Call to Action - Override the Vetoes!
Here is a breakdown of vetoed funding for social service supports:
* MEDICAID SERVICES: Vetoed -$50 million for "cost containment measures," in addition to the Legislature's reduction of -$86.6 million. An additional -$27 million was vetoed for the Medicaid Adult Preventative Dental benefit. Medicaid provides healthcare coverage for eligible Alaskans in need, including people with disabilities.
* SENIOR BENEFITS PROGRAM: Vetoed -$20.7 million (100%) to eliminate all program funding. Funds offer monthly financial assistance to older Alaskans to help meet basic needs, such as food, shelter, fuel, medications, and transportation.
* BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TREATMENT & RECOVERY GRANTS: Vetoed -$6.1 million, in addition to Legislative reduction of -$6.14 million. Total reduction: -$12.24 million (18.7%). Grants provide reimbursement to providers for mental health and addiction treatment services.
* HOMELESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Vetoed -$7.2 million state general funds, 88% of the program's funding. Supports access to homeless prevention, rental and utility emergency assistance, emergency shelters, and rapid rehousing.
* SPECIAL NEEDS HOUSING GRANT: Vetoed Legislative increase of $2 million state general funds. Grants support long-term rental assistance and permanent supportive housing for programs that target Alaska's homeless population.
* HUMAN SERVICES MATCHING GRANT: Vetoed -$1.387 million, 100% of state general funds. Grants provide resources to municipalities for food, shelter, and domestic violence services in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Mat-Su.
* COMMUNITY INITIATIVE GRANTS: Vetoed -$861,700, 100% of state general funds. Grants provide resources to homeless shelters and food banks in communities outside Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Mat-Su.
* EARLY LEARNING PROGRAMS: Vetoed -$8.8 million, 100% of state general funds for Head Start Grants, Early Childhood Grants, Best Beginnings, and Parents as Teachers. Early childhood programs provide opportunities for early identification and intervention for children with disabilities and behavior challenges.
* COORDINATED TRANSPORTATION AND VEHICLES: Vetoed -$1 million, 100% of state general funds. Supports transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities.
* ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS: Vetoed -$250,000 (100%) state general funds. Supports non-profit organizations that provide accessibility improvements, repairs, and upgrades.
* HOME MODIFICATIONS TO RETAIN HOUSING: Vetoed -$750,000, 100% of state general funds. Supports home accessibility improvements for Alaskans with disabilities.
* ADULT PUBLIC ASSISTANCE: Reduced funding by -$7.5 million state general funds. Provides financial support to elderly, blind, and disabled Alaskans for basic living expenses, such as food, rent, clothing, utilities.
* NOME YOUTH FACILITY: Vetoed -$2 million state general funds. This reduction will close the facility, which provides detention, treatment, and probation services for justice-involved youth in Northwest Alaska.
* THERAPEUTIC COURTS: Vetoed Legislative increase of $124,000 state general funds for additional staff to assist with statewide operations. Therapeutic Courts provide alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness, addiction, cognitive disorders, and other disabilities.
* PUBLIC DEFENDER AGENCY (PDA): Vetoed Legislative increase of $400,000 state general funds to address increased caseload. The PDA serves Alaskans without resources for defense in criminal matters, including Alaskans with mental illness, addiction, cognitive, and other disorders are more likely to utilize public defender services.
* ALASKA CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES FUND: Vetoed all state funding for the program, which provides resources to low-income and indigent Alaskans for civil legal matters.
* GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON DISABILITIES & SPECIAL EDUCATION (GCDSE): Vetoed exemption from proposed 50% travel reduction. Travel is often a meeting accommodation for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities whom the GCDSE serves.
* OFFICE OF PUBLIC ADVOCACY (OPA): Vetoed exemption from proposed 50% travel reduction. OPA provides guardianship/conservatorship services for vulnerable Alaskans who are found by the court to be in need of a protective order.
From Rep. Matt Claman:
As you know, the efforts to override the governor’s budget vetoes were unsuccessful. I understand the uneasiness that you and many Alaskans are feeling, and I share your concerns. I want to assure you that our work will continue and many paths remain for the legislature and Governor Dunleavy to restore the vetoed programs and services, fully fund a capital budget, and approve a reasonable PFD. In today’s Anchorage Daily News, the editorial board commented on the challenges that we face: The inconvenient truth about the state’s budget deadlock. Moving forward, it is critical that you continue to speak out and let legislators know where you stand on restoring the vetoes.
This week, the House Finance Committee is holding a series of meetings to discuss House Bill 2001: APPROP: ERA FOR PERMANENT FUND DIVIDENDS, a bill appropriating a permanent fund dividend of $1,600. The public will have an opportunity to testify and share thoughts on HB 2001 and how the dividend affects the budget as a whole, including the ability to restore vetoed funds. Click here for a list of upcoming House Finance meetings, or view the details below:
When: TOMORROW, Monday, July 15 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Call in by 6:30 PM)
Where: Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 1500 W. Benson Blvd.
When: Tuesday, July 16 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Call in by 6:30 PM)
Where: Mat-Su Legislative Information Office, 600 E. Railroad Ave.
When: Wednesday, July 17 from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM (Call in by 6:30 PM)
Where: Fairbanks Legislative Information Office, 1292 Sadler Way
You can testify in-person, over the phone, or by submitting written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Public testimony will be limited to 2 minutes per person. If you can’t make it in person, please call in:
Anchorage area call-in: (907) 563-9085
Juneau area call-in: (907) 586-9085
Outside of Anchorage: 1 (844) 586-9085