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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Sine Die

By Rep. Dan Ortiz


July 11, 2021
Sunday PM

On Monday June 28th, the Alaska House of Representative was able to come together for a final passage vote of the state budget, averting a looming government shutdown. The budget totals $4.5 billion in state unrestricted general funds, which is very similar to previous year budgets, continuing the six-year trend of flat spending.

The budget forward funds the Alaska Marine Highway System for 18 months, giving more stability for future season schedules. The budget also includes an additional $2.5 million for Pre-K programs, funds to reopen the Wrangell Fish & Game office, funds for DIPAC and Crystal Lake Hatcheries, and a slight increase over the Governor’s compact to the University.

Unique to this year, the budget includes one-time federal COVID-19 emergency funds that will be given directly to local communities, provide tourism relief, and offset other small business and nonprofit lost revenue.

The effective date provision, which didn’t pass last month and was causing a hold-up, passed 28-10 on June 28th. The affirmative vote came after the House approved a Sense of the House agreeing to form a working group that will negotiate solutions to Alaska’s long-term fiscal issues.

Our work is not done. The working group will begin studying and negotiating ASAP, and the entire legislature will be back in special session in August to try to arrive at a long-term fiscal plan for the state. I hope our plan will resolve the long-standing goal of establishing a sustainable, predictable PFD formula. I look forward to hearing from you as I navigate difficult fiscal conversations and decisions. You can email me at or call my office at 907-247-4672.


Rep.Dan Ortiz
Ketchikan, Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Received June 28, 2021 - Published July 11, 2021

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