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Portrait of Senate Finance 
		Co-Chair, Senator Sean Parnell Portrait of Senate Finance Co-Chair, 
		Senator John Torgerson

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

Senator John Torgerson
State Capitol, Room 516
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2828
Fax: (907) 465-4779
Send E-Mail

Funding Amendment Marks Senate Finance's Commitment To Fully Fund the University of Alaska

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2000
Contact: Senator Sean Parnell at (907) 465-2995

Juneau -- Wednesday night, the Senate Finance Committee approved an amendment to the operating budget to give the University of Alaska $8.5 million. The committee emphasized they were making an investment in Alaska's future.

In early February, University of Alaska President, Mark Hamilton, told a joint meeting of the Senate and House Finance Committees, "I need $16.9 million." Hamilton's request has reverberated across the state.

"Well the message has been loud and clear from the people of Alaska in this legislative session and that is they want to fully fund the University of Alaska," said Senator Gary Wilken (R-Fairbanks), a member of the Senate Finance Committee. "Tonight I look at the glass as half full and not half empty. We have a lot of work to do and we'll continue to do that over the next month."

During last night's deliberations, Wilken offered an amendment to fully fund the university. Senator Sean Parnell (R-Anchorage), Senate Finance Co-Chair, offered an amendment to Wilken's request that would provide $6.5 million in unexpended funds from this year's operating budget appropriation for K-12 schools and an additional two million dollars in receipts from the student loan fund.

"The Senate Finance Committee added money to the university's budget to direct funding in a couple of areas," said Parnell. "We want to make sure that the funding went into the classroom to provide coursework that's geared to jobs in Alaska's future and coursework that allows students to complete their degrees in a timely manner. I think this represents a significant investment in Alaska's future and it represents a vote of confidence in our university's part in Alaska's future."

The operating budget will move to the Senate floor next week for consideration.

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Broadcasters note: Audio comments are available on the Majority Actuality line, 1-800-478-6540
= Gary Wilken, 76 K = Sean Parnell, 56 K

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