"We have passed a supplemental bill that addresses immediate needs of Alaskans, while also keeping a keen eye on our future."
- Rep. Chenault
(Juneau) - The Fast Track Supplemental Appropriations bill, SB 232, passed the House Floor late this evening, by a unanimous vote.
House Finance Co-Chair Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) said, "We were able to fund a number of important programs and projects in this bill and we should be very proud. From funds to rebuild the White Mountain School and fix the Su Valley School roof, to saving over $600 million for the future of Alaska. We have passed a supplemental bill that addresses immediate needs of Alaskans, while also keeping a keen eye on our future."
SB 232 as passed contains funding for a number of timely projects and programs, including $750,000 for Arctic Power and $3 million for PAC West Communications for lobbying efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, $10 million to assist in the rebuilding of the White Mountain School and $3.8 million for a new roof at the Su Valley School, while still setting aside $300 million in the public education fund and $300 million to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation for future capital needs.
"Our fellow members in the Minority can't have it both ways. The Republican majority is making every effort to save at least half of the surplus and the Democrats are agreeing, but yet they come to us with $428 million in addition spending for this bill. You can't save and also increase spending; something has to give. We in the majority opted to save rather than spend the surplus," said Representative Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee.
Speaker John Harris said of the bill, "The House Finance Committee should be proud of what they've accomplished with this bill. When working on this legislation, we've been careful not to obligate ourselves to items that do not need to be in the Fast Track. Some items can be addressed in the regular budget or the supplemental."