February 13, 2019 (Juneau, Alaska) – Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy today unveiled his FY2020 budget proposal, an open and straightforward approach to budgeting that works to tackle Alaska’s overwhelming fiscal challenges.
“Our budget was built from the bottom up. It was built around a series of core principles, most importantly the idea that expenditures will not exceed existing revenues,” said Governor Dunleavy. “The issues surrounding our budget and massive deficits has been a longstanding problem and Alaskans have demanded a budget that brings fiscal certainty and aligns spending with revenues. This is only the beginning, but we are determined to fix this budget this year so we can begin building a permanent fiscal plan for Alaska.”
“Governor Dunleavy’s budget uses honest numbers and does not drain reserves nor take dividends away from Alaskans,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin. “The budget he faced upon taking office had a $1.6 billion budget deficit. The governor is determined to balance the budget and not to repeat the past, where expenditures have exceeded revenues by over $16 billion dollars since Fiscal Year 2013.”
- For An Honest Budget: Fiscal Year 2020 summary, click here.
- For additional information on An Honest Budget: Fiscal Year 2020, click here.
In building An Honest Budget: Fiscal Year 2020, Governor Dunleavy and his team worked to identify efficiencies, duplications and cost savings across government to restore the core principles of government responsibility. The budget focused on five core tenets:
- expenditures cannot exceed existing revenue;
- the budget is built on core functions that impact a majority of Alaskans;
- maintaining and protecting our reserves;
- the budget does not take additional funds from Alaskans through taxes or the PFD;
- it must be sustainable, predictable and affordable.
Governor Dunleavy and the Office of Management and Budget considered several longer-term, enterprise-wide initiatives that will positively impact agencies and the state as a whole. These initiatives will be carried out through administrative orders (AOs) and focus on restructuring programs and administrative processes within state government, thereby improving effectiveness, increasing cost savings, and achieving better alignment between programs and department core services.
In the face of significant fiscal challenges, and a desire to deliver a budget where state expenditures do not exceed revenues, the Dunleavy Administration also identified an overarching need for agencies to reevaluate their scope of responsibility to ensure programs align with the Governor’s desire to improve services to Alaska and deliver cost efficiencies across agencies. These efforts focus on reforming government at its core and include reforms to right size government, eliminating nonessential travel, reform government pay, utilize public/private partnerships, and realign priorities to meet the needs of a majority of Alaskans.
“This has been an ongoing issues for years. We all know it needs to be solved. Everyone in this state knows this issue needs to be solved. It’s not going to be easy. That’s why it’s been kicked down the road – the can has been kicked down the road for some time. We have to get it solved this year and I’m determined to get it solved this year,” said Governor Dunleavy at the conclusion of his press conference to unveil the budget. “We have to preserve our savings. We have to recalibrate Alaska. We have to get back our essential services and we have to have a robust discussion – which I’m looking forward to – as to what are our needs and what are our wants? What are the needs that impact the majority of Alaskans? And how do we want to pay for this moving forward? This is going to be the discussion over the next several months. I look forward to it. I believe Alaskans look forward to it. I look forward to working with the Legislature on this issue. But it has to be fixed this year. My administration is determined to fix this issue this year.”