Dunleavy Outlines Approach and Broader Philosophy Behind Sustainable, Predictable and Affordable Budget - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dunleavy Outlines Approach and Broader Philosophy Behind Sustainable, Predictable and Affordable Budget

NOTE TO READERS: Over the weekend, Governor Dunleavy sat down with reporters to discuss his approach and broader philosophy behind his FY2020 Budget proposal – set to be unveiled on Wednesday, February 13th at 10:30am. One thing is clear, the Governor is committed to ending the cycle of spending beyond our means and giving Alaskans an open and straightforward budget – where we confront our fiscal challenges and prioritize spending based on the revenues we have.   

Here are a few key takeaways:

1.       The Governor’s message is clear: we can no longer spend what we don’t have.
2.       The Governor is building a budget from the bottom up, where expenditures don’t exceed revenues.
3.       The budget is built on core functions that impact a majority of Alaskans. It will maintain and protect our reserves, look for logical constraints on government and take no additional revenues from Alaskans through taxes or the PFD.
4.       Dunleavy: “Continuing down the path of oversized budgets, outsized spending and out-of-line priorities will only jeopardize the future of our state.”  

·         “What we’re doing with this administration is, we are not cutting. We are building a budget from the bottom up, from zero up. We’re going to build that up to where we reach our revenues.”
·         “You’re going to see a whole slew of different approaches to not just budgeting but in services and what can we do as [the] state of Alaska in terms of enlisting the private sector.
·         “I don’t believe we need to form a budget based on additional revenues. That’s why we’re not. I believe government is best if it’s kept small and focused and out of the lives of people. That’s what I truly believe.”

·         “I believe that the sooner we get out of this fiscal mess, the better it will be for the economy,” he said, “We just seem to be putting off the inevitable. Everyone I spoke to, there hasn’t been one individual, it doesn’t matter what political persuasion they are, where they live in the state of Alaska, or what their employment is – this includes state workers – they know we have to solve this issue.”
·         “We had $14 billion, not $14 or $14 million, $14 billion disappear as a result of deficit spending,

·         “Our expenditures are out of whack with our revenues. We’re spending more money than we take in. So we’ve been, quote, deficit spending, for years now. We’ve drawn down $14 billion in savings. I think we’re down to $2 billion in the (Constitutional Budget Reserve) and the only thing left is the (Permanent Fund) earnings reserve.”

·         “As a result, we're going to be focused on the core functions of government, managing our government better," he said. "And so the tenets by which we're building this budget are that expenditures will equal revenues; the budget is built by core functions that touch the majority of Alaskans; we’re going to protect and maintain our reserves; we’re not going to ask for additional funds from Alaskans; and we want this budget to be sustainable, predictable and affordable."

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