Legislature(2017 - 2018)

2017-07-01 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

2017-07-01                     House Journal                      Page 1715
HB 57                                                                                                                         
The following letter was dated June 30 and received July 1 at                                                                   
10:37 a.m.:                                                                                                                     
"Dear Speaker Edgmon:                                                                                                           
On this date, I have signed the following bill passed during the second                                                         
special session of the Thirtieth Alaska State Legislature and am                                                                
transmitting the engrossed and enrolled copies to the Lieutenant                                                                
Governor's Office for permanent filing:                                                                                         
    CONFERENCE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 57                                                                                         
    "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan                                                                    
    program expenses of state government and for certain programs;                                                              
    capitalizing funds; repealing appropriations; making supplemental                                                           

2017-07-01                     House Journal                      Page 1716
    appropriations and reappropriations; making appropriations under                                                            
    art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the                                                          
    constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective                                                          
    Chapter No. 1, SSSLA 2017                                                                                                   
    [Effective Date:  See Chapter]                                                                                              
The State of Alaska finds itself at a critical juncture.  Unrestricted                                                          
general fund revenue has fallen significantly over the past three years                                                         
and even under optimistic assumptions, neither oil prices nor                                                                   
production are expected to increase sufficiently to make up for these                                                           
large revenue shortfalls in the near term.  Projected FY2018                                                                    
unrestricted general fund revenue is $1.9 billion which is $7.6 billion                                                         
and 80 percent less than in FY2012 and as a result a significant                                                                
savings draw is still needed even after substantial reductions to the                                                           
budget. The balance of the Constitutional Budget Reserve is projected                                                           
to be just two billion by the end of FY2018, representing a drawdown                                                            
of over $14 billion since FY2014 of our primary savings account.  In                                                            
short, there will be insufficient savings to fund the FY2019 budget.                                                            
I'm encouraged to see many priorities such as funding for K-12                                                                  
education and State Troopers included in the budget and I remain                                                                
optimistic that the Legislature will act on revenue measures such as                                                            
Permanent Fund restructuring, broad-based taxes, oil and gas tax                                                                
credit reform, and motor fuels taxes.  As a result, I have not utilized                                                         
my line item veto power on this piece of legislation.  Without                                                                  
additional fiscal plan elements, the uncertainty for Alaskans continues.                                                        
My administration remains committed to providing any assistance                                                                 
necessary to enact a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan that is balanced                                                        
and fair.  Our savings will not last much longer and our bond rating is                                                         
falling. All Alaskans embrace a vision for the State that provides                                                              
government services to needy Alaskans, maintains infrastructure,                                                                
educates our children, and creates an environment where businesses                                                              
want to invest and grow the economy.                                                                                            

2017-07-01                     House Journal                      Page 1717
I urge you to pass appropriate revenue measures to give Alaskans and                                                            
investors greater certainty and confidence in Alaska's future.                                                                  
Bill Walker