There wasn't much education action on Saturday. Senate Finance is hearing a lot of bills, but they are not moving very many bills out of committee this morning. There are a lot of bills on today's Senate Calendar.
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
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.
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.
The subcommittee held their budget closeout Thursday morning and it almost looked like they weren’t going to finish the subcommittee process. Rep. Seaton was very concerned about the subcommittee recommendations, and that the proposed cuts to DEED might be extensive enough that the department would be unable to carry out their mission. Before the recess for joint session it appeared as though members weren’t going to accept the subcommittee report.