Compromise Capital Budget Keeps Alaskans Working
ANCHORAGE – Today, the Alaska Legislature released a proposed bipartisan capital budget agreement. The measure reflects a compromise between the House and Senate, recognizing the importance the capital budget has on Alaska’s economy.
“This capital budget compromise is the product of both bodies working together,” said Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “I look forward to the discussion and swift action on passing this budget to keep Alaskans at work and our construction opportunities advancing.”
The Committee Substitute (CS) for Senate Bill 23 leverages over $1 billion in federal funds, with a state investment of $121 million in unrestricted general funds from the Statutory Budget Reserve (SBR) fund.
“The compromise reached between the House and Senate to pass this year’s capital budget shows a level of cooperation between the two bodies that bodes well for our continued efforts to secure Alaska’s fiscal future,” said House Finance Committee Co-chair Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome. “Senator MacKinnon and I have worked closely with our respective caucuses to reach a compromise that ensures Alaska continues to receive federal funding for roads, bridges, and other vital infrastructure.”
The bill appropriates, among other items:
- $8 million for the Community Assistance Program, for a total distribution of $38 million;
- $7 million more toward the Kivalina K-12 replacement school, on top of the $43 million investment made by the Legislature in Fiscal Year 2016;
- $7 million in re-appropriation funds for the Arctic Strategic Transportation and Resources (ASTAR) project; and
- $20 million to pay down the state’s oil and gas tax credit liability, in addition to the $57 million appropriation in the operating budget.
The bill does not include an additional appropriation to the Permanent Fund Dividend Program.
The conference committee meeting was noticed for 1:00 pm, tomorrow, July 27, 2017 to be held in the Senate Finance Committee room, Capitol 532. The documents, including the CS and summary, have been posted to BASIS for the public to view. The Legislature is calling itself into a special session Thursday to take the compromise up and pass it expeditiously.