Alaskans reminded that recall must succeed
Amidst the worst public health crisis in Alaska’s history, Governor Dunleavy doubled down on deeply concerning budget cuts, attacking the same core economic sectors and groups of Alaskans that he targeted in the summer of 2019. With COVID-19 spreading rapidly, Alaskans need a governor who will build strong economic foundations, rather than pursue risky measures that weaken the ability of family and small businesses to persevere during a pandemic.
“For those who hoped he had softened his approach or, ‘grown into the job’, yesterday was a slap in the face,” said Meda DeWitt, Chair of Recall Dunleavy. “Dunleavy has promised Alaskans federal money that he doesn’t even know he can guarantee. We’ve seen this behavior from him before, sadly; this time, he’s making promises that many experts can’t yet confirm are legal.”
Governor Dunleavy announced his intentions to use federal COVID-19 money to plug holes in the state budget gaps; they represent areas that he intentionally left unfilled, shining light on the fact that many areas and communities in Alaska have never been his priority.
“Instead of responding with a budget that safeguards our economy, Governor Dunleavy has–yet again–gone out of his way to add financial panic at a time when stability is critical,” said Aaron Welterlen, Recall Dunleavy Steering Committee Member. “This reckless decision-making is the mark of a leader who has failed to listen or change; who is disturbingly unequipped for the job and has priorities other than the well-being of Alaskans at the heart of his policies.”
In a replay of last year’s budget cuts, Dunleavy’s vetoes include reduced funding for Medicaid, public broadcasting, the Alaska Marine Highway System, university and pre-K education, rural energy weatherization, Permanent Fund inflation proofing, and local school bond debt reimbursement, among other key programs.