News and Press
Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives today formally passed House Bill 2 to give private businesses in Alaska the ability to offer a hiring preferences for veterans of the armed services and members of the National Guard. The Department of Defense has prioritized the passage of this legislation in all 50 states.
JUNEAU – The Alaska House of Representatives today formally passed a fully funded operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018 that ensures the delivery of essential services and protects the Alaska economy. The $5.1 billion General Fund operating budget reduces spending on agency and statewide operations by a net of $82.5 million compared to the 2017 budget, even after Governor Bill Walker’s vetoes.
Juneau – Earlier today, House Bill 81, which expands the list of eligible entities who can apply for loans from the Alaska Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund (AEERLF), passed the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 35-1.
Juneau – Joint Armed Services Committee (JASC) Co-Chairs Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Senator Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) will host Alaska’s General Officers of the Armed Forces for questions from the press this afternoon at 1:15 p.m. in the Speaker’s Chambers.
Mahatma Gandhi’s words have resonated strongly with me this past week while defending the budgets of Alaska’s education and public welfare systems. Now is not the time to reduce the level of services we offer students, or lose teachers due to pink slips as the result of delayed school budgets. Nor is it the time to require an ever-shrinking police force to handle ever-increasing cases with diminished resources.
PUBLIC TESTIMONY TOMORROW This Saturday, March 25, 2017, beginning at 10am, the House Finance Committee will hear public testimony on: HB 111: Oil and Gas Tax Credits
The Finance Committee in the House held back-to-back hearings all week on two cornerstones of the House Majority Coalition’s solution to Alaska’s fiscal crisis. HB 115 protects PFDs, restructures the Permanent Fund in a way that helps pay for vital government services, assures that the multi-billion-dollar endowment continues to grow, and diversifies revenues with a modest income tax.
It’s now Day 66 of the 90 day session. Despite delays on the budget process I discussed last week, the legislature continues to move forward in an effort to protect our economy and avoid any more special sessions. The House Majority believes we should respect timeline and get done on time with a balanced budget and significant deficit reduction plans.