22nd Alaska State Legislature
News from the Senate Finance Committee
Senator Dave Donley, Co-Chair
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair



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Sen. Dave Donley
State Capitol, Room 508
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-3892
Fax: (907) 465-6595


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Sen. Pete Kelly
State Capitol, Room 518
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2327
Fax: (907) 465-5241


Senate Finance
Passes Operating Budget
Increased Funding for Education
Public Safety and Public Health

Released: April 5, 2001
Contact: Senator Dave Donley at (907) 465-3892
Senator Pete Kelly at (907) 465-2327

(JUNEAU) -The Senate Finance Committee passed the fiscal year 2002 operating budget today, providing significantly increased funding for Alaskans' top priorities, including education and public safety.

The Senate Finance budget bill makes a major commitment to education funding, including doubling learning opportunity grants to over $12 million and increasing pupil transportation funding by $5.8 million over FY01 funding levels. The budget also increases the University of Alaska's total funding by $33.5 million, including $11.3 million in general funds.

"Alaskans have told us that education is a priority, and I agree," said Sen. Dave Donley (R-Anchorage), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "Our children are our future, and making sure that education is well funded at all levels, from early-learning programs to the University of Alaska, is a wise investment."

This year's budget improves public safety by adding funds for 9 new state troopers, 3 new fish and wildlife protection officers and a much needed DNA testing specialist for the state crime lab.

"We need to make sure that the residents of our state are safe from harm, and increasing the number of officers in the field is key," said Donley. "And by adding to the crime lab, we ensure that our public safety officers have the necessary help to stop people determined to victimize our fellow Alaskans."

The budget also expands public health funding with $107 million in additional funding for the department, including $700,000 more for the Infant Learning Program, and an extra $100,000 for Tobacco Prevention and Control, and funding to increase the number of rural health services personnel.

Total budget spending in House Bill 103 is $4.64 billion, including $2.24 billion in state general funds, $1.15 billion in federal funds and $1.25 billion from other funding sources. The budget approved by the finance committee enhanced essential state services, yet came in more than $60 million below the governor's requested level of funding.

"The FY 02 budget has an important difference from previous operating budgets - how specific funding sources are identified and spent in the state budget," said Donley. "When funding sources are mixed together, its often difficult to see how our state's budget compares from one year to the next."

Previous budgets used one-time funding sources, which are considered non-state general funds to balance the budget. However, these one-time fund sources are drying up and may not always be available.

"From the outset, we identified the one-time funds from last year's budget which weren't available this year and replaced those funds with state general funds," said Donley. "This gives a clearer picture of the actual state budget and makes it easier for Alaskans to see exactly how much the state is spending on each department and program."

The subcommittees reviewed each department's performance from the last year, holding them accountable to their specific missions and measures. This ensures that the funding will be spent where it will do the people of Alaska the most good.

HB 103 moves next to the full Senate for consideration.

# # #

Attachments:

| Sen. Donley's Page | Sen. Kelly's Page |
| Senate Finance Committee's Page |

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Department Funding Highlights


Department of Administration

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases the allocation to the Alaska Pioneers' Homes by $604,500 for additional staff nurses
  • Adds $250,000 to meet the Office of Public Advocacy's Child in Need of Aid Caseload
  • Allocates an additional $850,000 for senior services, including increased grants for senior employment and assisted living programs
  • Increases the Department of Motor Vehicles' budget by almost $500,000, including funding to extend leases on satellite DMV offices that reduce patron congestion

Department of Corrections

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Allocates more than $3 million for a new 400-bed jail in Anchorage, to help reduce transportation and other costs of holding Alaska prisoners in facilities scattered around the state or in Arizona
  • Helps fight alcohol and drug abuse by funding a new substance abuse assessment specialist

Court System

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases funding by $337,700 for the maintenance and operation of the new Fairbanks Courthouse
  • Adds extra funds to the personnel budget of the Commission of Judicial Conduct, reducing program underfunding

