Legislature(2005 - 2006)

2005-01-14 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2005-01-14                     Senate Journal                      Page 0058
SB 45                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 45 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                                         
          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 12, 2005:                                               
Dear President Stevens:                                                                             
The operating budget bill delivered today contains my proposal for the                              
2006 fiscal year.                                                                                   
My budget proposals reflect our obligation to meet a state's traditional                            
responsibilities to its citizens.  It reflects our commitment to growing                            
the state's economy through resource development, which provides                                    
Alaska families with opportunities for good jobs and careers.  Jobs                                 
also provide an economic base for our communities so they too can                                   
meet their local responsibilities to citizens.                                                      
The challenges our administration faced in developing our spending                                  
proposals for this session were very different from those of the last                               

2005-01-14                     Senate Journal                      Page 0059
two years.  During our first two years, our administration faced up to                              
the fiscal realities and we got control of state spending.                                          
Even though record-breaking oil prices have changed today's                                         
budgeting pressures, it is just as important that we be prudent and                                 
disciplined in our spending decisions.  The potential for a $1 billion                              
swing in current fiscal year revenues must serve as a reminder of the                               
volatility of the underpinnings of our revenue system and the                                       
precariousness of the state's ability to afford consistent delivery of                              
services to Alaskans.                                                                               
This operating budget, as well as our other proposals, reflects our                                 
administration's priorities to: grow Alaska's economy and create jobs                               
for Alaskans by responsibly developing our abundant natural                                         
resources, which also requires a quality education that prepares                                    
Alaskans to take these jobs; assure that Alaskans are safe in their                                 
communities; and assure that Alaska families are healthy with a good                                
quality of life.                                                                                    
The spending proposals, as well as our other actions taken and                                      
legislation that will be proposed, will make significant contributions to                           
further advancing our success in meeting these priorities.                                          
While our administration is focused on developing Alaska's economy,                                 
we are just as mindful of our responsibilities to protect those Alaskans                            
that are most vulnerable.  We are again proposing additional resources                              
and staff to the Office of Children's Services so that we can continue                              
our commitment to protect Alaska's most at-risk children.                                           
We are proposing to increase state financial support for our K-12                                   
educational system.  If approved by the Legislature, the per student                                
amount will have increased 29 percent during this administration,                                   
which reflects our commitment to ensure that those in school today                                  
will be fully prepared to enter tomorrow's job market.  We also will                                
propose that we use some of the current year's windfall to help pay for                             
this increase for the next two years.                                                               
As we look to the state's fiscal future, we are very mindful of our                                 
challenge to ensure that state government and the services it delivers                              
to Alaskans is fiscally sound between now and when the gasline is in                                

2005-01-14                     Senate Journal                      Page 0060
service in 2012.  Natural resource development represents this                                      
administration's long-term fiscal solution.  The fiscal challenge we                                
face between now and then is real, and we cannot procrastinate our                                  
way to fiscal security.  I urge the Legislature to either pass the fiscal                           
plan I presented last year or come up with one of its own.  The time to                             
act is now while we enjoy good economic times.                                                      
Our administration's Fiscal Year 2006 operating budget and other                                    
proposals will help create the kind of Alaska in which Alaskans can                                 
fulfill their tremendous potential and achieve their dreams.  By our                                
working together on what I believe to be a shared vision for the future,                            
it will mean every Alaskan can have hope for what the future will                                   
bring, instead of simply hoping for a future.                                                       
To these ends, I look forward to working with the Legislature.                                      
Sincerely yours,                                                                                    
Frank H. Murkowski