May 31, 2015

CONTACT: Travis Smith (907) 258-3077

Senate Republicans punt on House’s budget

Well into the special session, Senate Republicans decide to shoot down the bi-partisan budget passed by the House earlier this weekend.

ANCHORAGE: Early Saturday morning the House Majority and Minority came together and compromised on a budget. The compromise ended a long budgetary tug-of-war between the two caucuses. The bipartisan budget paved the way for the CBR vote, which the Minority voted for unanimously.

Today, Senate Republicans ignored the House’s budget and put forth their own. The committee substitute removed most elements from the House’s budget. Parnell era state worker contracts were stripped, along with the other compromises contained in the House’s bipartisan budget.

The only overlap between the two budgets is education funding. Both include a $16 million payment to education. However, the House placed the $16 million into the Base Student Allocation formula and fully funded the BSA. On the other hand, the Senate made this $16 million a onetime payment, thus making the long-term fiscal outlook for schools unclear.

“When a deal is made, that deal should be honored,” said Mike Wenstrup chair of the Alaska Democratic Party. “Democrats made hard concessions in their bipartisan budget deal. The Senate Majority should put Alaska first by honoring the House’s bipartisan budget.”