Budget Passes House
April 10, 2022
Dear Neighbor,

I’m excited to share details of the operating budget that the House passed on Saturday, which fully funds education, provides early funding to avoid teacher pink slips next year, provides essential funding for human services, and saves billions to strengthen our fiscal position for years to come. Here are some details:

Education:
  • $57 million increase to K-12 schools, and it becomes effective only if the legislation that increases the Base Student Allocation by the same amount does not pass
  • $1.2 billion to forward funded education to give our schools budgeting stability since the state and our schools are on different budget cycles
  • $395 million to refill the higher education fund with so that earnings can be used to pay for scholarships
  • $1.6 million to WAMMI to help increase increase the number of medical professionals in Alaska
  • $167 million to fully fund school bond debt & REAA programs
  • $42 million for the University of Alaska, $12 million above last year. Will help fund mariculture programs, drones, rare earth research, heavy oil development, and health care
  • $2.5 million in addition to the $3.2 million currently in the budget for Pre-K

Cash Assistance for Working Class Alaskans:
  • $1,300 to be sent to each Alaskan in the form of Energy Relief checks—while many Downtown residents may not need these, they are vital for rural communities where the price of fuel is hitting $15/gallon
  • $1,250 dividend for each Alaskan

Public Safety:
  • $1 million for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and $5 million to combat Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Fully funded Community Assistance, which helps localities like Anchorage fund our police force

Ferries:
  • $82 million in federal infrastructure funds towards the Alaska Marine Highway, freeing up state funds that can be used to create a marine highway endowment. Also includes $18 million for AMHS Vessel Replacement 

Savings:
  • $2.2 billion into the Statutory Budgetary Reserve savings account to avoid a fiscal cliff and service cuts next year
  • Saves $1 billion into the corpus of the Permanent Fund, strengthening our savings and providing greater fiscal stability for years to come.
 
Human Services:
  • Increased funding for Behavioral Health treatment, long term care services for seniors and people with developmental disabilities, reversing years of cuts. 

Public Radio:
  • $1.5 million in funding to support public radio
See you around the neighborhood,
Zack
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