June 23, 2023
Governor Dunleavy signs FY24 budget and appoints a new Regent for the University System
Earlier this week Governor Mike Dunleavy signed the FY24 State Operating and Capital Budget. While the Governor did introduce several line-item vetoes, the finalized budget represents the continuation of a solid fiscal foundation for the University of Alaska.
On Monday afternoon, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that he signed the FY24 State budget. The announcement comes less than a week after the budget was transmitted to the Governor by the legislature and just shy of two weeks before the start of FY24 on July 1. The overall State budget signed by the Governor is a $202.5 million decrease from the one that lawmakers previously approved on May 18. The reduction is due to 46 line-item vetoes.
The budget passed by the Governor is welcome news for the University System. The enacted state appropriation for UA’s operating budget is just over $308 million, and is in line with the Board of Regents’ request that was included in the Governor’s budget requests to the Legislature. The budget contains the following state support for the University of Alaska:
- $6.5 million in supplemental FY23 and base FY24 funding for retroactive pay increases (3% faculty and additional 1% staff)
- $13.8 million increase in FY24 operating funds
- $13.2 million for a 2.75% pay increase for faculty and staff in FY24
- $48 thousand increase to the WWAMI program for growing the program by 10 students
- $96.2 thousand increase in Technical Vocational Education Programs (TVEP)
- $444.4 thousand increase for Mental Health Trust Authority programs
- $12.5 million in capital funding for special projects:
- $10.0 million for continued UA Drones program support
- $500 thousand for Phase 1 of our Alaska Food Security and Independence initiative
- $2.0 million for the WWAMI Program facilities expansion
- $3.6 million for major deferred maintenance:
- $3.6 million for UAS’s Technical Education Center, Maritime Training Center, and Sitka Hangar Building Roof Systems, Safety Improvements, and Regulatory Compliance projects
- $8.5 million in receipt authority:
- $6.0 million for the UAA Alaska Leaders Archive and Library Renovation
- $2.5 million for the University Park Early Childhood Development Center
While some lawmakers have expressed frustration with the Governor’s vetoes following a reduction to a one-time increase in K-12 funding, any veto override requires three-quarters vote - or 45 members - of the Legislature. At this point, it appears highly unlikely that the 23-member House Majority would lend their support to veto overrides. The budget will go into effect on July 1.
Yesterday, Governor Dunleavy also announced the appointment of Seth Church to the University of Alaska Board of Regents. Regent-appointee Church is a long-time member of the Fairbanks business community where he has ties to the construction and investment community. The appointment of Mr. Church is effective immediately and fills the remaining vacant seat on the Board of Regents.
For more information, contact Director of State Relations for the University of Alaska System Chad Hutchison, cell 907-378-3946, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the University of Alaska Government Relations on our Twitter page.