‘Keeping our spending under check is a major piece of the puzzle’
JUNEAU – A new bill was introduced today that would modernize Alaska’s spending limit, managing the state budget efficiently and encouraging savings if revenue increases significantly.
House Bill 141 was formally introduced during a floor session by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, an Anchorage Democrat who chairs the Ways and Means Committee
While the state has an existing spending limit, the cap is ineffective because it was enacted at the height of Alaska’s oil boom at a time when spending was unsustainably high. The new proposal would modernize the spending limit by limiting spending to the average of the past three fiscal years, adjusted modestly for changes to population and inflation.
“Alaska’s budget crisis can only be solved with creative, comprehensive solutions,” Representative Spohnholz said. “That includes the need for new revenue to meet Alaskans’ needs for essential government services like public education, public safety, courts, and road maintenance. However, keeping our spending under check is a major piece of the puzzle, and this bill will create a framework for the governor and legislature to craft sustainable budgets as a part of a comprehensive fiscal plan.”
HB 141 makes an exception for school bond debt reimbursement as well as any appropriations needed for emergency disaster declarations. The bill has been referred to Ways and Means and Finance committees.
Alaska House Coalition