The most significant proposal in front of the Board of Regents will be to fold University of Alaska Southeast into UAA or UAF.
The proposed legislation would allow CARES Act money to fill unexpected shortfalls in state and local government budgets.
Legislators are hoping they’ll get some clarity on the differing legal opinions ahead of a Wednesday meeting to approve the requests.
It’s more technical than political.
The move acknowledges what will be a very ugly year or two for oil production.
When the governor vetoed $30 million in state K-12 funding, he promised to replace it with federal funds, but those federal funds aren’t enough to cover both the $30 million hole AND new costs created by COVID-19.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she’s not willing to bet on verbal guidance from the feds.
Oil prices dropping below $20 a barrel doesn’t help, either.
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.