The House debated substantive amendments to the operating budget Wednesday, April 10, rejecting cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System and Medicaid.
Most of the amendments were unenforceable intent language offered by Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla). They were eventually ruled out of order.
“Given the current political lay of the land, this bill makes sense. But... the State is going to need new revenue someday,” said Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage).
Rep. Cathy Tilton (R-Wasilla) added a budget amendment barring Medicaid reimbursements for abortions, despite the State Supreme Court striking such restrictions multiple times.
Rep. Ben Carpenter (R-Nikiski) said that rather than fund dyslexia screening, he could check out a library book to learn to recognize dyslexia. He then moved to cut library operations.
Dunleavy’s Constitutional Amendment Requiring Voter Approval for Taxes Could Allow Legislature to Override Public...
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voiced concerns over a provision in Gov. Dunleavy's Americans for Prosperity-backed constitutional amendment that would give lawmakers veto power over tax-related voter initiatives.
House Finance voted to keep forward-funding of public education, but it voted to cut all school bond debt reimbursement.
Committee members struggled with building a new Denali visitor center when there is a $9 billion backlog of deferred maintenance.
The legislature's counsel is raising questions as to whether or not Gov. Dunleavy's proposed spending cap is a constitutional amendment or revision.
“I’m likely to support this bill, but I want it clear that I do it with sadness because I think there’s been a lack of resolve since 2015 to have a comprehensive fiscal plan,” Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) said.