Dunleavy says he'll support senior benefits funding

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he will support funding for a program that provides cash benefits to lower-income older Alaskans.

    He made the announcement Monday at a Chugiak senior center.

    In June, Dunleavy vetoed funding for the senior benefits program. That included funding for the fiscal year that started July 1 and $800,000 for payments that had been suspended earlier.

    The Legislature, unable to override the veto, instead passed legislation restoring much of the vetoed money, including senior benefits.

    Dunleavy said he will finalize the budget this week. He said the budget still must be reduced, and spokesman Matt Shuckerow said "significant vetoes" are yet expected.

    But Dunleavy attributed his shift on senior benefits to "fantastic feedback" he said he'd received.

    Public outcry over Dunleavy's vetoes has fueled a recall effort.

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