Gov. Mike Dunleavy's $444 million in budget vetoes have triggered an impassioned conversation around the state. Alaska-grown, Grammy Award-winning Portugal. The Man has made a special trip home to weigh in as well.

"Good to be back here, sad under these circumstances but hey man, we show up," band member Zach Carothers told KTVA's Daybreak in a live interview Tuesday morning.

The group will join the Save Our State rally in Anchorage Tuesday evening in opposition to Dunleavy's budget cuts. The governor's line-item vetoes include a more than $130 million cut to the university system, the elimination of funding for early childhood programs, and elimination of the state's senior benefits program.

"I think we just see vulnerable youth, in terms of early education, in some of the senior benefits that are being taken away, and that's ignoring the future and getting rid of our past. That just doesn't stand with us," said guitarist Eric Howk.

"We stand for the youth and the elders, and you know, we have to represent," Carothers added. 

The group says it's taking a stand on human issues at Tuesday's rally, rather than making a political statement. 

"It's not politicized," Howk said. "These are humanist issues, these are human rights issues, and to think that you're on one side or the other about protecting the elders or educating the youth is bonkers."

Lead singer and rhythm guitarist, John Gourley, wore a kuspuk created by local artist Amber Webb Tuesday morning. It includes images of missing and murdered indigenous women. Gourley says he plans to take it on tour this summer. 

The group will perform live in the Alaska Airlines Center parking lot, during the Save Our State Rally Tuesday evening. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m. 

Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.

RELATED STORIES: