Alaska in Brief

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy switches budget directors

By: - August 31, 2023 5:46 pm

Neil Steininger, director of the Alaska Office of Management and Budget, speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has replaced Alaska’s top executive-branch budget official just as work begins in earnest on his draft of the state’s fiscal year 2025 budget.

The governor fired Neil Steininger, head of the Office of Management and Budget, on Friday. Steininger was replaced by Lacey Sanders, formerly administrative services director for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

The governor’s office declined to give a reason for the firing and switch. In a statement Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter, the governor’s office said he looks forward to working with Sanders and that her experience will be valuable to the state.

Sanders has a long track record with the state, including stints as budget director and with the Legislative Finance Division, which provides budgetary advice and analysis for the legislative branch of government.

Steininger served in the position from January 2020, five months after the end of the tenure of Donna Arduin, Dunleavy’s first budget director.


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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected].