Dave Donaldson, APRN - Juneau
The Governor will likely get a scholarship bill from the Senate, but not quite the one he wants. The Senate Finance Committee Friday approved a plan of requirements for state-funded scholarships for Alaska colleges...
The House today set a priority for state funding – transportation. Members voted to ask Alaskans to approve a constitutional amendment that would set up a dedicated fund that could only be used to pay for transportation projects – even if state revenue falls.
The Senate hasn’t finished its final version of the budget yet, but it currently flat-funds the scholarship program that was one of the governor’s earliest legislative accomplishments.
Local school leaders today got their chance to tell legislators how they are dealing with expected budget deficits for the next school year. The hearings followed the Parnell administration’s presentation yesterday at the opening of the House Finance Committee’s week-long series of meetings focusing on Education.
Lawmakers were interested in how the state will pay for the requirements being put on schools next year. The administration shows increases in contributions to retirement costs and to energy expenses and offers to pay for pupil transportation. But Dillingham Democrat Bryce Edgmon said the whole issue rests on funding
The House today passed a bill the governor requested designed to increase protection for seniors and other vulnerable adults.
The standoff over Governor Parnell’s plan to rewrite the state’s oil tax regime has turned personal. In a letter to Senate Finance Co-Chair Bert Stedman late last week, Parnell referred to Senators working on an alternate tax reduction plan as, “a group of hens in the barnyard.”
The House also today authorized a five year extension of the Renewable Energy Grant fund. In continuing the program, it also informally agreed to contribute $50-million a year to projects fitting into the Fund’s requirements.
The House Monday exempted large non-profits from being financially audited as a part of their collecting donations through the Permanent Fund Dividend distribution. The audit was required as part of the Pick, Click, Give program that allows people to make donations from their annual dividend.
The House today agreed with the Senate’s request that the Arctic Council Task Force consider Alaska’s interests in establishing standards for shipping and oil pollution preparedness for Arctic waters.