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Analyst questions tight timeline for Alaska budget review

February 26, 2019

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Legislature’s top budget analyst says it’s unrealistic for lawmakers to vet and make decisions on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget proposal during the regular session given the scope of proposed changes and limited documentation supporting those changes.

Legislative Finance Division Director David Teal told a Senate committee Tuesday there remains a “fairly weak” understanding of the budget’s impact and whether the budget will stand up to scrutiny.

He says lawmakers lack justification from the administration for proposed cuts and have other legislation related to the budget to review.

The scheduled 90-day session is nearly half over, though the constitution permits 121-day regular sessions with an option to extend another 10 days.

The budget, released Feb. 13, contains sweeping cuts and some legislators say it would shift costs to local governments.