Capitol report

January 27, 2023 

Governor Dunleavy Delivers 5th Annual State of the State Address to the Legislature

The Capitol remains abuzz this week as legislators settle into new offices and many constituents and interest groups descend on legislative offices. On Monday night, for the fifth year in a row, Governor Michael Dunleavy delivered his annual State of the State address to a chamber full of Senators and Representatives. The House Finance committee also decided on subcommittee chairs, and a few special guests traveled to the capitol to speak in favor of the university system.

State of the State Address

Governor Dunleavy addressed a packed room of legislators on Monday night to share his updated vision for the state of Alaska. During the 45-minute speech, the Governor touched base on the administration’s Typhoon Merbok emergency relief efforts and highlighted world-class research at our universities in unmanned aircraft, heavy and viscous oil, critical minerals, hydrogen, micronuclear power, and mariculture.  He also detailed his 2023 legislative priorities, which include improving public safety, developing carbon management systems, implementing higher penalties for sex traffickers and fentanyl distributors, investing in food security systems in fisheries and agriculture, and building up a Statehood Defense Force to respond to emergency response and recovery. See here for a  full transcript of the address and here for the video.

House Finance Subcommittee Chairs Decided

This week the House Finance committee selected chairs for the department subcommittees. Representative Will Stapp (R-Fairbanks) will chair the University of Alaska Finance Subcommittee. Finance subcommittees are responsible for diving into agency operations and management plans and taking a critical look at each department’s budget. The finance subcommittees often make budget suggestions which are then considered by the finance committee as a whole. We anticipate that the University subcommittee will meet in January and February only.

UA in the Capitol

This morning the Senate Finance Committee heard from the director of the Office of Management and Budget as well as the university system about deferred maintenance projects. State relations Director Chad Hutchison shared the top University of Alaska priorities including $17.5 million for renovations and system renewals in the UAA Professional Studies Building, Wendy Williamson Auditorium, Social Sciences Building, and Consortium Library Campus Building.

In other university-related news, UA alumni were on the move in Juneau this week. Alumni from all around the state converged on the capitol to share their experiences with legislators. Representative Ashley Carrick (D-Fairbanks) and Senator Click Bishop (R-Fairbanks) hosted an alumni “lunch & learn” program and invited the alumni associations to share success stories. Thank you to all of our alumni who are active in engaging with lawmakers and encouraging support for the University of Alaska!

What We are Watching

Monday, January 30

  • 9:00 a.m. – Senate Finance: Senate Bill 40: “Appropriations: Operating Budget/Loans/Fund” / Senate Bill 41 “Appropriations: Capital/ Supplemental”/ Senate Bill 42: “Appropriations: Mental Health Budget”
  • 1:30 p.m. - House Finance: House Bill 40: “Appropriations: Capital/Supplemental/ Presentation: “Overview: Capital Budget by Neil Steininger, Director Office of Management and Budget

Wednesday, February 1

  • 11:00 a.m. - State of the Judiciary - Chief Justice Daniel Winfree will address the Senate and the House jointly
  • 1:00 p.m. – House Resources: “Overview: University Efforts and Status of Land Grant”
  • 1:30 p.m. - House Finance: House Bill 39 “ Appropriations; Operating Budget/Loans/Fund” / House Bill 41: “Appropriations: Mental Health Budget” / Presentation: “Deferred Maintenance: Office of Management and Budget, Department of Transportations, and University of Alaska”  

Thursday, February 2

  • 1:30 p.m. - House Finance: Presentation: “Overview: FY23 Governor’s Supplemental Budget”

For more information, contact Director of State Relations for the University of Alaska System Chad Hutchison, cell 907-378-3946, email You can also follow the University of Alaska Government Relations on our Twitter page.