Legislature(2003 - 2004)

2004-02-16 House Journal

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2004-02-16                     House Journal                      Page 2594
HB 456                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 456 by the House Rules Committee by request of                                       
the Governor, entitled:                                                                             
     "An Act making supplemental and other appropriations; amending                                 
     and repealing appropriations; making appropriations to capitalize                              
     funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                   
was read the first time and referred to the Finance Committee.                                      
The Governor's transmittal letter dated February 9, 2004, follows:                                  
"Dear Speaker Kott:                                                                                 
I am transmitting to you today two supplemental appropriation bills                                 
for Fiscal Year 2004.  Issues requiring attention on an expedited basis                             

2004-02-16                     House Journal                      Page 2595
are in a separate "fast track" bill.  This bill includes supplemental                               
needs with less immediate timing requirements.                                                      
We are submitting a combined package (both "fast track" and regular)                                
that totals $5.4 million in general funds.  This reflects our                                       
administration's commitment to doing all we can to manage programs                                  
within the budget approved by the Legislature.                                                      
There are, however, always circumstances beyond our management                                      
control such as inmate health care costs for critically ill inmates and                             
caseload growth in several programs.  This bill totals $820 thousand in                             
general funds.                                                                                      
In some instances, we have been able to cover shortfalls in one area by                             
excess appropriations in another.  For instance, based on current                                   
estimates of general funds needed for the foundation formula, $3.6                                  
million can be transferred to cover other supplemental needs.  The                                  
general fund capitalization of the debt retirement fund may also be                                 
reduced for two reasons:  1) the amount available for school debt                                   
reimbursement from the public school fund is higher than anticipated,                               
and 2) the actual amount of school debt reimbursement is lower than                                 
The administration's goal is to do all we can to limit supplemental                                 
requests.  To that end, we look forward to working with you on the                                  
funding levels for the Fiscal Year 2005 operating budget.                                           
                                Sincerely yours,                                                    
                                Frank H. Murkowski