Speaks to Wasilla Chamber of Commerce About Budget Priorities
July 21, 2004
"These budgets invest in those services Alaskans value and recognize as the core functions of state government: education, transportation, public safety, public health, and wise use of Alaska's abundant resources," the Governor said. "By investing in these priorities, we are moving Alaska in the right direction."
In his speech, the Governor highlighted important investments in the FY05 operating budget, including an additional $82 million for K-12 education and funding for additional troopers, prosecutors, and social workers. The Governor also noted the increase to the University of Alaska system of $15.8 million, fulfilling his commitment to increase the university budget by five percent. The budget signed by the Governor also commits additional funds to the Departments of Natural Resources and Revenue for processing stranded gas applications and other resource development projects.
"We are getting this state moving again," said the Governor. "The investments in this budget are critical to realizing our goal of providing good, high-paying jobs and opportunity for our young people so they can stay in Alaska."
The Governor used the occasion to highlight the need to hold the line on state spending.
"Through this budget process, we have continued to prioritize what the state does and have found better, less expensive ways to do business, so the state can afford the things it really needs," he said. "Because of our efforts in reducing government spending, we can afford the increased investments in education, public safety, public health, and natural resources. These investments will pay dividends for Alaskans in the future."
The Governor also revealed his vetoes. Spending reductions totaled $5.2 million, which include: $375,700 in reduced travel across departments, $1 million from the Alaska Marine Highway System from anticipated management savings, $1,015,300 in savings resulting from the failure of union members to ratify the Public Safety Employees Association contract, $193,000 in general savings in the Office of the Governor, $169,400 in administrative savings in the Department of Education and Early Development and $904,500 in anticipated savings due to better management of the statewide equipment fleet.
The Governor also reduced or vetoed several fiscal notes, directing departments to accomplish the work necessary to implement the new legislation within their existing budgets.
The budget legislation was transmitted to the Governor from the Legislature on June 25. He signed the bills on Monday, on the final day allowed under the state constitution.
For complete information on the budget go to the Office of Management and Budget website, at http://www.gov.state.ak.us/omb/.
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