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Press Release

Attorney General enters into stipulation to disburse education funds

July 16, 2019

(Anchorage, AK) – Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson entered into a stipulation with the legislature to ensure education funds will be disbursed while a lawsuit over the 2018 forward appropriation of fiscal year 2020 appropriation funding proceeds. The stipulation was filed today with the court.

"We have a clear constitutional disagreement between the executive and legislative branches," said Attorney General Clarkson. "But that should not impact our schools. Both the governor and the legislature agree funding should continue, even if we disagree on whether there is a valid appropriation to fund schools. The stipulation ensures that funding continues while the courts review the legal arguments."

In 2018, the legislature passed an appropriation that sought to commit future revenues, not on hand in the state treasury in fiscal year 2019, to pay for education in the future fiscal year 2020. This was not a case where projected revenues for the forthcoming fiscal year were appropriated to a future purpose. Instead, the appropriation did not take effect until the future fiscal year.

Attorney General Clarkson issued a formal Attorney General Opinion on May 8, 2019 concluding that the appropriation was unconstitutional and a new appropriation was needed. The legislature disagreed and decided not to pass a new appropriation, which left education, in the opinion of the Attorney General, without any constitutional source of funding.

Attorney General Clarkson has also agreed to seek an expedited briefing schedule to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible. "I hope the court agrees to consider this case quickly, so we can come to a resolution on this important constitutional issue," said Attorney General Clarkson.

CONTACT: Current Media Contact, Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-2582 or maria.bahr@alaska.gov.

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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or cori.mills@alaska.gov.