Anchorage Assembly overrides Mayor Bronson’s budget revision vetoes

Dave Bronson speaks with the media
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson speaks with journalists after a special Anchorage Assembly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

The Anchorage Assembly on Friday voted to override all of Mayor Dave Bronson’s recent vetoes of budget revisions

That means added back into this year’s budget is funding for building inspectors, operating the city’s mobile crisis team 24/7 and school resource officers. The Assembly also put funds back into a study on staffing at the Anchorage Fire Department and money to recruit a more diverse police force

Earlier this month, Bronson had justified some of his vetoes by claiming that the alcohol tax could only narrowly be used to cover staff increases and public safety programs. Assembly member Forrest Dunbar on Friday said he disagreed with the mayor’s legal view of the alcohol tax. 

“As one of the people who helped draft that language, and pass that language, I just want to let the attorneys know that I did not intend to put those really tight restrictions on the Anchorage Police Department, the fire department, or related public safety departments,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar was one of eight Assembly members who voted to override the vetoes, with members Jamie Allard, Kevin Cross and Randy Sulte opposed. 

The Assembly and mayor also got locked in budget disagreements when the Assembly initially approved the 2022 operating budget in November. Bronson vetoed a number of items, and the Assembly overturned most of the vetoes.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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