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.
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.
Sixty percent of teachers cut. Property tax increases of 33 percent. Nearly 30 Kindergarteners per classroom. These are some of the options school districts are considering to deal with education cuts in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s FY 2020 budget.
Teachers came prepared to talk about budget uncertainty and teacher retention. But Sen. Chris Birch wanted to talk about unions.
In a House meeting, OMB acknowledged education is not a top priority as they seek $20 million in cuts. The Dunleavy administration may hold the money until the end of the fiscal year if it doesn't get what it wants.
Senate Democrats say Gov. Dunleavy is breaking a promise with his proposed $23 million cut to education, but his OMB director is "the one with the hatchet."
House Finance rejected Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard's (R-Wasilla) attempt to cut an additional $41 million from AMHS and $56 million from the University.
Rural school board members told senators that they have cut everything that they can. Students said it's affecting their lives.
House Finance undid most of Dunleavy's structural changes to the budget, making it more transparent, according to Legislative Finance.
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