Dunleavy wipes out scholarships, power subsidy endowments
The Dunleavy administration emptied the endowments that pay for student scholarships and electric rate subsidies in rural areas.
The governor has no interest in restoring the endowments, the money from which has been transferred to the Constitutional Budget Reserve without public hearings.
While Dunleavy surrogates say he wants to fund scholarships, electric subsidies and other costs for this fiscal year, if there is enough in the general fund, Dunleavy’s move means that next year both are likely to disappear.
Temporary budget director Donna Arduin told the Senate Finance Committee today the governor is satisfied with the empty endowments and wants to keep them that way: “The administration supports the Constitution. In our budget proposal we did not propose a reverse sweep, we funded all these programs with general fund. This solution would fund those programs with general fund.”
Here is the language from the governor’s office:
“An amount equal to deposits in the budget reserve fund (art. IX, sec. 17, Constitution of the State of Alaska) for fiscal year 2019 from subfunds and accounts in the general fund including the power cost equalization endowment fund (AS 42.45.070) by operation of article IX, sec. 17(d), Constitution of the State of Alaska, not to exceed the amount necessary after appropriations and deposits to the subfunds and accounts from fiscal year 2020 revenues, to fund appropriations from those subfunds and accounts made in ch. 1 -3, FSSLA 2019, and any other appropriation bills effective in fiscal year 2020, the general fund to the subfunds and accounts from which those funds were deposited into the budget reserve fund.”