Citing the fiscal uncertainty of our times, Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor Vern Halter vetoed a $1.59 million 2018 budget increase in school funding tonight, returning the local funding amount for education to the same level as this year, $55,841,300. "The Borough champions our schools," he wrote. But funding the increase this way isn't prudent, he said.
The Assembly voted to ovverride the veto 4 to 3 with yes votes: Jim Sykes, Dan Mayfield, Matthew Beck, and Barbara Doty and no votes: Steve Colligan, George McKee, and Randall Kowalke. However, the veto stands. The override failed as it needed a super majority or five votes to pass.
In his written veto, Mayor Halter asks the Assembly to consider other mechanisms to fund education increases beyond piecemeal legislation. He suggested tax cap reform and a Borough-wide sales tax, which would require buy-in by the three cities and the voters.
Listen to the Mayor here address the audience in the chambers
Mayor Halter is meeting with the mayors of Palmer, Wasilla, and Houston on Thursday to discuss a Borough sales tax proposal.
Listen to the complete audio of the veto and veto override debate also attached here including remarks from Assembly Members Sykes, Mayfield, Doty, McKee, and Colligan.