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Thu Dec 12, 2019, 01:13 PM

After bruising first year, new Dunleavy budget trades cuts for big PFDs and deficit spending

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed a new budget Wednesday that would spend most of the cash left in the state’s primary savings account to sustain government services at status quo levels, while paying out record-sized Permanent Fund dividends.

The proposal would spend $1.5 billion of the $2 billion in Alaska’s Constitutional Budget Reserve, and it represents a profound shift in Dunleavy’s vision for state government ⁠— largely abdicating the aggressive budget-cutting approach of his first few months amid legislative opposition and an organized recall campaign.

In his first budget proposal just 10 months ago, Dunleavy pledged to match expenditures with revenues, and to stop “spending wildly” and “kicking the can down the road.”

In that proposal, Dunleavy said that increased spending on Permanent Fund dividends, a major plank in his gubernatorial campaign last year, would be balanced by massive cuts to public schools, the state university system, health care and ferries. Taxes would be avoided.

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/12/11/after-bruising-first-year-new-dunleavy-budget-trades-cuts-for-big-pfds-and-deficit-spending/

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