In what may be the biggest veto error in Alaska history, Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) forgot to veto the $4 billion transfer from the earnings reserve to the corpus of the Permanent Fund. The transfer was approved by the Legislature.
In a press conference yesterday, Dunleavy spoke about “significant vetoes” and stated, “There was a decision by the Legislature to move billions of dollars from the earnings reserve of the Permanent Fund into the corpus of the Permanent Fund. We stopped that from happening with a veto. We want to be able to have the greater conversation with the Legislature here in a month to come up with a compressive approach to dealing with the Permanent Fund. And so we see this money as part of the discussion.”
The veto shows on the mockup and veto list from the Office of Management and Budget, but is missing in the enacted and signed budget the Legislature received today.
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Oh my holy god. @GovDunleavy forgot to veto the $4 billion transfer from the earnings reserve to the corpus in the transmitted budget. The veto shows in the mockup from OMB, but not in the actual budget signed and sent to the Legislature. This is maximum loose. #akleg pic.twitter.com/p8a4ZWHQjF
— The Alaska Landmine (@alaskalandmine) July 2, 2021
A spokesperson for the Governor’s Office said the issue was a drafting error, and page 138 has been updated reflecting the veto. As of this writing the signed budget still shows the veto missing. Legislative Legal did not immediately respond about whether they received the revision or if it was accepted, but they said they would get back to me. The story will be updated when they respond. A call to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation to see if the transfer was made today was not answered. The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation website shows $12.2 billion in uncommitted funds in the earnings reserve, $3.1 billion for the FY 2022 POMV transfer, and $4.5 billion in unrealized gains as of May 31, 2021. Once money is put into the corpus, it cannot be spent by the Legislature. The Legislature can spend money from the earnings reserve with a majority vote.
Update: A spokesperson for Governor Dunleavy responded with the following statement:
The Governor did not forget to veto the $4 billion transfer to the corpus to the Permanent Fund. The Legislature transmitted HB 69 to the Governor’s office on Monday afternoon. Between Monday and Wednesday, the Legislative Affairs Agency notified the Administration that it had errors in the budget it transmitted. The Administration accepted those corrected sheets, which affected the timeline to physically line item veto portions of the budget. The budget with line item vetoes that was returned to the House clerk contained a Scribner’s error (sic scrivener’s), one of which included a provision regarding the Permanent Fund. After consultation with the Department of Law, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Legislature’s legal services division, the complete sheets, including the veto of the $4 billion dollar transfer, was resubmitted this afternoon and the matter is being reconciled as we speak. That correction should be reflected shortly. The Governor will be formally sending correspondence to the Legislature clarifying this issue for all concerned.