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Senator Sean Parnell Session:
State Capitol, Room 518
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2995
Fax: (907) 465-6592
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716 W 4th Avenue, Suite 530
Anchorage, AK 99501-2133
Phone: (907) 269-0250
Fax: (907) 269-0249

Alaska Senate Establishes Missions for Government

For Immediate Release: May 12, 1999
Contact: Senator Sean Parnell at (907) 465-2995

Juneau -- Each department and division of Alaska's state government will have a legally-established mission and definable performance measures under Senate Bill 169, "Operating Budget Missions and Measures," which passed the Senate on Wednesday.

"We have an obligation to make sure state government, at every level, is fulfilling its mandate to serve the people of Alaska," said Senator Sean Parnell, Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which introduced the bill. "It makes it clear just what we expect the executive branch to accomplish with the money we appropriate."

The bill's passage is the latest step in the Senate Republicans' effort to implement results-based budgeting. Results-based budgeting is the practice of establishing objective performance measures for state agencies, so lawmakers can evaluate how effectively these agencies are spending state money.

"Our $1.1 billion fiscal gap is forcing state departments to fulfill their missions with less resources," said Senator John Torgerson, Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "This bill is a prudent step to ensure that our government is properly oriented to accomplishing exactly what the people want."

The Legislature last year enacted missions for several state programs, but Governor Tony Knowles vetoed them from the 1999 operating budget. Senate Finance subcommittees worked with department officials again this year, and developed a full slate of missions and measures for all departments and divisions.

"This bill is a critical part of the Legislature's overall strategy of addressing our current financial challenge by reducing state expenditures, consolidating appropriate state functions and guaranteeing efficiency," said Senator Parnell.

Senate Bill 169 passed the Senate by a 15-5 vote, and now moves to the House of Representatives.

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