ALASKANS QUESTION LEGALITY OF GOVERNOR DUNLEAVY'S PLAN TO REPLACE STATE MONEY IN AID FOR CORONAVIRUS
April 14, 2020
Some people who belong to the Alaska Legislature question the legality of the Governor Mike Dunleavy's plan. The new plan is to replace state money in federal aid for coronavirus.
Senate President for Anchorage, Cathy Giessel, and Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Natasha von Imhof, the two Republican women for the city of Anchorage, sent a letter last weekend to the U.S. Department of Revenue, asking officials if Governor Dunleavy's plan is legal.
It should be remembered that Governor Dunleavy last week vetoed about $261 million in state funds, citing expectations that many of the larger cuts, including aid for schools and local governments, would be offset by the use of federal funds, funds linked to COVID-19 relief.
According to documents from the Office of Management and Budget, Dunleavy would be planning to use $191 million from the federal aid for the coronavirus to compensate his vetoes to the state's budget. Congress approved $1.25 billion for Alaska, and the Legislature granted Dunleavy permission to accept the funds.
Some of the vetoes include cuts to the ferry system and the removal of a statewide library catalog, however, the Governor intends to fund a number of educational programs to cover the debt of building schools. On the other hand, the Republican senator for the State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, joins the voice of several senators who sought clarification from the Department of Revenu. According to Murkowski's press office, the senator sought clarification before the Governor announced the vetoes. For his part, Democratic Alaskan Sen. Bill Wielechowski requested an opinion from the Legislative Legal Services division.
by Sol de Medianoche
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