Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed the budget for the State of Alaska by a vote of 25-14. I was heartened to see the budget bill pick up support from a couple of members of the House Minority. This is a good sign that the budget has bipartisan support, which will be important as the budget bill moves through the legislative process in the State Senate.
The budget that passed the House today is a good budget that includes a lot of things important to the people of Alaska.
- $1,300 in energy relief for every Alaskan to help offset the high cost of gasoline, heating fuel, and other energy sources.
- 2022 PFD of $1,250 for every Alaskan.
The budget fully funds public education in FY 23 and FY 24. ($1.2 billion each year)
- $57 million in one-time funding for public education in Alaska.
- An increase of $2.5 million in pre-K funding for this year and another $2.5 million next year.
- School Bond Debt Reimbursement is fully funded at $79 million statewide.
- $395 million for the Higher Education Investment Fund so the state can help college students with scholarships.
- $1.5 million in grants to rural public radio stations that serve 20,000 people or less.
- The Community Assistance Program is fully funded at $30 million.
- $1 billion from the Earnings Reserve Account to the corpus of the Alaska Permanent Fund for inflation proofing.
My sincere thanks go to every member of the House for the hard work they put into the development of the budget, whether they voted for the budget bill or not. I also want to thank my colleagues in the House for the cooperation exhibited by members from both sides of the political divide for recognizing that a budget is not the place for the politics of grievance and hatred.
In the coming days and weeks, the members of the Alaska State Legislature have some big political battles to fight, but today the Alaska House of Representatives did its job by passing a responsible budget for the State of Alaska.
I’m here for you. I welcome your input and ideas. Call my office at (907) 465-2095 or send me an email to Rep.Chris.Tuck@akleg.gov.