Legislature(2017 - 2018)

2017-10-06 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2017-10-06                     Senate Journal                      Page 1595
SB 23                                                                                                                         
Message dated July 31 was received stating:                                                                                     
On this date, I have signed the following bill passed during the third                                                          
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:                                                                                         
         FREE CONFERENCE CS FOR SENATE BILL                                                                                     
         NO. 23 "An Act making appropriations, including                                                                        
         capital appropriations, supplemental appropriations,                                                                   
         reappropriations, and other appropriations; amending                                                                   
         appropriations; making appropriations to capitalize                                                                    
         funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                          Chapter 1, TSSLA 2017                                                                                
                      [Effective Date: See Chapter]                                                                            
As passed by the Legislature, FCCS SB 23 contains a total of $1.4                                                               
billion, including $128 million in unrestricted general fund                                                                    
appropriations for FY2017 and FY2018. The bill prioritizes funding                                                              
for projects that leverage federal and local dollars; housing and                                                               
energy; and urgent state, school district, and university facilities                                                            
maintenance. Spending must be taken in context of the fiscal deficit                                                            
and remaining savings, given our difficult fiscal time.                                                                         
I commend the Legislature for limiting capital appropriations. The                                                              
State of Alaska is at a critical juncture. The balance of the                                                                   
Constitutional Budget Reserve is projected to be just $2 billion by the                                                         
end of FY2018. There will be insufficient savings to fund the FY2019                                                            
budget. I have not utilized my line item veto power on this piece of                                                            
legislation. However, a long-term, sustainable fiscal plan is needed                                                            
now. Our savings are all but gone, and our bond rating continues to                                                             
fall. I will continue to work with the Legislature to act on revenue                                                            
measures to bring closure to our fiscal crisis. Alaskans deserve a                                                              
solution now.                                                                                                                   
Bill Walker