(JUNEAU) - Governor Murkowski signed House Bill 100 into law today. HB 100 is the supplemental budget for the 2003 fiscal year. More than $71 million in general funds will support disaster relief, education efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas exploration, and programs that require more funding to complete FY 03, which ends June 30th.
"We want to help the governor on these issues by returning this budget to him as soon as possible," Rep. Bill Williams (R-Saxman) said. "The sooner we finish with the supplemental budget, the sooner we can address next year's operating budget."
Of the supplemental $71.8 million in general funds for FY 03:
$19 million will finance fire suppression costs
$10.7 million will pay for disaster relief for events such as last year's earthquake
$1.3 million will fund efforts to open ANWR to oil and gas exploration
$500,000 for the accident involving a corrections transport van on the Seward Highway
$100,000 for the Red Dog Mine air quality dispute
"Supporters of opening ANWR need the money as soon as possible," Williams said. "Everyday that passes is another day that we could have persuaded one more person that this is the right move for Alaska."