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Dunleavy, Alaska lawmakers at odds over school funding

May 22, 2019

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration says there is no valid appropriation to fund Alaska public schools for the budget year starting July 1.

Dunleavy and legislative leaders are at odds over the issue, which could end up in court.

Lawmakers last year passed legislation approving K-12 funding for this upcoming fiscal year. A legislative legal adviser contends the action was valid.

But Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has said it improperly binds the governor and violates a constitutional prohibition against dedicating state revenues.

Dunleavy spokesman Matt Shuckerow says without a valid appropriation, education won’t be funded. He says Dunleavy believes this could be resolved by putting education in the budget this year.

Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski says lawmakers believe they’ve properly appropriated the money, and Dunleavy should ensure the funds are disbursed.

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