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Rep. Sam Kito's newsletter

Rep. Kito’s Newsletter: Update on Governor’s vetoes & 5th special session

We all know Alaska is in a bind. Oil prices are currently stabilized, but at a relatively low level, which means that our state income from oil is now in the neighborhood of $705 million unrestricted general funds (UGF). Add in $500 million from non-petroleum revenue and we have about $1.2 billion UGF. While that sounds like a lot of money, we are looking at a General Fund budget of around $4.5 billion. This means that we have a hole of more than a $3 billion in our state budget.

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Alaska state and flag

NEWS: Much Good and Some Bad in Governor Walker’s Line Item Budget Vetoes

Anchorage – Earlier today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker used his line-item veto power to cut $1.29 billion from the FY 2017 budgets. The veto includes $430 million in tax credit and other payments to the oil and gas industry down to the statutory minimum requirement of $30 million. The veto of the oil tax credit money is supported by members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) in the Alaska House of Representatives.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s Legislative Report: Alaska Coastal Zone Management Sunsets; Governor Budget Vetoes Released;

Thank you to everyone that attended our constituent meeting. We heard from many residents on numerous important issues. I apperciate all the feedback and if you weren’t able to make it to the meeting I welcome you to call, write, or visit my office at anytime.

We heard a variety of different issues and concerns from energy projects to air quality. The Govenor had just realeased his vetoes so we were able to have a discussion on what that means for Fairbanks. U.S. Senator Mark Begich called into the meeting to take questions on federal budget action and costal zone management.

Last Wednesday’s meeting was just the first of many we will have. If you live in the Denali Borough we will be headed your way soon.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Special Edition: Goods and Bads of Yesterday’s Budget Vetoes

I hate writing letters two days in a row. But important things have happened two days in a row.

I thought you’d like a rundown of the Governor’s veto decisions. First, let me say that I saw unjustified pork in some of the projects, and thought the budget was too big, so I voted against it. I voted against a $3.2 billion budget, because we have priority services and a need for savings. On the other hand, I can’t fault many of those who voted for the budget. It included some important energy projects to reduce energy costs – projects I defended publicly. It included home energy efficiency upgrade funds (which I voted for as an amendment), and some other priorities I helped get in the budget. So I’d say this: The budget, in my mind, was too big. I agree with the Governor there. But I would have chosen different projects to veto.

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Phone
Phone: 907-465-4451
Fax: 907-465-3445

Address
State Capitol Room 208
Juneau AK, 99801