22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from Representative Lisa Murkowski

Portrait of Representative Lisa Murkowski, 91.46k. Session:
State Capitol, Room 408
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-3783
Fax: (907) 465-2293

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District 14 and L & C Committee Info

716 W 4th Avenue, Suite 650
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0174
Fax: (907) 269-0177

Sponsor Statement for HJR 2
Biennial State Budget

"Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the duration of regular sessions of the legislature and to a biennial state budget."

Last updated:

March 13, 2001


Representative Lisa Murkowski at (907) 465-4954

In an effort to promote efficiency and effectiveness in state government, I have introduced HJR 2. HJR 2 proposes amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to a biennial state budget. In the first year of a two-year legislative session the Governor would propose and the Legislature would adopt a budget for the next two fiscal years. The second year of the session would be freed up for other legislation and be limited to 60 consecutive days.

As it currently stands, the state budget process is a tedious annual event. This process involves hearings, debates, and closeouts with considerable time spent by the various departments drafting their budgets. Once the agencies have prepared a budget, they must defend and revise, with little time for actual implementation before they start all over again preparing for the next year. A biennial budget would allow agencies to devise their budgets for two fiscal years, giving more time to implement the budget and allow for advanced planning initiatives. This would result in cost efficiencies and greater productivity overall.

With a biennial budget, the "off-year" would then be focused on legislative issues and priorities other than the budget. The off-year length of the session could be significantly reduced from 120 days to just 60 days and be a further cost savings to the state. It should be noted that HJR 2 does not limit other legislation to just the off-year, it would be business as usual with the exception that the budget would be tackled during the first year.

As a resource state, we recognize that Alaska's annual revenue is a moving target. HJR 2 responds to this by allowing for a supplemental budget during the off year as needed, without going through the expense and hassle of a full budget review.

Each year the idea of smaller, smarter government is addressed by the legislature and each year more concepts have been considered and adopted. With a move toward privatization, results-based government, and consolidation of services, we are making progress in that direction. Passage of HJR 2 would continue that success.

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