a new main ship and maintenance funds to keep ships on the water serving coastal communities
Fiscal Responsibility – Savings, Endowments, and Item Vetoes
Governor Dunleavy has carefully scrutinized the increase in spending by lawmakers this year. Its aim was to preserve as much of the temporary surplus as possible from rising oil revenues. Cuts have been made without harming essential state services. The vetoes by post total $400 million, and those unspent funds will be deposited into the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR), a rainy-day savings account during years when state revenues are down.
- All budgets of public bodies other than public safety and education are down ten percent from 2019
- FY23 budget deposits $1.6 billion in CBR
- The bottom line: Alaska’s CBR account balance drops from $1.3 billion to around $3 billion – enough to cover the state budget if oil prices crash
Alaskans accessing Alaska – Agriculture and Mariculture
- Funds the development of a mariculture industry in Alaska
- Increases food security with Nenana-Tokchaket Agricultural Project produce more food, fuel and fiber for consumption in the state
The FY23 budget addresses many long-standing issues related to infrastructure, public safety and technology in rural communities.
- Broadband technology – an integral part of today’s world
o Up to $1 billion planned for Alaska to connect all Alaskans with at least 100/20 Mbps internet service
o $3 billion for Tribal Broadband Program
o Establishes a new broadband office in the State of Alaska slated to open July 1, 2022
- Replaces the K-12 public school in Napakiak threatened by erosion
- Fully Funds the Electricity Cost Equalization Program for the Fourth Consecutive Year
- Fixes a technical glitch in the state’s school funding formula so that Hooper Bay School receives its fair share of education funding
- Funds ice road snow removal in off-road rural communities
- As previously reported, funding for new Troopers and VPSOs in rural communities, housing for public safety personnel, the Village Safe Water program, a deep water port in Nome, and upgrading rural airports
2022 permanent fund dividend
- The PFD is, and always will be, Alaskans’ rightful share of the state’s enormous mineral wealth.
- 2022 marks the return of substantial PFD payments to all eligible Alaskans and this year’s payment will be the largest in state history. It couldn’t come at a more critical time.
- Based on Governor Dunleavy’s 50/50 PFD plan, it divides the Permanent Fund’s annual drawdown equally between state services and the dividend
- Families need help now in the face of soaring inflation, record fuel costs and economic damage caused by the pandemic
- Governor Dunleavy to announce PFD distribution plan soon
“As Alaskans, we all know that rising oil revenues are temporary. What this gives us is time to continue to work together on a fiscal plan that mitigates the inherent volatility of oil revenues. The result will be that Alaskan families will not experience diminished services when incomes fall, and the business community is assured that Alaska’s finances are in order.The first step in this legislative and public policy process is to end the arbitrary political process of funding the PFD that was used from 2016 until this year when lawmakers turned to the 50/50 formula.However, a permanent and lasting solution requires giving the people of Alaska a chance to vote on any changes to the formula to be protected in the Constitution. I look forward to working with lawmakers and Alaskans on a long-term, sustainable budget plan,” added Governor Dunleavy.
Click this link for the Office of Management and Budget FY23 budget documents