JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - In a Tuesday morning press conference, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he would be prepared to veto the budget, use his line-item veto power and call special sessions to pressure the Legislature to deliver a full dividend.
The operating budget before the Alaska House of Representatives currently contains around $257 million in cuts, much smaller than the more than $1 billion in reductions proposed by the governor.
"We can veto line items, we can veto the budget, we can call special sessions," said the governor on delivering a dividend. "We can use whatever tools we have."
Dunleavy campaigned strongly on delivering a full Permanent Fund Dividend, estimated at around $3,000 in 2019 if the old statutory formula is followed by the Legislature.
“We’re expecting the statutes to be followed, and as a result, we have a full dividend being delivered to Alaskans,” said Dunleavy. The governor says he wants his three constitutional amendments to go to a vote of the people and suggested there would be “no deal” without them.
While the governor doesn’t have the power to appropriate new money, the executive can pressure the Legislature to follow his will. Dunleavy says he is waiting to see what the Senate will decide once the House passes its operating budget.
The Legislature has the power to override a veto from the governor but it requires a vote of 75 percent of the members of both bodies.
The House plans to decide on a PFD figure after an operating budget is passed. The talk across the Capitol is that a PFD in 2019 could be between $1,000 and $1,600.