2011 Budget Information

SB 84 – Vocational Education & Basic Funding/Tax Credits

The House Finance Committee heard and moved SB 84 Thursday evening. They adopted a committee substitute that substantially changed the bill.

The House Finance Committee substitute:
• Removes the BSA increase
• Removes the Seward Sea Life Center as an institution allowed to receive certain corporate tax credit donations
• Adds annual intercollegiate sports tournaments as an allowable organization to receive certain corporate tax credit donations

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A Quick Recap of Monday's Action

There was a lot of action Monday on education issues, in addition to release of the Capital Budget by the Senate Finance Committee.  It is the intent of the Senate Finance Committee that Section 13 of the capital budget (SB 46, http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2046&session=27) be considered as a single investment in grants for school constr

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Senate Passes SB 84 to increase the BSA by $110 for FY 12

The big news today is the senate passed SB 84 - Vocational Education & Basic Funding/Tax Credits (http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20%2084&session=27). The Finance Committee substitute includes a one-year increase to the BSA of $110 for FY 12 and a vocational funding factor of 1 percent. The Finance Committee removed BSA increases for FY 13 and FY 14.

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SB 100 - PERS Termination Costs

On Tuesday, March 29 the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee heard SB 100 - PERS Termination Costs (http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_bill.asp?bill=SB%20100&session=27).  Michael Lamb of the Fairbanks North Star Borough testified that if a PERS employer reduces their employee count by altering or suspending a program or service, then PERS can send that employer three bills:

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Chenault Supports Increased Funding for Education, and Legislators Continue to be Concerned with how the Current DEED Commissioner was Appointed

Two big items from Monday, March 28  are:
1. During the House Majority press conference Speaker Chenault expressed support for increased funding for education.

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A Few Tidbits from the Past Week

The Senate Finance chairmen have emphasized several times lately that they anticipate a healthy capital budget this year. Among the items they suggested may be considerd for increased funding are deferred maintenance and DEED items and energy projects in both urban and rural Alaska to decrease the cost of energy and increase dependability.

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Senate Finance Hearing on the FY 11 Supplemental Budget

The Senate Finance Committee heard SB 76, the FY 11 Supplmental Budget on Friday, March 18.  Chairman Hoffman said the spring 2011 revenue forecast is due soon, and they anticipate more than sufficient funds as a result of higher oil prices, and so will be able to put more money into savings. The fiscal summary shows a surplus in excess of $2 billion, if oil continues at the current rate. Even if prices drop, there should still be a substantial surplus.

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Senate Finance DEED Budget Closeout

Chairman Egan, and Sens. Stevens, Davis, and Paskvan were all present for the budget closeout on Tuesday, March 15. The subcommittee accepted the governor’s budget for the most part. This is good news for people concerned about reductions made in the house. If this budget passes the senate, then it sets the ceiling for the conference committee. The conference committee will settle on numbers somewhere between what the house passes and what the senate passes. They cannot exceed the highest amount passed.

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Update on the Operating Budget and BSA Legislation

Rep. Bill Thomas, co-chairman of the House Finance Committee, said the operating and mental health budgets, HB 108 and HB 109, will be on the House Calendar by Wednesday, March 9, and will probably be transmitted to the Senate by Friday. The committee will be considering committee amendments on Tuesday, March 8.

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