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Senator Sean Parnell Portrait of Representative Eldon Mulder

Senator Sean Parnell
State Capitol, Room 518
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2995
Fax: (907) 465-6592
Send E-Mail

Representative Eldon Mulder
State Capitol, Room 507
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2647
Fax: (907) 465-3518
Send E-Mail

Finance Committees Bypass Governor and Introduce Budget Bills

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2000
Contact: Senator Sean Parnell at (907) 465-2995 or
Representative Eldon Mulder at (907) 465-2647

Juneau -- The House and Senate Finance committees introduced their own budget bills Monday, breaking with the tradition of working directly from the governor's proposed spending plan for the coming year. The Finance Committee co-chairs said they were left with no choice but to take this unprecedented action after the Knowles Administration ignored the clear message of last fall's statewide budget advisory vote and proposed a spending hike of more than $100 million for Fiscal Year 2001.

The bills introduced by the House and Senate Finance Committees virtually mirror last year's budget that was passed and contain no new spending. The Finance Committee co-chairs noted that the legislature and governor reached bipartisan agreement on last year's budget bill and called on the governor to use that common ground with them as a starting point for budget deliberations.

"On September 14, the people spoke, and we heard them, loud and clear," said Senator Sean Parnell, (R-Anchorage), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "Alaska voters said they don't want to see state spending go up and up. Instead, Alaskans want State government to live within its means and to produce results."

"The governor sees the current temporary spike in oil prices as an excuse to spend at a rate we can't sustain to get results we cannot measure," said Representative Eldon Mulder (R-Anchorage), co-chair of the House Finance Committee. "Using results-based budgeting to prepare next year's spending plan, committee members will begin by examining what the Administration has done with the money already provided in last year's budget.

"It's not fair to our kids to simply throw more and more money at the challenges that face Alaska, " Mulder said. "We all want our children to attend excellent schools, walk safe streets and enjoy a clean environment. If there's evidence that more money is the key, we'll be glad to talk about adding more money. But we won't spend more than we're spending now without having an honest, public discussion about it first."

Last year the Legislature passed, and the governor signed, a $2.294 billion budget, which drew almost $500 million from the Constitutional Budget Reserve, the state's savings account. In December 1999, the governor proposed a $2.4 billion budget taking over $830 million from the CBR, leaving the balance at just $1.39 billion. The Republican-led Majority has pledged to reduce General Fund spending by $30 million this year to achieve the five-year, $250 million reduction promised in its "Commitment to Alaska."

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Attachments:
  Spreadsheet Comparison in *.pdf format
HB 313: Appropriations - Operating Budget
SB 217: Appropriations - Operating Budget

Broadcasters note: Audio comments are available on the Majority Actuality line, 1-800-478-6540
= Sean Parnell, 27 K = Sean Parnell, 17 K
= Eldon Mulder, 21 K = Eldon Mulder, 43 K
= Eldon Mulder, 46 K

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