Alaska State Legislature
News from the Senate and House Majorities

Wendy Lindskoog (907) 465-4582
Jerry Ritter (907) 465-3804
State Capitol
Juneau, AK 99801
web site:
Actuality line: 1-800-478-6540

Continuing the Commitment That’s Working For Alaska

Five-Year Plan: Spending Reduced $190 Million Since 1996

Child Protection, School Funding, Deferred Maintenance — Top Priorities

For Immediate Release: May 12, 1998

Juneau — The Twentieth Alaska Legislature ended Tuesday evening with the Republican-led Majority once again delivering on its "Commitment to Alaska." Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Gail Phillips praised members of the 20th Alaska Legislature for their two years of hard work and for rising to the challenges facing Alaska.

On the first day of session, the Republican-led Senate and House unveiled their ongoing "Commitment to Alaska" — a mission statement detailing their 1998 priorities. Protecting Alaska’s children topped the list, followed by a commitment to providing excellence in education, addressing the state’s deferred maintenance needs and achieving targets in the Majority’s Five Year plan to reduce state spending.

"The Majority exceeded our Five Year fiscal plan target and achieved total reductions of $190 million in the last three years," said House Speaker Gail Phillips (R-Homer). "We passed a number of bills to address Alaska’s child safety issues, rewrote Alaska’s school funding formula, and implemented a comprehensive deferred maintenance package to fix Alaska’s public facilities, and prevent a maintenance backlog in the future," Phillips said.

"Halfway through our Five-Year plan to close the state’s fiscal gap, oil prices plummeted," said Senate President Mike Miller (R-North Pole). "This gave us greater resolve to continue our commitment to reduce state spending. It’s hard to imagine what our balance sheet would look like had we not introduced, and then surpassed, our five-year plan," Miller said.

"We began the Twentieth Legislature with a ‘Commitment to Alaska’ to deliver a smaller, smarter government," said Senator Drue Pearce (R-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "To accomplish this goal, we stuck to our Five Year Plan and initiated results-based budgeting — a budget process that funds state services based on the measurable results they deliver. Through results-based budgeting, we will enable future legislatures to more wisely allocate state dollars," Pearce said.

"The Majority budget takes care of Alaska’s needs," said Representative Mark Hanley (R-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee. "This budget adds over $80 million to children’s programs to directly help kids, rather than increasing the bureaucracy."

"This year we hammered-out a long overdue rewrite of the state’s education funding formula," Miller said. "Our new plan improves and simplifies the current formula."

According to Miller, the new formula includes additional money to correct funding disparities between school districts and hold rural communities harmless. It adjusts funding on a per student basis, adds a school accountability initiative, a grant funding program, and establishes special needs funding at 20 percent. This improved formula will add $20 million dollars to K-12 school districts and increase public confidence in education funding.

Representative Gene Therriault (R-Fairbanks), Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee, said part of our education package increased funding for the University of Alaska system. "The operating budget for the university increased by $2 million and the capital budget authorizes $54 million in bonding to maintain University of Alaska campuses and includes money to build a new University of Alaska, Anchorage Library. That’s good news for higher education," Therriault said.

"The Deferred Maintenance Task Force, established last year, worked with the administration and communities statewide to identify approximately $1.5 billion in deferred maintenance needs," Speaker Phillips said. "We have taken steps to ensure that our deferred maintenance problem won’t happen again," Phillips said.

"Low oil prices have prevented us from funding these projects out of the Constitutional Budget Reserve. However, low interest rates made bonding through the AHFC an ideal solution," said Senator Bert Sharp (R-Fairbanks), Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "This includes some $54 million for rural school maintenance projects and $29 million for rural school additions and replacements," Sharp said.

More than 30 percent of the Task Force’s recommended projects are included in the FY 99 Capital Budget, Senate Bill 11, and the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation bond package. Repairing schools was the top funding priority following by university buildings and other public facilities including the Anchorage International Airport, roads, ferries, and harbors.

