Legislature(1993 - 1994)
1993-01-15 House JournalFull Journal pdf
1993-01-15 House Journal Page 0069 HB 56 HOUSE BILL NO. 56 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act making appropriations for operating expenses for certain programs for which the costs are derived from mandated formulas or criteria, and for expenses for certain leases and contracts for state services and operations; and providing for an effective date." 1993-01-15 House Journal Page 0070 HB 56 was read the first time and referred to the Finance Committee. The Governor's transmittal letter, dated January 15, 1993, appears below: "Dear Speaker Barnes: Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting legislation making appropriations for formula-funded program expenses for fiscal year 1994. As last year, I am introducing two appropriations bills: one for the "agency operations" part of government, and one that appropriates the funding necessary to meet the costs of formula-funded programs. This bill provides the funding necessary for these formula programs. Formula programs represent 44 percent of the state's fiscal year 1994 general fund operating budget. Due to the demands of uncontrollable increases in the number of participants in these programs, these programs have experienced tremendous increases in recent years. For fiscal year 1994, however, my proposed budget finally puts a halt to this trend. It is an increase of only 1.4 percent over this current fiscal year. This bill fully funds the needs of our K-12 educational system by providing nearly $18 million in increased funding for student enrollment increases throughout the state. Over $22 million in increased funding is provided to meet the projected increases in public assistance programs, many of which are services mandated by the federal government. While this amount seems like a lot, it represents an $18 million dollar reduction from what would be necessary without reforms to our welfare system. I am proposing to control growth of these programs and achieve this reduction by legislation accompanying this appropriations bill. This will require the commitment of the Legislature to make these important and necessary changes. We must re-evaluate the current welfare system and do all we can to ensure the right incentives are in place. 1993-01-15 House Journal Page 0071 HB 56 We must make certain Alaskans currently on welfare can get off that merry-go-round. We must provide them with the training that will prepare them for productive jobs -- and then make certain we have a healthy economy so jobs are available to them. Another area of significant reduction is in the municipal assistance and revenue sharing programs. I understand this reduction will capture the attention of just about every community throughout the state, but my goal is quite simple: to encourage local governments that have a tax base to pay for local services. I have charged the Department of Community and Regional Affairs with crafting legislation that will accomplish this goal and still protect Alaska's smaller communities from the impact of this reduction. The programs included in this appropriations bill represent the fastest growing area of state government. Controlling their costs continues to be a high priority for my Administration. I look forward to working with the Legislature on achieving this goal. Additional information pertaining to the appropriations requested in this bill are being furnished to the Legislature by my Office of Management and Budget. Sincerely, /s/ Walter J. Hickel Governor"