Alaska Oil and Gas Association President Kara Moriarty told the House Resources Committee that companies can’t afford higher costs when oil prices are low.
Health and Social Services was the department that received the deepest cuts. They include eliminating $5.18 million in cash assistance to seniors, and $3 million in behavioral health grants.
Combined with Gov. Bill Walker’s proposed $15 million cut, the university would lose one in seven dollars in state funding.
Reductions include $9.8 million in cuts to education programs, as well as cutting all $2.7 million in state funding for public broadcasting.
Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford told the House Finance Committee the change reflects slow negotiations with the state’s three pipeline partners, as well as the low price of gas.
There are three proposals to help close the state’s budget shortfall using the Permanent Fund. Legislators are weighing which — if any — to support.
House members are questioning the depth of analysis of Walker’s proposed oil and gas tax proposals.
“This is hard stuff. If it was easy, Alaska would have done it long ago,” Health Commissioner Valerie Davidson told lawmakers.
Changes are coming to state plans for a liquefied natural gas pipeline, but the governor and the state’s three pipeline partners aren’t ready to say what those changes will be.
The governor said Myers told him he wanted to retire in October, but Walker gave him time to reconsider.