Department of Education and Early Development

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Doubles the funding for learning opportunity grants to $12.4 million, including funds for instructional programs to improve student performance on the high school competency exam
  • Fully funds projected pupil transportation costs for districts across the state
  • Adds more than $5.6 million in federal funds to subsidize child-care for low-income families, eliminating the wait list, and increases the grant to licensed child care providers from $33 to $40 per child/per month for all children, a $3 million total increase in funding
  • Approves $98,700 to ensure that all public libraries are wired and able to connect to the internet
  • Increases the funding by $8.6 million in federal funds to Special Education and Title I Grant programs that provide direct assistance to local school districts
  • Adds $4.6 million in federal funds to reduce class sizes and recruit and retain teachers in our public schools

Department of Environmental Conservation

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases state support by $473,100 to the Water Quality program, allowing for extended permits for miners, forest harvesters, seafood processors and other resource industries
  • Provides funding for the first year of activities associated with the BP/ARCO/Phillips Charter Agreement
  • Allocates $300,000 for the Arctic Contaminants Monitoring to ensure Alaska's seafood retains its reputation as the safest, best quality seafood available

Department of Fish and Game

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases the department's budget by $10.6 million from all funding sources, including $472,000 in general funds, and allows additional funding for oil and gas permitting

Department of Health and Social Services

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases the departments budget by $107 million over FY 01
  • Adds $700,000 to the Infant Learning Program to address program's waitlist
  • Allocates an additional $100,000 to Tobacco Prevention and Control
  • Provides $225,000 over FY 01 for additional rural human services personnel
  • Funds $1 million for the construction of a new youth corrections center on the Kenai Peninsula

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Adds $140,000 to the Military Youth Academy's budget
  • Increases funding for the LEPC Grants program by $21,000

Department of Natural Resources

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases funding for the Division of Oil and Gas by $825.0 to meet challenges in recruitment, retention and filling vacancies
  • Adds $300.0 to the Water Development section to eliminate the water rights backlog
  • Provides $1,082.0 for the acquisition and review of 150,000 acres toward statehood entitlement

Department of Public Safety

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases funding for the Alaska State Troopers by $1.44 million and provides 9 more officers
  • Adds $480,000 for Fish and Wildlife Protection and provides 3 more officers
  • Provides funding for a new DNA testing specialist position with the state crime lab

Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Provides an additional $2.4 million for highway and aviation maintenance, including rural airport snow removal

University of Alaska

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Increases total funding for the University of Alaska by $33.5 million, including $11.3 million in general funds

Department of Law

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Adds $117,500 to the Victim Wellness Notification and Support program to provide for more reliable notification to victims of crime
  • Provides $137,000 for a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney position in Anchorage to handle the significant increase in the number of cases handled by this section over the past two years
  • Allocates $90,000 for an additional Associate Attorney position in the Governmental Affairs Division

Department of Revenue

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Provides $300.0 to fund 370 new Low-Income Housing Choice Vouchers and eliminate the program's waiting list
  • Adds $188.1 for the Alaska Court System Pre Se Project to locate non-custodial parents, enforcing child support orders and collecting payments
  • Funds improvements to the KIDS phone system

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

The budget passed by the Senate Finance Committee:

  • Adds $90,000 for independent living rehabilitation

| Sen. Donley's Page | Sen. Kelly's Page |
| Senate Finance Committee's Page |

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for the 22nd Alaska State Legislature

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Related Links

Legislature Passes Operating Budget

Conference Committee Motion Sheets

Senate Passes Operating Budget

Senate Finance Passes Operating Budget

House Budget Funds State's Top Needs

House Finance Passes Operating Budget

House Finance Committee Announces Allocations

Finance Committees Unveil Budget Bills

House Finance Committee Names Subcommittees

Senate Finance Co-Chairs Name Subcommittees

What are "Missions and Measures"?
Scroll down page to "Results-Based Budgeting & FY01 Operating Budget" section

Alaska's Legislative Finance Division
Budget Details