Budget bill introduced

Vetoed portions of the operating budget Gov. Bill Walker signed this week were packaged into new legislation, House Bill 2001, and introduced to the House Finance committee during its first meeting of the second special session.

 

Combined, the partially funded HB 72 — the budget bill Walker signed — and HB 2001 are the equivalent of the full operating budget passed with minority objection on April 27.

The budget requires $2.1 billion to fund state agency operations for fiscal year 2016. Another $1 billion is needed to cover debt service, fund capitalization and retirement accounts.

During the committee meeting, Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, discussed the possibility of gathering funds from all available state savings accounts to fund the $2.1 billion and get around a three-quarter majority CBR vote.

“Most of those programs, whether it’s scholarships or Power Cost Equalization, we can still fund those they will just need to be funded next year,” Wilson said.

Exactly how much the state has available in its various fund and savings accounts was unknown in the meeting.

Public testimony on the budget is scheduled to be taken from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

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