Senators expected an economic analysis of Dunleavy's budget cuts. Instead, they got "non-answers" and "gibberish."
OMB Dir. Donna Arduin argues State fund sources should be combined so Alaskans can understand how money is spent. Senators and Legislative Finance say that would allow more budget games.
Rep. Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski) said that rather than fund dyslexia screening, he could check out a library book to learn to recognize dyslexia. He then moved to cut library operations.
“By moving this money, we protect it for future generations, and we force the conversation of redefining how the dividend is calculated," said Sen. Natasha von Imhof (R-Anchorage).
House budget subcommittees are on track to maintain funding for education programs and public assistance, while frustrated minority members staged a walk-out.
Senators' concerns range from the constitutionality of the education cuts to the resulting increase in local taxes. The administration's claims that the budget doesn't raise taxes are "not a fact," they say.
Take a deep dive into the legislature's busiest day to learn which programs House subcommittees restored.
Gov. Dunleavy campaigned on a limited platform. He stood in support of education, promised to be tough on crime, and argued for a full Permanent Fund dividend. Wednesday, he also said he ran on a platform of fixing the budget.
Alaska is still cleaning up the mess an actuary left of the public retirement system. Sen. Bert Stedman used his institutional knowledge to explain the legislature's responses.