Dunleavy administration releases FY24 budget, proposes $3800 PFD
JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) – Gov. Mike Dunleavy has released the fiscal 2024 budget, the first of his second term.
The budget fully funds public education, the Alaska Marine Highway System, and electricity cost equalization while still paying off millions of dollars in debt. The governor said the budget also continues to invest in public safety and leverage incoming federal infrastructure funds as much as possible.
Also being funded is a new initiative to market Alaska as a destination for American and international companies looking for new opportunities to increase their bottom line and diversify the state economy.
The governor’s emphasized commitment to a statutory PFD is reflected in this budget. The FY24 budget calls for a full statutory PFD payment in 2023. The budget for FY24 shows a 4% reduction in the UGF operating budget compared to the FY2019 operating budget.
“This budget is a starting point for discussions about what Alaska will be like in the next four years and the next 50 years,” Gov. Dunleavy said. “The budget we are submitting to the upcoming legislative session builds on the progress we have made together in my first term, with practical investments that will make Alaska safer, increase our self-reliance through sustainable energy production, food security and more. Alaska’s future is bright as we continue to work together on policies that will have the most positive impact on our lives and create new opportunities for the next generation of Alaskans.”
Governor Dunleavy’s budget for FY24 includes:
-$5 million for a new marketing campaign promoting Alaska as an opportunity for national and international businesses
-Joint initiative between the Office of the Governor and the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
– Inform and educate business leaders that Alaska is far more than just a tourist destination
– Diversify and expand Alaska’s economy and create new jobs for Alaskans
-Invested $3.3 million to create 30 new positions for technical and administrative support staff for the Department of Public Safety
-criminal justice technicians, forensic scientists and fingerprint technicians
– VPSO Policy & Programs Director to improve rural public safety actions and outcomes
-New Mental Health Clinician to expand wellness program
Alaska State Defense Force
– $2.5 million to modernize the ASDF into a full-time professional emergency and disaster relief organization within the DMVA
-Establishes a rapid response team within communities in the event of a disaster or emergency
-Complements and strengthens the state’s existing emergency response across the country
-Enabling laws will be introduced for the 2023 legislative period
2023 PFD payment
– $2.4 billion for a full statutory PFD for every eligible Alaskan
-$3800 estimated PFD in Fall 2023
-Adheres to the grant formula statute in force since the distribution of the first PFD in 1982
Public Health and Wellness
-$9.5 million for the Healthy Families initiative.
– $1.2 million to improve community-based domestic violence and sexual assault (DPS) prevention and intervention programs
– $523,000 to establish the Office of Health Savings (DOH)
-$800,000 for Restoration of Competency and Prison Restoration at API (FCS)
– $205,000 to establish the Complex Placement and Coordination Unit for vulnerable Alaskans (FCS)
– $2 million to expand the UAA WWAMI program
–$285,000 to restore the Yukon Kuskokwim Region’s fisheries management and assessment programs
– $800,000 for the restoration and maintenance of the Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute’s Watershed Projects
defense of statehood
–$10 million in capital budgets to defend statehood and our constitutional right to develop Alaska’s resources by bringing outside counsel and expertise to the Statehood Defense Initiative
-Includes wildlife research and science (DF&G) funding
“We must continue the good work of defending statehood while the federal government continues to refuse to recognize the state’s rights through its aggressive policies,” said Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor. “Without the ability to manage our own lands and natural resources, we lose the ability of Alaskans to determine Alaska’s future.”
–$1 million for the DEED Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program Partnership
-$6.4 million to fund the second year of the Alaska Reads Act
–$620,000 for the Silvertip Road Maintenance Station on the Kenai Peninsula
– $794,000 for Chitna and Birch Lake road maintenance stations
– $200,000 for rural ice road maintenance
– $127 million federal grant to secure $1.25 billion in IIJA federal funding for statewide transportation infrastructure
– $13.6 million to operate the Alaska Marine Highway System
“In this budget, Alaskans see the full benefit of bipartisan infrastructure funding. This is our time as a state to invest in our communities – by maintaining our highways, investing in our transportation network to make it safer, supporting business and industry, and making our roads, bridges, airports and highways more durable. This budget allows us to accept those federal dollars, with a state counterpart, to invest in all types of transportation infrastructure throughout Alaska,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Ryan Anderson.
Capital budget highlights
–$25 million state grant utilizing $222 million of federal funding for village clean water and sanitation infrastructure projects
– $2.1 million for Dalton Highway improvements
– US$22 million for Alaska Marine Highway vessel overhaul and shoreline rehabilitation
-$5.7 million for renovations to the Alaska State Trooper Post in Fairbanks
– $5 million for rural commercial housing
$4 million for Alaska State Parks’ bathroom plumbing and renovations and new public-use cabins
– $2.75 million for mapping critical minerals
– $1.1 million to build a Veterans Cemetery in Fairbanks
– $10 million for the UA drone program
-US$4.5 million for food security programs (animal bank, sea salmon program, sonar replacement for Arctic fisheries and central region fisheries management)
– $3 million for three-phase power expansions and upgrades in the Delta Farm Region and Co-Op
– US$2 million pilot program for a new daycare center in the Mat-Su Valley
-US$25 million for energy projects (rural power system upgrade, bulk fuel upgrade, grid resiliency, energy efficiency projects)
The budget for FY24 totals $4.8 billion in unrestricted general appropriations. Capital budget down $460 million from FY23. Due to lower than expected oil prices, the budget calls for a modest drawing from the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR) of US$245 million and US$20 million from the Statutory Budget Reserve (SBR). The combined balance for the SBR and CBR accounts is $2.1 billion.
“I recognize that the state budget is a negotiation between lawmakers and my administration. We’re fully prepared to have meaningful discussions with lawmakers about education funding and how inflation is weighing on the delivery of services and programs across the state, so I look forward to our collaboration to create a spending plan that meets the needs of the community needs of as many Alaskans as possible,” added Governor Dunleavy.
Incoming Senate President Gary Stevens made the following statement:
“This first budget proposal is a good starting point for the upcoming legislature to start its work. We look forward to working closely with Governor Dunleavy and our colleagues to have a successful legislature session,” he wrote. “We will not agree on every principle on any proposal. I have some concerns about the proposed PFD amount, a lack of additional resources for education funding, a skeletal version of a capital budget, and the possibility that we may need additional budget for fiscal 2023 due to the decline in oil revenues. As we go through the process, we will remain focused on revitalizing Alaska’s economy, improving education, and addressing the state’s high energy costs to pave ways for Alaskans to thrive.”