The Budget details
The Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget is a compromise that totals $4.1 billion in Unrestricted General Fund (UGF) spending and another $5.1 billion in other funds which come primarily from user fees and federal funding for things like Medicaid and water quality testing.
The FY18 budget is an austerity budget that is 3% lower than FY17 and makes cuts to the Depts. of Fish & Game, Health & Social Services, Labor& Workforce Development, Law and Revenue. Other sections with cuts include the Governor’s office, the University of Alaska, the Judicial branch and the Legislature.
The budget sets this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend at $1,100 which will save our state about $700 million dollars but which will hurt poor and rural Alaskans more than urban and well-off Alaskans.
The good news is that the K-12 Base Student Allocation (BSA) will be flat funded at $1.2 billion. This reverses the $69 million cut to education advanced by the Alaska Senate.
The other good news is that the House was able to restore $6 million in cuts to Pioneer Homes that the Senate passed.
The Governor has asked us to revisit HB 111 – oil and gas tax subsidy reform. While the Conference committee continues to work on that, I will be coming home to the district next week to save the state per diem and to reconnect with constituents and my family.