Extra Edition: Oh What a Tangled Web we Weave…
Bigger budget increases size of state government
The House Majority has finished their budget. The bill (HB 57) is being debated, as we write, on the House floor. The 18-member House Minority has a few hundred amendments that attempt to reduce the size and scope of government. Headlamp expects them all to fail.
As Alaskans receive information about the details of the budget, it is important for them to trust but verify:
Claims that the budget was reduced are false. Paul Seaton and Gabrielle LeDoux both sent constituent newsletters yesterday claiming that the House Majority had reduced the budget $81 million. That is not accurate. The House Majority actually increased Unrestricted General Fund spending (mostly the operating budget) by roughly $127 million. When accounting for all funding sources, the budget the House Majority is pushing is an increase of $77 million over Gov. Walker’s proposal and a $35 million increase over last year’s budget.
Departments are using money appropriated for personal services to fund other items in their department. The House Majority is attacking Rep. Tammie Wilson for attempting to remove funding for state positions that were cut from departments as a result of last year’s budget, claiming doing so is a “double hit” because the funding has already been removed. The positions have been cut, yet the House Majority’s budget is still, in some cases, funding these positions! In Rep. Seaton’s constituent newsletter, he acknowledged this is a common practice in departments, and justified it.
The only amendment to pass, so far, removed the intent language for DMV to outsource administration and licensing services to the private sector. This action is already happening, very successfully, returning millions of dollars to the state each year and reducing the size of government.
In wrap up? The House Majority actions to date show they are:
Increasing the size of government
Telling the public “alternative facts”
Denying all efforts to reduce the size of government and
Removing legislative support for departments to become more efficient.
“…when first we practice to deceive,” Sir Walter Scott.
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