Legislature(2015 - 2016)

2015-04-28 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2015-04-28                     Senate Journal                      Page 1219
SB 1001                                                                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 1001 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 and for                                                                     
          certain programs, capitalizing funds, making                                                                          
          reappropriations, making capital appropriations, and                                                                  
          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 April 28:                                                                                   
Dear President Meyer:                                                                                                           
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18 of the Alaska                                                                    
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to the first special session                                                    
2016 operating budget and constitutional budget reserve                                                                         
Like many Alaskans, I was disappointed that the Legislature adjourned                                                           
yesterday with a spending plan that runs out of money partway                                                                   
through the year and fails to provide adequate funding for education                                                            
and health care coverage for 42,000 Alaskans. Therefore, I am                                                                   
introducing a bill to fully fund State government. In short, the                                                                
Legislature needs to reconsider the operating budget and pass a bill to                                                         
address critical needs and fund those needs for a full year.                                                                    
My administration is focused on healthy Alaskans and a healthy                                                                  
economy. A partially funded budget that runs out of money mid-year                                                              
does not provide for the health of Alaskans, and creates uncertainty for                                                        
businesses, school districts, and families.                                                                                     

2015-04-28                     Senate Journal                      Page 1220
My budget bill does this by accepting nearly all of the legislative                                                             
actions throughout the session, but addresses areas where the cuts                                                              
were too damaging. My bill would reduce State spending - $388                                                                   
million in operating reductions and $486 million in capital spending.                                                           
This bill adds $55 million in operating spending and a total of $94                                                             
million in added State funding, a 1.4 percent increase from the                                                                 
unfunded budget. My bill also restores funding for the education K-12                                                           
formula, partially restores crippling cuts to the Alaska Marine                                                                 
Highway System, Health and Social Services, and the University;                                                                 
honors union contracts; includes Medicaid expansion and the                                                                     
associated State savings, $6.6 million of State general fund savings in                                                         
fiscal year 2016; includes funding for North Slope gas                                                                          
commercialization; partially restores Trooper aircraft reductions; and                                                          
restores the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                    
program funding.                                                                                                                
With this bill, we can continue to move the State forward in a                                                                  
responsible manner. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this                                                             
Bill Walker