The budget language is just the latest attempt by the Dunleavy administration to expand executive power at the expense of the legislature.
John Quick, commissioner-designee for the Department of Administration, had little to offer senators Tuesday, except "efficiencies." They moved his nomination to the next step anyway.
Alaska is still cleaning up the mess an actuary left of the public retirement system. Sen. Bert Stedman used his institutional knowledge to explain the legislature's responses.
Senate Finance held its first hearing on Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Sen. Peter Micciche, proposing major changes to Alaska's Medicaid System. The requirements have proven problematic in other states.
Gov. Dunleavy has promoted natural resource development as an answer to the recession, but his budget hits small business that do just that. Meanwhile, he plans to scrap the Ocean Ranger program that checks cruise industry pollution.
Rather than phase in the rate hike, APH decided to "just do it." But OMB tricks make it look like the Pioneer Homes budget is actually growing.
Senators' concerns range from the constitutionality of the education cuts to the resulting increase in local taxes. The administration's claims that the budget doesn't raise taxes are "not a fact," they say.
A bill reauthorizing the statewide immunization program, tasked with purchasing childhood vaccines and some adult vaccines for distribution across the state, has cleared another committee in the Senate.
Most of the amendments were unenforceable intent language offered by Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla). They were eventually ruled out of order.