Subcommittees restored $700 million for Medicaid and $134 million for the University, while asserting their rights as the appropriating branch of government.
A new committee substitute adopted Monday preserves K-12 funding and school bond debt reimbursement. The House sought to cut the latter by 50 percent.
Rep. Cathy Tilton (R-Wasilla) added a budget amendment barring Medicaid reimbursements for abortions, despite the State Supreme Court striking such restrictions multiple times.
Even a small budget cut can take food and shelter from vulnerable Alaskans. Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) announced, "I'm actually happy to see a cut here."
House budget subcommittees are on track to maintain funding for education programs and public assistance, while frustrated minority members staged a walk-out.
Rep. George Rauscher has proposed a second attempt at strengthening the prohibition barring state funding for gender reassignment surgery.
The House Finance Committee received its final subcommittee reports Tuesday, March 26, including from the departments Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed to cut the deepest.
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.
DHSS immediately privatized API, handing management to a company with ties to OMB Director Donna Arduin. The move is expected to cost more money, upsetting legislators and API workers.
Gov. Dunleavy's DHSS budget is likely to concern seniors and low-income Alaskans who depend on State aid, but the $300 million potential hole spooks legislators, too.
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