Governor Mike Dunleavy released his preliminary 2020 state budget last Friday, with a projected $1.6 billion dollar deficit. It’s just a starting point — the budget includes a full Permanent Fund Dividend of over $3000. Dunleavy’s administration is expected to propose deep spending cuts over the next two months to try and bring the budget closer to balance.
In its current rendition, here’s a slice of the pie District 35 could receive: The City of Sitka is slated to receive $1.7 million in matching grant funding for two harbor projects — $200,000 for pilings at Thomsen Harbor and $1.5 million for electrical work at Eliason Harbor. Angoon is also slated to receive $1 million in matching funding for work on its small boat harbor.
$338,000 is budgeted for major maintenance throughout the Sitka School District. And over $26,000 is earmarked for deferred maintenance at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, including updates to the dining hall, student housing and renovations to the library.
KCAW spoke with Senator Bert Stedman who was reluctant comment due to the budget’s preliminary nature. Stedman will serve as the co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee in the coming legislature, with responsibility for overseeing the state’s operating budget. Stedman will have significant influence over the final budget, which likely won’t be settled until late next spring.