22nd Alaska State Legislature
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Finance Committees Unveil Budget Bills
FY 02 Spending Plans Start From FY 01 Management Plan

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2001

Contact: Senator Dave Donley at (907) 465-3892
Representative Eldon Mulder at (907) 465-2647

(JUNEAU) -- Working to maintain fiscal discipline and avoid wrangling with the governor over dueling budgets, the House and Senate Finance Committees will use last year's management plan, their last point of agreement, as the basis for writing this year's budget, co-chairs announced today.

"Writing the budget is a complicated process that involves a lot of give and take on all sides," said Rep. Eldon Mulder (R-Anchorage) co-chair of the House Finance Committee. "We all agreed on the management plan last year, and it simply makes sense to start our work from that foundation this year."

The management plan is the budget approved by the Legislature and modified by supplemental spending requests and interim adjustments. It represents a full and accurate picture of the amount of state spending from all sources authorized for FY 01, which ends June 30, 2001.

"By exercising fiscal prudence in the past five years, the Republican-led Majorities have stretched state dollars and preserved $1.4 billion that would have been spent under the governor's budgets," said Sen. Dave Donley (R-Anchorage), Senate Finance co-chair. He cited the Majorities' success in reorienting the budget process to restore accountability, achieving reform in the areas of teacher competency and tenure, tort law and welfare, cutting bureaucracy, increasing non-oil state revenue and boosting education support at both the K-12 and university levels.

"We must resist the temptation to abandon this path and go on a spending spree," Mulder said. "Starting from the management plan, we'll work through the subcommittee process to identify how well agencies have used the state's investment, and whether we need to make any further adjustments."

The House Finance Committee introduced House Bills 103, the operating budget, and HB 104, authorizing Mental Health Trust funds. The Senate Finance Committee introduced Senate Bills 69 and 70 to perform the same functions.

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= Eldon Mulder, 72 K

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