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Senate Accomplishes Top Priority by Passing Responsible Operating Budget

FY14 Budget restrains spending while funding essential services

JUNEAU-Today, the Alaska State Senate passed its version of the Fiscal Year 14 Operating Budget, House Bill 65.  The $9.87 billion Operating Budget meets one of the Senate Majority’s top priorities of controlling government spending.  After 10 years of 6.5% annual operating budget growth, this year’s budget comes in only $10 million larger than last year.  That’s less than 1-percent growth.

“The budget has grown nearly 40-percent since 2008.  It’s just ballooning and that is not sustainable.  We had to be the people to slow this ship down,” said Senator Kelly.  “What you are seeing is a philosophical change in budgeting with a group that is concerned about spending.  I am proud of this group for recognizing the financial situation this State faces and making difficult decisions within that framework.”

The FY14 Operating Budget also comes in slightly less than Governor Parnell’s original proposal.

“Governor Parnell set the stage when he introduced a budget proposal that was not only lean, it still met all of our constitutional priorities,” said Senate President Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla.  “Both the Senate and House reviewed the Governor’s budget and I think through well-though out, rational recommendations, we created a plan that not only meets the needs of Alaskans, but also shows our commitment to work towards creating a sustainable future for Alaska.”

The Operating Budget includes $6.5 billion from general funds, $1.3 billion from other state funds, and $2 billion from federal funds. 

“The budget that went out today was the result of the hard work of a lot of people,” said Senator Kelly.  “I want to thank the subcommittees for their awesome work on this budget.  But our work is far from over. Over the summer, we plan to look for larger changes so that we can have a sustainable budget for Alaska’s future.”

The Operating Budget will now head back to the House for concurrence.  If the House does not concur with the changes, a conference committee will be appointed to work on a compromise.

To take a closer look at a breakdown of the budget, please click here.

For more information, please contact James Armstrong in Senator Kelly’s office at (907) 465-3709.

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