"Regardless of what outside agitators or people with personal political agendas say, the Republican-led Majority has consistently stood-up for rural Alaska," Phillips said. "We have funded tens of millions of dollars worth of projects designed to improve the quality of life in rural Alaska. This includes everything from village safe water projects, to above ground storage tank repair and replacement, school construction and all of rural Alaska’s deferred school maintenance needs," Phillips said.

The Republican-led Majority ends the Second Session of the 20th Alaska Legislature with a record of hard work, proven efficiencies in government operations, a long overdue reform of the politically sensitive education funding formula, a good start on the state’s deferred maintenance backlog, and the sure and certain knowledge that, thanks to its efforts, Alaska is now a safer, healthier place for children.

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Broadcasters: Comments are available on the Majority Actuality Line 1-800-478-6540.

20th Alaska State Legislature Republican-led Majority

"Continuing the Commitment

that’s Working for Alaska"

1997—1998 Accomplishments

Senate President Mike Miller
House Speaker Gail Phillips

Our #1 Priority

Keeping Alaska’s Children Safe and Healthy

The Republican-led Majority is committed to improving the health and safety of Alaska's children. We passed a comprehensive plan that allows swift intervention when children are in jeopardy, increases penalties for child abuse and neglect, and provides basic health care for Alaska's most precious resource — our children.


Our budget adds $80 million dollars to child protection programs. There is money for more front line social workers, more foster parents and training for both. It includes money for legal services that will facilitate quicker transition from foster care to permanent adoption for children who need loving families; and an additional $150,000 was funded for childhood immunizations.

This budget adds money for new troopers to assist in child abuse prevention and investigation. Funding for the courts was also increased to help respond to child abuse cases.

Safe Children

Healthy Children

Excellence in Education

The Republican-led Majority is committed to reforming education, giving Alaska's children an equal opportunity to learn and succeed, and giving parents greater control, choice and involvement in the education system.

First, the Majority implemented Teacher Tenure reform in 1996. In 1997, we passed legislation to establish measurable standards for teachers and students. The education package also made education more accessible to Alaskans by expanding education alternatives including boarding and charter schools. This year, we undertook the daunting task of fixing the way Alaska pays for education, repairing old schools, and building new facilities to accommodate Alaska's growing student population.

New School Funding Formula

The Majority improved and simplified the way Alaska funds education to ensure all Alaska students receive a fair share of state education dollars. The formula includes new money to correct funding disparities between school districts and hold rural communities harmless (except the North Slope Borough). It adjusts funding on a per student basis, adds quality school initiatives and a grant funding program, requires a local contribution from city and borough school districts, and maintains special needs funding at 20 percent. This improved formula will increase public and legislative confidence in education funding.

Repairing and Building Schools for Alaska's Future

First Session Education Legislation

Measurable Standards

Alternative Schooling

New Education Funding Formula

  1. SB 36 creates a more equitable distribution of State Aid
  2. New formula is far less subject to manipulation
  3. New supplemental funding floor provision ensures that no district loses (except the North Slope Borough)
  4. Increased funding will distribute new money to every district
  5. State aid is distributed on a per student basis
  6. Based on actual costs of providing education
  1. Includes 20% block grant to every district for categorical and special education needs
  2. Provides funding for intensive needs students
  3. Places a cap on administrative costs and encourages districts to direct more money into the classroom
  4. Equalizes district correspondence funding
  5. Provides for future study of district cost factors and school definition
  6. Includes quality school initiatives and grant funding program

Safe Neighborhoods Crime Package

When the Republican-led Majority took office, we promised to help make Alaska a safer place to live. On the heels of the No Frills Prison Act, Truth in Sentencing Act, and tougher domestic violence laws, several new measures were passed this year that focus on juvenile offenders, sex crimes, and new prisons.

This year, the primary focus of the Majority’s crime-fighting package was to protect children. We increased penalties for possession and distribution of child pornography and and passed laws that prevent the release from prison of dangerous sexual predators who have not been rehabilitated.

Juvenile Offenders

Protecting Alaska’s Children from Sex Offenders

Prisons and Prisoners

Crime and Punishment

First Session Crime Legislation

Juvenile Crime

Victims Rights

Criminal Justice Reform

Addressing Deferred Maintenance

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What Should Have Been Done Yesterday!

