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Portrait of Senate President Senator Drue Pearce House Speaker Brian Porter
Senator Drue Pearce
State Capitol, Room 111
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4993
Fax: (907) 465-3872
Send E-Mail
Representative Brian Porter
State Capitol, Room 208
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-4930
Fax: (907) 465-3834
Send E-Mail

Making Alaska’s Government Work for Alaskans
21'st Legislature Adjourns, Leaving a Smaller, Smarter State Government and a Safer, Stronger Alaska

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2000
Contact: Senator Drue Pearce at (907) 465-4993 or
Representative Brian Porter at (907) 465-4930.

General Fund Maintenance Budget vs. General Fund Actual Authorizations

Juneau -- The 21st Alaska Legislature adjourned Wednesday evening, six days early, leaving a record of solid accomplishments and a legacy of farsighted and clearheaded vision for Alaska’s future. The Republican-led Majority delivered on its "Commitment to Alaska" to make Alaska’s government smaller and smarter and to make Alaska safer and stronger. The Legislature reduced spending by $250 million over five years resulting in a smaller fiscal gap. We also prioritized essential services in:


Education:
  • Added $10.2 million to the existing budget for the University of Alaska.
  • Fully funded K-12 education and added $6.2 million in Learning Opportunity Grants to help prepare students to pass the state graduation exit exam.
  • Provided an additional $4.9 million for pupil transportation

Public Safety:

  • Provided funding for more state troopers and more prosecutors.
  • Added $3.1 million for juvenile detention centers, including new facilities in Palmer and Ketchikan, and expansion of Anchorage and Bethel facilities.

Transportation:

  • Reopened road maintenance stations across Alaska to keep state roads plowed and maintained.

In addition, the Legislature:

  • Introduced and implemented Results-Based budgeting, basing its funding allocations on results from previous years’ allocations.
  • Approved clearly defined missions and measures, requiring State departments and agencies to achieve these goals and to account for their budgeted funds.
  • Passed legislation to sell the Four Dam Pool project to the local communities and placed the proceeds of that sale, along with a $100 million draw from the Constitutional Budget Reserve, into a special account to fund Power Cost Equalization to provide for rural Alaska’s future electricity needs.
  • Implemented the recommendations of its Joint Committee on Privatization and Delivery of Government Services to privatize appropriate government services.
  • Approved a proposed constitutional amendment containing substantive definitions relating to the constitutional amendment process, negating the effects of the Bess v. Ulmer decision, and retaining power in the people.
  • Met foster care, subsidized adoptions, childcare and daycare needs.
  • Adopted a regulatory framework for the eventual development of North Slope Natural Gas and creation of a natural gas pipeline.
  • Provided funding for school construction and maintenance across Alaska, including the University.

"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.

# # #

Attachments:

Broadcasters note: Audio comments are available on the Majority Actuality line, 1-800-478-6540
= Brian Porter, 73 K = Brian Porter, 62 K
= Brian Porter, 80 K = Eldon Mulder, 106 K
= Eldon Mulder, 98 K = Gene Therriualt, 69 K
= Sean Parnell, 73 K = Drue Pearce, 49 K
= Drue Pearce, 23 K

| Top | Senator Pearce's Page | Representative Porter's Page |
| Senator Parnell's Page | Representative Mulders's Page |
| Senator Torgerson's Page | Representative Therriault's Page |