The governor claims some of the items can be replaced with federal COVID-19 funds. House Speaker Edgmon says the vetoes “gamble” the state’s future.
With $1.25 billion on the way, oversight is as important as ever.
The vetoes affect two social safety net programs as well as the Legislature’s attempt to rein in an anti-union lawsuit.
It’s all hands on deck.
The state’s budget picture is looking worse and worse every day.
The governor said the chief concern is preparing for the virus, saying economic impacts would come second.
The Dunleavy administration tried to make the case that breaking the spending limit on the permanent fund’s earnings to repay last year’s PFD isn’t the end of the world.
Coronavirus-induced market panics have erased billions of dollars in value from the Alaska Permanent Fund, oil has plummeted amid a emerging price war between Russia and the Saudis, and the summer tourism industry could be slammed with cancellations, putting the pinch on nearly every corner of Alaska.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, and neither does a status quo budget.
It didn’t help that state officials struggled mightily to explain the decision to skirt the state’s competitive bid process or what, precisely, Clark Penney has been doing for the state.