Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have trimmed Gov. Sean Parnell’s operating budget by two percent.
The $9.7 billion budget was released on Monday, and every department except for corrections saw its funding brought down. Behavioral health services were reduced by $8 million, and $1 million was cut from early education.
Leadership in the House and Senate have emphasized the need for a tighter budget with oil production on the decline. The state may be facing its first deficit in nearly a decade, and could have to tap into its $16 billion reserve fund.
The finance committee is taking public testimony on the budget this week, and the bill could be up for a vote as soon as next week. After that, it will be transmitted to the Senate.
- “Scrap it,” said Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assemblyman Steve Colligan. “We would be better off spending $500,000 to send it to the scrapyard.”
- Some 34,000 Alaskans are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits but don't apply. That's $65 million from the federal government that's not getting into local economies.
- Nick Pletnikoff, who has autism, was pepper-sprayed outside his home by Kodiak police in September. He was never charged with a crime. The family is suing for more than $100,000 plus punitive damages.
- Scalia was perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the Supreme Court. In his 29 years on the court, he achieved almost a cult following for dissents.