House District 38 Representative Tiffany Zulkosky expressed concerns about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed supplemental budget. That budget would slash almost $3 million from the Village Public Safety Officer program, or 20 percent of its overall budget.
The cuts to the VPSO program come after Dunleavy vowed to bolster public safety during his State of the State address earlier in January. Zulkosky also met with Dunleavy earlier this year about these issues.
"Politicians really show where their priorities are in how they budget their resources, so I think it’s going to be really important to commissioners in their departments as they look to recruit and retain troopers and recruit and retain VPSOs that we also [have] meaningful investment for our programs," Zulkosky said.
Dunleavy’s supplemental budget would also cut $20 million from K-12 education. Zulkosky says that threatens a bipartisan compromise struck at the end of 2018 that increased funding for those programs. Zulkosky says those cuts would slash $1.056 million from the Lower Kuskokwim School District; $563,553 from the Lower Yukon School District; $128,114 from the Yupiit School District; and $113,797 from the Kuspuk School District.