Legislature(2001 - 2002)

2001-01-11 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2001-01-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 0051
SB 27                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 27 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                    
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                               
          "An Act making appropriations for the operating and                                       
          loan program expenses of state government, for                                            
          certain programs, and to capitalize funds; making                                         

2001-01-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 0052
            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."                                       
was read the first time and referred to the Finance Committee.                                      
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 10:                                                     
Dear President Halford:                                                                             
The Fiscal Year 2002 operating budget I am transmitting today is                                    
known as my "Jobs and Families Budget." It addresses three key                                      
goals: maintains the existing level of vital public services Alaskans                               
need; makes additional strategic investments for Alaska families in                                 
education, early childhood development, public health and public                                    
safety; and it helps create and protect jobs for Alaska families.                                   
The total budget includes a $145 million general fund increase over                                 
the current fiscal year. Yet it is $140 million less than in Fiscal '95 and                         
nearly 1,700 inflation-adjusted dollars less per Alaskan than in Fiscal                             
1979, the last pre-oil boom year.                                                                   
Some $80 million of the proposed increase is necessary just to                                      
maintain existing services. Recent legislatures have approved, and                                  
now we must operate, a new Anchorage jail, new health lab and                                       
additional juvenile correctional centers in Ketchikan, Juneau and                                   
Anchorage.  We have higher caseloads for such vital services as health                              
care for the elderly and disabled. We must fund legislatively-approved                              
labor contracts. Paying the interest on bonds for new schools approved                              
in recent years will cost $28 million. And the number of Alaskans to                                
whom we must provide services has grown 14 percent in the past                                      
In addition I have incorporated funds to improve education from child                               
care through K-12 and the university; for our public health initiative to                           
fight TB, hepatitis C, arctic contaminants, food borne illness and other                            
serious public health problems; and to protect the public's safety by                               
providing funds for more law enforcement personnel, child and senior                                
protection, emergency services, and alcohol enforcement and                                         

2001-01-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 0053
The general fund deficit for the coming year is projected to be more                                
than $500 million. Based on the fall forecast, our Constitutional                                   
Budget Reserve would be depleted in less than 5 years. We need to                                   
work together to develop a long-term budget plan during this session                                
to ensure the state's financial integrity.                                                          
I stand ready to work with you to make responsible choices to benefit                               
all Alaskans.                                                                                       
                             Tony Knowles