Friday Update for April 6, 2018

Budget & PFD Update

On Monday, the House passed the state’s Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget, House Bill 286. This budget includes funding for the state’s operations beginning July 2018 and ending in June 2019. This budget was reviewed by subcommittees, the full House Finance Committee and was debated on the House floor.

The House considered about 84 amendments on the House floor, many of which were offered by the House Republican Caucus, that would have reduced the size of government, created efficiencies and restructured certain departments. Almost all these amendments were not adopted as the budget moved from the House to the Senate.

Unfortunately, I still view this budget as too large to be passed in its current form. While I support efforts made in this budget to fully fund education, and add additional troopers and prosecutors, it still increases spending year-over-year in areas that do not affect Alaskans’ life, health or safety. Reductions can still be made to government’s footprint. However, the budget is still working its way through the process and will continue to evolve.

The budget is now being considered by the Senate and will change from its current form. Once the Senate has completed its work on the budget, the House and Senate will reconcile differences between their two budget drafts in a conference committee. We will keep you posted on the budget process over coming weeks.

A quick update on the PFD: The House originally approved a full appropriation for the Permanent Fund Dividend according to the equation set forth in law. Following the law, and fully funding the PFD, is an effort that I continue to support. As legislators, we swear that we will uphold our state’s laws. Until a change is passed through the public process with full support, we need to follow language concerning the PFD currently on the books. The House has since passed a lower amount, $1,600.00, for the PFD, and the Senate’s current budget reflects that same number. I will keep you posted as the PFD and bills to restructure our use of the Permanent Fund’s earnings move through the process.

Please stay in touch and let us know if you have any questions on the budget!

 

Key Meetings Next Week

As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we are including this brief rundown of meetings.

 

Monday

House Judiciary at 1 p.m., HB 336 Supported Decision-Making Agreements and SB 202 Native Corporation Contaminated Lands

Tuesday

Joint Session of the House and Senate at 11 a.m., Consideration of Governor’s appointees

House Finance at 5 p.m., HB 411 new oil tax legislation

Wednesday

House Finance at 5 p.m., HB 411 oil tax legislation

Thursday

Senate Finance at 9 a.m., SB 193 Medicaid work requirement bill

Senate State Affairs at 3:30 p.m., SJR 9 Constitutionalizing the permanent fund dividend

Friday

House Finance at 5 p.m., HB 411 oil tax legislation

 

Service Sports

The soccer and track seasons are fully underway now, and our teams have a busy week ahead!

Girls soccer: The girls have two games this week. The first one is on Monday April 9th at 7 p.m. versus Eagle River. That game will be played at Eagle River High School, located at 8701 Yosemite Drive, Eagle River, AK 99577. The girls second game is on Wednesday against South at 5 p.m. Our Cougar’s get home field advantage for this game!

Boys soccer: Our boys face the same opponents as the girls this week. Their game against Eagle River kicks off at 5 p.m. and will also be in Eagle River. Likewise, for the game against South the boys will play at home and begin their game at 7 p.m.

Track: The 8X8 track event will take place over the course of Friday and Saturday next week at West High School (1700 Hillcrest Drive Anchorage, AK 99517). On Friday our team will begin competing at 3:30 p.m., and then on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Cheer: A stunt cheer event is happening on Friday the 13th at Service High! We’ll be hosting Eagle River and Chugiak High from 6 – 9 p.m.

 


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