During the first session of the 20th Legislature, the Majority formed a task force to identify the scope of Alaska’s ongoing maintenance needs and the methods of payment to be considered. After extensive statewide hearings, the Deferred Maintenance Task Force identified $1.5 billion in statewide needs and developed a package to repair Alaska’s schools, university buildings, roads, ferries, harbors, airports, and other public facilities.

This year’s deferred maintenance package kick-starts the Majority’s efforts to rebuild Alaska for the 21st Century and establishes a method that will help the state avoid a future maintenance meltdown.

Preventing Deferred Maintenance

Repairing Facilities & Building Schools for Alaska’s Future

The Republican-led Majority is Continuing Its Commitment to Help Rural Alaska

As leaders of the Legislature, the Republican-led Majority promised to be the guardian for all Alaskans, regardless of who they are or where they live. We have kept that commitment to Alaskans across the state.

Funding for Rural Safe Water and Deferred Maintenance Projects

The Republican-Led Majority's "Five Year Plan" at a Glance

In 1996, the House and Senate Republicans worked together to develop a five-year fiscal strategy to ensure Alaska's stability and prosperity into the next century.

The Majority's Five Year Plan calls for less state spending and fewer taxes. The goal is to reduce general fund spending by $250 million over five years. This narrows the fiscal gap while making responsible annual reductions.

The Republican-led Majority is on track with $190 million in general fund spending reductions since fiscal year 1996. We are also on track with our commitment to Alaska to change the budget process to one that is based on delivering results for Alaskans. During the FY 99 budget process, the Legislature worked with state agencies to establish mission statements and define performance measures so Alaskans can assess their accountability. By changing to a results-based method, the Legislature and Administration will be able to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and then provide funding based on what works.

Despite the steep drop in oil prices this year, Alaska's economy is sound. Our state is better able to withstand the variances in oil prices now, than we were in the early 80's. The Republican-led Majority has brought run-away spending under control and changed the budget approach to create a smaller, smarter government.

The Republican-led Majority's Plan provides our state with a secure financial outlook, benefiting Alaskans both present and future.

FY-99 "Results-Based" Operating Budget Proposal

The Republican-led Majority changed the budget process to a Results-Based approach requiring state government to focus on delivering results for Alaskans. The Legislature worked with state agencies to define goals and establish standards that allow Alaskans to measure the agencies’ success in accomplishing those goals. By changing to a Results-Based method, the Legislature and Administration will be able to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and then provide funding based on what works.

This budget continues the Republican-led Majority’s commitment to its Five Year Plan to close the gap. Our plan called for less spending and fewer taxes. We’re on track with over $190 million in reductions in general fund spending since FY 96, surpassing our three year goal of $180 million!

This budget adds more money for more foster parents, more front line social workers, and training for both. Increased funding will help the state respond more quickly to child abuse cases. New money will facilitate quicker transition from foster care to permanent adoption for children who need loving families. New troopers have been authorized to assist in child abuse investigations.

This budget fully funds new students statewide and will, through SB 36, put a new education funding formula into effect so that all Alaska’s children receive a fair share of our education dollars. Funding for the University of Alaska increased by $2 million over last year and supports the Board of Regents’ plan to reduce administrative costs by $10 million over the next three years.

This budget adds money for new troopers to focus efforts on preventing child abuse. New prison beds have been funded to meet the recent court order. Innovative incarceration methods were authorized; including electronic monitoring and culturally sensitive probation and parole programs.

Nearly a third of our state’s Constitutional Budget Reserve – the state’s savings account – will be needed to balance the FY 98 and FY 99 budgets because oil prices have fallen from $23 per barrel just six months ago to an average of $13.22 per barrel since January 1. Now more than ever, we need to continue our reasonable and responsible approach to closing the fiscal gap.

