In addition, the Legislature:
"History will show that the most important achievement of this Legislature is that we finished the job we set out to do: we reduced government spending by $250 million over five years. We reversed the spending of the 1980`s and early 90's," said Senate President Drue Pearce (R-Anchorage). "Today’s spending levels are a billion less than they were back then."
"The Majority's achievement in prudently reducing the level of government spending is especially noteworthy when it is compared to the constant demands for spending increases from the Administration over the same five year period. $130 million in this year alone," said House Speaker Brian Porter (R-Anchorage). "We have heard a persistent chorus of calls for 'more vision' and 'getting beyond the cuts' but the fact is that, were it not for the Majority's determination to successfully hold the line on government spending, Alaska's fiscal picture would not be nearly as healthy as it is today."
"The Legislature’s spending reductions were made while keeping our eye on the priorities of children, education, public safety and transportation," said Senate Finance Co-Chair Sean Parnell (R-Anchorage). "In addition, after years of tackling this issue, the 21st Alaska Legislature has established and funded a trust to pay for Power Cost Equalization in rural areas, a workable and satisfactory solution to one of Alaska's thorniest problems."
"This Legislature put in a lot of hard work to come up with a funding package that will enable the University of Alaska to head into the next millennium with the resources it needs to fulfill its potential as one of Alaska's prime economic engines," said Representative Eldon Mulder (R-Anchorage), Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee. "The Legislature also worked to promote value-added resource development and to get State land into private hands. A prime example is our authorization, over the Governor's veto, of 250 million acres of land to the University of Alaska to be part of the foundation of the University's economic base."
"The 21st Legislature also continued its efforts to eliminate the regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to economic development that, left unchecked, can often stifle potential development," said Representative Gene Therriault (R-North Pole), Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee. "In conjunction with eliminating these and other barriers to prosperity, the Legislature addressed the regulatory aspects of North Slope natural gas development, as the Legislature continues its efforts to encourage and facilitate the development of these reserves."
"This Legislature put together a bonding package which is designed to provide the most urgently needed construction and maintenance of Alaska's schools and other facilities, especially in rural areas," said Senator John Torgerson (R-Kasilof), Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. "The bonding package contains $198 million dollars for school construction, and the bulk of that money will go to rural areas."
The 21 st Alaska Legislature adjourns with a solid record of achievement, the beneficial effects of which will continue to be enjoyed by Alaskans for years to come. The work of the 21 st Alaska Legislature resulted in responsible State spending through results-based budgeting, enhanced school infrastructure, and opportunities for greater economic development throughout Alaska.
"We adjourn today in an early and orderly manner. This is the earliest we have adjourned since the 121 day deadline was set," said Pearce.
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