Legislature(2017 - 2018)
2018-06-27 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2018-06-27 House Journal Page 3846 HB 286 The following letter dated June 13 was received June 15 at 12:58 p.m.: "Dear Speaker Edgmon: I have signed, with line item vetoes, the following bill passed during the second session of the Thirtieth Alaska State Legislature and am transmitting the engrossed and enrolled copies to the Lieutenant Governor's Office for permanent filing: CONFERENCE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 286 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs; capitalizing funds; amending appropriations; making supplemental appropriations; making appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective date." 2018-06-27 House Journal Page 3847 Chapter No. 17, SLA 2018 [Effective Date: See Chapter] As passed by the Legislature, CCS HB 286 contains a total of $9.4 billion, including $5.2 billion in unrestricted general fund appropriations for FY2018 and FY2019. This total includes $1.0 billion for a dividend of $1,600 to every Alaskan. The passage of SB26, allowing for a sustainable draw from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve, is a critical component of making these operating budget appropriations possible. I commend you and your fellow legislators on working together with my staff to solve 80 percent of the state deficit over the past 3 years. While significant progress has been made in closing the fiscal gap, an ongoing deficit is projected and the state will continue to face budget constraints. I am encouraged to see even under the constrained budget that many priorities such as public safety investments and modest education increases for both K-12 and the university education are included in the budget. As a result, I have made limited use of my line item veto power. In order for the State of Alaska to emerge successfully from this fiscal crisis, the principles of a sustainable draw from the earnings reserve – as laid out in the Permanent Fund Protection Act (SB26) – must never be violated. Section 30 of this bill allowed for a situation that would have abandoned those principles and drawn from the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve at a level far beyond what is sustainable for the future security of the state and the dividend program. Although a three-quarter super majority vote was secured to avoid the overdraw, merely including a mechanism that allows for an overdraw is unacceptable for Alaska's future and a precedent that cannot be set. Additionally, I have vetoed one item added during the legislative process: $499.0 thousand for a study on vitamin D by the University of Alaska. While the intention of this study has merit, similar research is currently in progress. A new study should be postponed until ongoing research is completed and the conclusions are understood. My administration remains committed to providing any assistance necessary to enact the remaining tenets of a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan that is balanced and fair. Remaining savings, after the $14.5 2018-06-27 House Journal Page 3848 billion drawn since 2013, will not last long and all Alaskans need to embrace a vision for the state that provides priority government services, maintains infrastructure in a state of good repair, educates our children and creates an environment where businesses want to invest in and grow the economy. I appreciate that Alaskans and investors now have greater certainty and confidence in Alaska's future. Sincerely, /s/ Bill Walker Governor"