Incoming House Rules Committee Chairwoman Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux sent a memo to legislators late Wednesday telling them because of the state’s fiscal crisis she has been forced to raise prices at the State Capitol cafeteria.
In a move billed as an effort to make things more efficient, the new bipartisan Alaska State House Majority says they are revamping subcommittee overview of each state agency’s budget.
Now our friend Patrick Race (@alaskarobotics on Twitter) has created a fantasy league where you can pick your favorite Alaska politicians and play them against other Alaska political enthusiasts’ picks, with a real world based scoring model.
Is the Governor really going to announce a $4.3 Billion budget that includes something for everyone to hate (PFD cut, increases in taxes and fees, elimination of state services and projects, and still a $892 million deficit with a call for a broad-based tax on us all to eliminate it) and think he can distract us from that boatload of pain simply by pointing to a cut in his own pay? As football player Cris Carter would say “C’mon, man!”
Remember yesterday when we told you the new bipartisan House Majority updated the roster of their member’s committee assignments? Well, that was true, but…
I have been writing for months that the Governor’s relationship with state legislators has deteriorated to the point that for him to have any hope of having his vision reflected in passed legislation, he needed to make some changes. Big changes. Staff changes.
They aren’t the biggest or most impactful moves we’ve ever seen at the Alaska State Legislature, but the House Majority today released a new committee assignment roster and there have been changes.
This afternoon Governor Walker’s office released a list of what they say are budget cuts and service closures in the Governor’s proposed FY 2018 Budget.
You can look at the list and judge it for yourself.
We will only point out that several of the items look like fee and rate increases rather that budget or service cuts.
Governor Bill Walker’s fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) budget reduces state spending while supporting vital services and protecting the permanent fund dividend. The proposed $4.2 billion unrestricted general fund (UGF) operating budget is 23 percent lower than when Governor Walker took office two years ago. To lead by example, Governor Walker will take a one-third pay cut.
The main media attention focused on the censure and withdrawal of party support for three Republican legislators who have organized with Democrats in the State House. That may be the sexy headline for mass consumption, but we here at The Midnight Sun prefer to dig deeper into the political ramifications from such a gathering that may go largely undocumented by the mainstream media.