Dunleavy emphasizes fiscal responsibility to conservative think tank

Dunleavy emphasizes fiscal responsibility to conservative think tank

Speaking to the Heritage Foundation in D.C., governor promotes Alaska’s fiscal future

Gov. Mike Dunleavy was in Washington, D.C. Monday, speaking at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

Dunleavy talked about his fiscal plan for Alaska and what the state has to offer to the rest of the nation during a roughly 45-minute speech.

People in the Lower 48, Dunleavy told the crowd, tend to think of Alaska as “a cold place with a lot of oil. It’s true but it’s only a sliver of the real story.”

Alaska is unique, Dunleavy said, in that it’s a place where, “you can open a business complete with all the benefits and protections of a first-world system of governance, America, yet at the same time have access to vast, untapped natural resources that simply don’t exist outside the third world.”

Dunleavy then ran through a brief explanation of the state’s current fiscal situation, what the governor referred to as a financial meltdown and an unmitigated crisis.

“When some of our state’s big spending politicians decided to ignore (the) warnings, I exercised my vetoes powers to cut $650 million,” Dunleavy said. “It was the largest budget reduction in the state’s history and a critical step in getting Alaska back on track.”

In July, Dunleavy vetoed $409 million coupled with $270 million already approved by the Legislature for a total of nearly $680 million in cuts.

“My critics predicted doomsday,” Dunleavy said. “But they couldn’t be more wrong.” He went on to say the state’s recession was coming to an end, and the state’s GDP had increased.

But while state economists agree a recession is ending, they say that process began before Dunleavy took office.

“We’ve been growing since October 2018,” said Dan Robinson, chief of labor research and analysis at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Though, he added, there are parts of the state, such as Anchorage and Southeast, which are still having ups and downs.

Robinson also said it’s difficult to identify the cause of what it causing growth or recession because of the high number of contributing factors in an economy. It’s much more natural for an economy to be growing than not growing, Robinson said.

Dunleavy also gave glowing predictions for Alaska’s economic future. The state’s proximity to trade in the Asia Pacific region and natural resources contained a lot of potential for economic growth, Dunealvy said.

But there was still the matter of the state’s finances. Dunleavy maintained he was intent on reigning in the state budget, as were Alaskans.

“These aren’t just my priorities,” Dunleavy said in reference to his budget released Dec. 11, “they’re Alaskan priorities.”

Americans are too comfortable will deficit spending, he said, blaming influence from Washington, D.C., for creating a culture to spend when there wasn’t money to do so.

“Eventually the chickens are going to come home to roost in some form or fashion,” Dunleavy said. “I decided that I cared so much about the state that I was willing to tackle these difficult issues.”


• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.


More in News

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Soldotna man found dead in lake, troopers report

State Troopers were notified of a deceased person floating in Browns Lake

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations, cases down from last week

The state reported no new resident deaths from COVID-19 this week

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. building in Juneau is scheduled to be the site where the board of trustees will select a new executive director on Monday, following the investigation into the firing of former CEO Angela Rodell last December being presented to state lawmakers on Wednesday.
Investigators: Permanent Fund CEO’s firing legal but departed from policy

Trustees acted legally, despite not following official policy, and governor didn’t influence decision

A fishing boat passes the Silversea cruise ship Silver Wind as the boat enters the Homer Harbor on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Finding refuge

Silver Wind is one of two cruise ships to visit since pandemic.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly candidates Dil Uhlin, left, and Jesse Bjorkman participate in a candidate forum at the Soldotna Public Library on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. Both candidates are running for the assembly’s Nikiski seat. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Nikiski assembly candidates talk borough issues at final municipal election forum

There are three candidates running for the assembly’s District 3 - Nikiski seat

Kenai Middle School Principal Vaughn Dosko gestures toward a cart used to provide school lunch services on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Security concerns and lunch lines

Safety upgrades, more space sought at Kenai Middle

Soldotna Montessori Charter School Principal John DeVolld explains Montessori materials in a classroom at Soldotna Montessori Charter School on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Soldotna Montessori maxes out

The relocation of Soldotna Montessori is included in a bond package on the Oct. 4 municipal election ballot

Engineer Lake Cabin can be seen in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Nov. 21, 2021. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service announced Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, that $14.4 million of a larger $37 million package will be used to build cabins in the Chugach and Tongass National Forests. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Millions designated for cabins in Tongass, Chugach

$18 million is allocated to the construction and maintenance of cabins and historic buildings — of which $14.4 million is destined for Alaska

Puffin sits by a scratching tower in front of his main pad of buttons on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Nikiski, Alaska. Owner Geri Litzen says Puffin can communicate by pressing different buttons on the pad to form sentences. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Puffin with the buttons

Verbose Nikiski cat earns TikTok followers

Most Read