OMB Director Donna Arduin, right, listens to Gov. Mike Dunleavy announce his state budget during a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

OMB Director Donna Arduin, right, listens to Gov. Mike Dunleavy announce his state budget during a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dunleavy budget proposal proposes to eliminate hundreds of jobs

Job cuts are not final

“Ain’t no power like the power of the people ‘cuz the power of the people won’t stop,” went the chant of protest outside Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office on Wednesday afternoon. The protesters were members of the AFL-CIO, a labor union that represents many state employees. The AFL-CIO left the capitol singing union songs.

The reason for the protest? Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget delivered on his promise to cut $1.6 billion from the operating budget, and that includes a reduction of 625 full-time jobs in the state government. Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin said the number of proposed job cuts totals more than 700 when temporary positions are considered, too.

Chris Dimond, a union affiliate who participated said, “It’s important the governor and administration know that these proposed cuts look to be pretty devastating to the state and we as labor aren’t going to stand by.”

It’s unclear whether or not the proposed job cuts include vacant positions, or ones that would be left vacant by way of retirement or other forms of attrition. The Office of Management and Budget did not immediately return a call by the Empire.

Some departments would see heavier cuts than others.

The Department of Health and Social Services, according to the proposed budget, would see 365 permanent jobs and 13 non-permanent jobs cut.

But, not every department would see a cut. For example, the Office of the Governor would see a total increase of 18 full-time jobs.

Although the budget cuts are massive, Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau was not surprised.

“The governor’s doing exactly what he said he would do,” Hannan said. “I think there were many different people who didn’t truly fathom what those cuts mean.”

Hannan noted the legislature will get to work on this budget and amendments will be made.

“I trust the legislature will not let the governor’s proposal be the budget we pass,” Hannan said.

Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage said, “I told one of my constituents today, ‘Don’t go putting the For Sale sign in your yard just yet.’ People are reacting very strongly to the budget.”

“I think we all expected that,” she added.

Rep. Andi Story of Juneau encouraged constituents to make their voices heard.

“I think it’s real important that people weigh in on the budget,” Story, a Democrat, said. “This is their opportunity to weigh in on the budget. I would urge everyone to call in, call the governor’s office. Staff will take messages and make sure legislators and the governor are reading them.”


• Contact reporter Kevin Baird at 523-2588 or kbaird@soundpublishing.com.


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of June 26

Here’s what to expect this week.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Road to Majority conference Friday, June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. A rally planned to include Trump is scheduled to happen in Anchorage on July 9.  (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey File)
Trump to rally for Palin, Dunleavy, Tshibaka in Anchorage

Former President Donald Trump plans to attend a rally in Alaska next week.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, June 30, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Courtesy Photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy 
Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Tuesday signed the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Gov. Dunleavy signs budget

PFD of about $3,200, $400 million in vetoes to Legislature-approved items among declared highlights

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 29, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building in Juneau has no visible signs indicating the department is splitting into two agencies as of Friday. Top officials at the department said many of the changes, both physical and in services, are likely weeks and in some cases months away. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Little sign of big change for DHSS

No commissioner at new department, other Dept. of Health and Social Services changes may take months

Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 320 W. Willoughby Ave., will be open as a cooling center through Wednesday for elders who need a cool place during the ongoing heatwave. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Tlingit and Haida opens cooling center for elders

Keep your cool during the heatwave.

An Alaska Seaplanes Cessna 208A, seen here on the tarmac, suffered damage after failing to achieve takeoff near Elfin Cove on Sunday, June 26, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Alaska Seaplanes)
No one hurt after plane’s takeoff goes awry

The aircraft failed to achieve take off and hit the beach while leaving Elfin Cove.

A 13-year-old girl was medevaced Saturday after being struck by a vehicle near the crosswalk across Egan Drive by Gold Creek. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Teen in serious condition after SUV strikes bike

Juneau Police Department is investigating.

Most Read