Accomplishments Since Republicans Took Control of the Legislature

Impliment Five-Year Fiscal Plan

Reduced state general fund spending under Five Plan by $190 million

Results-Based Government

SB 76 Established results-based budgeting

Keeping Children Safe and Healthy

SB 117 Adds infant care curriculum to list of health education curriculum
SB 157 Establishes Children's Trust license plates to combat child abuse and neglect
HB 335 Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
HB 375 Revises law affecting children in need of aid and foster care.

Safe Neighborhoods Crime Package

20th Legislature

SB 1 The Alaska No Frills Prison Act
SB 3 Will Allow District Court To Hear Minor’s Curfew Violations
SB 14 Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Insurance Discrimination
SB 17 Creates the crime of deliberate, criminal transmission of HIV
SB 63 Prosecutes minors as adults who use a deadly weapon to commit a violent crime
SB 67 Truth in Sentencing Act of 1997
SB 70 Unlawful Discharge of Firearms
SB 141 Concealed Hand Gun Permits
SB 157 Establishes new license plate to combat child abuse and neglect
SB 284 Strengthens Alaska law regarding domestic animal cruelty cases
SB 323 Increases penalties for sex offenders
SJR 3 Limits prisoner rights to stricter federal rights
SJR 7 Supporting Continued Funding For the Alaska National Guard Youth Corps Challenge Program
HCR 4 Release of Information About Minors
HB 6 Separate Records For Delinquents
HB 7 Authorizes establishment of community dispute resolution centers
HB 9 Right of Crime Victim and Victims of Juvenile Offenses To Be Present At Court proceedings
HB 16 Empowers communities to deal better with juvenile justice issues
HB 22 Civil Liability For Bootleggers
HB 53 Authorizes Fort Greely as a new prison, replaces Sixth Avenue Jail in Anchorage
HB 69 Designating Flunitrazepam as a schedule IA controlled substance
HB 163 Gamma-Hydroxybutrate as a controlled substance
HB 203 Prosecution of fraud cases
HB 252 Requires convicted sex and child offenders to register before release from jail
HB 261 Increases the surcharges on bails and fines
HB 272 Establishes electronic monitoring as alternative to incarceration
HB 405 Increase penalties for not stopping when ordered by a police officer
HJR 59 Forbids desecration of the American flag

19th Legislature

SB 006 Suspend Drivers License For Traffic Violations
SB 013 DNA Evidence in Civil and Criminal Trials
SB 194 Gang Related Crimes
SB 264 Limit Suspended Imposition of Sentence
SB 268 Pretrial Release for Drug Offenders
SB 289 Misc. Laws Relating to Runaways
HB 002 Bootcamp for Youthful Offenders
HB 025 Criminal Discovery Rules
HB 026 Depositions in Criminal Cases
HB 027 Establishing DNA Databank
HB 038 Three Strikes You’re Out
HB 075 Vehicle Theft and Joyriding
HB 104 Disclosure of Juvenile Records
HB 159 Penalties for Drunk Driving
HB 314 Violating Domestic Violence Orders
HB 387 Juvenile Code Revision
HB 446 Nuisance Injunctions Home Rule Municipalities

Excellence in Education

20th Legislature

SB 11 Reimburses tax paying school districts for school construction and maintenance
SB 36 Changes Alaska's education funding formula
SB 134 Recognizes home-schooling in Alaska law
SCR 22 Encourages Kid Voting Alaska programs
HB 145 Establishes exam all new teachers must pass to demonstrate competency
HB 146 Requires high-school students to pass a basic competency exam
HB 147 Allows for expansion of boarding school program
HB 158 Prohibits discrimination in public schools against part-time students
HB 334 Waives University of Alaska tuition and fees for family members of peace officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty
HB 367 Part-time public school student enrollment
HB 407 Repayment of Teacher Scholarship Loans

19th Legislature

SB 301 Postsecondary Education
HB 465 Teacher Tenure Reform

Long-Term Maintenance Solutions

20th Legislature

SB 11 Reimburses tax paying school districts for new school construction and maintenance
SCR 19 Encourages prototypical school design
HB 313 Requires preventative maintenance
HB 315 Operating appropriations for maintenance
HCR 8 Establishes legislative task force to determine deferred maintenance needs, offer solutions and make funding recommendations

