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Alaska budget up to Dunleavy

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(The Center Square) – Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has a long list of bills to consider, including a budget with a one-time allocation of $175 million for the state’s schools and a permanent fund dividend of $1,360.

Alaska residents will receive an additional $295 energy relief payment this fall if approved by the governor. The number is less than the $2,273 proposed by the House of Representatives but is still the third-largest dividend in the past three years, Rep. DeLena Johnson said when presenting the conference committee report on the House floor before lawmakers adjourned last week.

The education allocation in the operating budget is the same as a $680 increase to the base student allocation the governor vetoed earlier this year.

Dunleavy vetoed Senate Bill 140, saying the bill did not include enough reform or money for charter schools. The governor can line-time veto the allocation or accept it. He must approve the budget within 20 days, excluding Sundays, once it is transmitted. According to the legislature’s website, the budget bill still awaits transmission to the legislature’s website.

Several bills favored by the governor were passed. Dunleavy has long touted carbon sequestration. Senate Bill 60 would allow the state to make money from storing carbon underground. House Bill 307 creates the Railbelt Transmission Organization to facilitate energy transmission and eliminate cost barriers. The organization will be under the Alaska Energy Authority, according to the bill.

The governor’s omnibus crime bill created a charge of second-degree murder for anyone who supplies someone with fentanyl that leads to that person’s death. House Bill 66 also includes a provision that allows child protection services to investigate sexual contact between children, according to Dunleavy’s office.

“My administration will spend the interim preparing new initiatives for next session on public safety, education reform, expanding the agricultural sector and much more,” Dunleavy said in a statement.

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