Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-01-15 House Journal

Full 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             
"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    
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.                                                         
           Walter J. Hickel