Jobs for Alaskans

20th Legislature

SB 110 Creates licensing of landscape architects
SB 159 Creates a new business incentive program
SB 192 Helps ensure maintenance and repair of State vesssels is done in Alaska
SB 352 Expands the Anchorage International Airport through a revenue bond package
SCR 3 Urges Attorney General to defend Northstar Agreement litigation
SCR 20 Supports the state areawide leasing program
SJR 9 Urges US Congress to pass legislation to open ANWR
SJR 13 Urges US Congress to Protect Alaska’s RS 2477 Rights-of-way
SJR 16 Urges US Congress to Reform Endangered Species Act
SB 41 Encourages businesses to conduct environmental compliance audits
SB 56 Creates planned and regulated system of directional signage
HB 58 Civil liability (tort) reform
HB 310 Requires shore based processors to limit waste of bycatch
HB 370 Captures federal funds for 1997 fisheries disaster relief
HB 380 Reduces Cook Inlet oil and gas royalty to spur development
HB 393 Authorizes development of Natural Gas Resources in Alaska
HCR 1 Supports Development of North Slope Natural Gas Pipeline
HJR 12 Supports oil & gas lease sales in National Petroleum Reserve Alaska
HJR 65 Urges U.S. Department of Agriculture to list Alaska wild salmon as an organic food

19th Legislature

SB 112 Discovery Royalty Credit
SB 230 Access to Parks — Recreational Areas
HB 121 Salvage Timber Sales
HB 128 Waste Disposal Permit Exempt
HB 197 Mineral Exploration Credits
HB 207 Royalty Reduction
HB 212 Small Timber Sales
HB 311 Repeal Limit on Hours Employed in Mines
HB 341 Tax Appeals Process
HB 342 Water Quality Standards
HB 388 Areawide Oil and Gas Leasing
HB 394 Gas and Coal Methane Licenses and Leasing
HB 548 Northstar Oil and Gas Lease Amendments

Major Reform Initiatives

19th Legislature

SB 098 Welfare Reform
SB 191 Election Campaign Finance Reform
HB 130 Regulation Process Reform
HB 158 Tort Reform
HB 211 Voter Registration Laws
HB 364 Unlawful Interference with Voting

Protect State’s Rights

20th Legislature

SB 180 Codifies RS 2477 state Right-of-Way
SCR 2 Management of wildlife resources
SJR 9 Urges US Congress to pass legislation to open ANWR
SJR 13 Urges US Congress to Protect Alaska’s RS 2477 Rights-of-way
SJR 16 Urges US Congress to reform the Endangered Species Act
SJR 20 Urges US Congress to amend the Clean Water Act by modifying the wetlands regulatory program
SJR 33 Support the American Fisheries Act
HJR 12 Supports oil & gas lease sales in National Petroleum Reserve Alaska
HJR 57 Amend U.S. Constitution to limit federal courts

19th Legislature

SJR 7 Opposes Federal Mandates on States
SJR 31 Voter Approval - AK Statehood Act Amendment
SJR 38 Toxics Release Inventory Program
SJR 39 EPA’s NPDES Permit for Placer Mining
SJR 40 Extension of Ketchikan Pulp Company Contract
SCR 6 Support State’s Rights Lawsuits
HJR 7 Support Lifting of the Oil-export Ban
HJR 13 Support Opening ANWR
HJR 20 Support 10th Amendment Enforcement Act
HJR 30 Amend US Constitution to Limit Fed Courts
HJR 52 Support Creation of 12th District Court
HJR 58 Support ESA Reform
HJR 59 NPDES Permit For Cook Inlet Oil and Gas
HJR 60 Support RS2477 Rights of Way

Protect Integrity of the Permanent Fund

1995 Deposited $1 billion into the principal of the Permanent Fund – Governor Knowles vetoed making the deposit $500,000
1996 Deposited over $1.3 billion into the principal of the Permanent Fund
1997 Deposited $803 million into the principal of the Permanent Fund

HB 2 Permits certain spouses and dependents who leave Alaska to continue to receive Permanent Fund Dividends.