SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

The House Passes a Budget

By Rep. Dan Ortiz


March 09, 2020
Monday PM

Earlier last week, the Alaska House of Representative passed the operating budget. It took the House 43 days of session to pass the budget, which is the fastest we have passed one since 1993. I am proud with how quickly, efficiently, and cooperatively we worked to get it done.

The budget is $4.45 billion in Unrestricted General Funds (UGF), which reflects total state spending. It is a relatively flat budget that is similar to last year and within $10 million of the Governor’s proposal.

Despite the limited spending, we were also able to add back funds for services that we prioritize. One of the most important increases was the $18.7 million to our Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). Pioneer Homes received an additional $5 million. We restored $1 million of the $2.7 million that was vetoed by Governor Dunleavy last year for Public Radio. The Ocean Ranger Program was reinstated. We increased our Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program by $1 million and added monies to the Troopers to hire an additional 36 positions.

The House operating budget did not include a dividend amount, and we will address that appropriation in a different bill this session. Now the operating budget goes over to the Senate for their input. If you have any comments or questions regarding the House budget, feel free to email me at


Rep. Dan Ortiz
Ketchikan, Alaska



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was edited by the SitNews Editor. [this to last week]

Received March 05, 2020 - Published March 09, 2020


Alaska House of Reps passes operating budget in record time; Now heads to Senate for consideration
SitNews - March 03, 2020


Representations of facts and opinions are solely those of the writers and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

Published letters become the property of SitNews.

SitNews ©2020
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews are considered protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.