News from the Senate and House Majorities
Legislature Passes Operating Budget
(JUNEAU) - The House and Senate today both approved the state operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2001.
"We have provided funding to continue most state services at current levels, and added significant funding increases for Alaskans' top priorities," said Rep. Eldon Mulder (R-Anchorage), co-chair of the House Finance Committee. "Our efforts over the last five years to find cost savings and budget reductions has paid off, allowing us the flexibility to provide additional funding for education, public safety and public health."
The appropriations in the two bills that outline the fiscal year 2002 budget, House Bills 103 and 104, total $4.63 billion, including $2.25 billion from state general funds, $1.14 billion in federal funds, and $1.25 billion from other sources such as dividends from state-owned corporations. The budget approved by the finance committee preserved and enhanced essential state services, yet came in more than $60 million below the governor's requested level of funding.
"By employing missions and measures, the Finance committee members were able to prioritize state investment toward the agencies and programs that are delivering demonstrable results to benefit Alaskans," Mulder said.
"Alaskans told us education is a priority and the we agreed, providing the largest increase in education funding that our state has seen in years," said Sen. Dave Donley (R-Anchorage), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "These additional education funds will give all of our schools more resources to help all Alaska's children receive an outstanding education. In addition to the operating budget, Senate Bill 174 provides relief to local taxpayers from growing education costs."
Highlights of the operating budget include:
"When you look at the funding provided in this budget, it is easy to see that we are providing substantial investments in Alaskan's priorities," said Mulder. "Minority members and the governor have claimed otherwise, but the numbers speak for themselves."
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