Capital Budget done; PFD remains in play - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Capital Budget done; PFD remains in play

Uncomfortable about delaying critical road funding for next year, two of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives voted with the Democrat-led Majority to pass the capital budget Monday, agreeing with a “reverse sweep” to fix funding for programs the Legislature neglected to fund in the Operating Budget.

On day 195 of the Legislative season, and on a third vote in a week, the Capital Budget was not a hill these conservatives needed to die on, as they know the governor has the veto pen and can X-out any items in the budget that were added back, should he choose.

The Capital Budget passed 31-7, with Reps. Dave Talerico and DeLena Johnson voting in favor of it. Only one of their votes was needed to access the Constitutional Budget Reserve. Senate Bill 2002 had passed the Senate earlier this month.

The bill will now head to the Governor’s Desk, where he can approve or veto items such as Power Cost Equalization, funding to pay for the new tough-on-crime legislation, college scholarships or the WWAMI program, a medical education program that allows students from Alaska to study at the University of Washington Medical School.

The Capital Budget is primarily a road bill. It brings millions of dollars in federal funds for road and other infrastructure projects around the state, projects that will start next year.

The Senate is taking up the Permanent Fund dividend bill on Monday. It’s a bill that also has had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of add-back spending in it, as legislators try to undo the governor’s vetoes of the Operating Budget.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • As I understand it the Governor can veto specific budget items in here but cannot undo the Reverse Sweep. And this is precisely having to do with Power Cost Equalization and other specific funds that were swept earlier.

    • Either vote yes on everything to crash the system. Have some Chinese company buy out cities.. or.. vote no on everything.. I say vote yes on everything till it crashes. The demands are always on the rise. This willn’t stop the system from crashing..

      • There must be some code you are speaking here, Robert. What system are you speaking of that must crash?
        You probably need to run for office.

    • You understand incorrectly. The reverse sweep is a bill which means it can be vetoed. It is also a funding bill which means it can be line item vetoed.

      Even the Legislatures “ignore the law and just say what ever the leadership wants” legal department will not try to argue it.

      • You well may be correct Scott, however my source is the Juneau Empire article: https://www.juneauempire.com/news/capitol-live-house-meets-for-vote-to-rescind-pass-new-bill/

        The quote from that article is as follows: “SB 2002 now goes to the governor’s desk. Dunleavy can veto certain items from the capital budget but he cannot undo the reverse sweep.”

        I’m sure that this will be corrected pronto if you are correct. So far this has not been done.

      • It’s all or nothing. No-line item veto and it passed with a veto proof majority. Dunleavy, bringing folks together.

      • By-the-way Scott, that language is still in latest Empire article saying Gov. cannot veto reverse sweep.
        Are you attempting any back-up to your above statement?

      • Say there Scott, it appears that Dunleavy may be able to veto the entire bill thus getting rid of reverse sweep. That may be the only way he can be rid of it.
        Your turn.

  • Bryce has always been able to do this. Had it in his back pocket. Not news. Held off to last minute trying to make Mike look bad. Backfired.

  • Will the Governor have the guts and backbone to line item veto again? Well see

  • I disagree that my Rep., Talerico, is one of the most conservative. He’s not as bad as my horrible Senator Click though.

    • Janet, my husband worked with Click Bishop when Click was a bulldozer driver. He told me that Click was all about collecting power for himself in the Operator’s union hall. Click even got tied up with some nasty, corrupt union bosses, if which he was one himself. Click is not well educated and never was Senate material. He just fancies himself as an important man. Way over his head. We have no respect for him.

      • Yeah, I remember him as a muckity-muck in 302; as you two, unimpressed. I vaguely recall some scandal…any details?

    • You got that right!

  • If you have that many problems with Bishop and Talrico you might be about 50 miles to the right of the Overton Window, or just a nutter.

    .

    Either way, nowhere near the majority of Alaskans.

    • Whatever. Did you Suzanne’s articles on the PFD polls? Hilarious!!

      • That is one issue. If what you are saying is that nothing matters to Alaskans more than their PFD Alaska is in a very sad state.

        .

        Vote for Satan! The only one who will honor a full PFD! Alexis de Tocqueville had much to say about this form of democracy.

  • The majority of Alaskans want their PFD and a Legislature that works on the behalf of them, not some pious, self-centered “elected politicians” that say they know what’s better for us. When Alaskans went to the polls last November, they voted for Republicans who had campaigned on getting us our full PFD and willing to support Mike Dunleavy in all that he wanted to do (anyone remember Cathy Gisell’s ad?). Now that we know their true colors, it’s time to vote them all out!!! What a bunch of phony abalones.

    • I voted pro-life, anti-trans in the opposing bathroom. That happened to be Republican. The PFD as a single issue to vote on is idiotic.

      • Most single issue voters tend to be idiotic. Just my opinion.

        • As we’re observing.

    • @Jeff, when Alaskan went to polls last November, they voted for Republicans who had campaigned on not getting any education cut and taking care of the elder, among others.

      You’re right it’s time to recall the Governor for the treason against his electors.

  • Plato always believed that a government would evolve from a Democracy to an eventual Tyranny.
    In the middle was a period of rule by the Oligarchs.
    He outlined this “power grab” in his classic work “The Republic”.
    I wonder how Americans have gotten to the point of uncontrolled spending?
    “The Capital Budget is primarily a road bill. It brings millions of dollars in federal funds for road and other infrastructure projects around the state…”
    Senators Murkowski and Sullivan both offered Opinions that Alaska cannot miss out on those federal dollars for “infrastructure” yet our federal debt is at a record $22 Trillion Dollars this year…
    Student Debt is also at a record amount of $1.6 Trillion Dollars…
    Somehow government has built a system that is “too big to fail” yet every time that Congress raises the “debt ceiling” those “dead presidents” in your wallet are worth less and less. (Inflation)
    Alaskans need to stop thinking about jobs losses and start thinking of the bigger economical picture.
    I had an economics teacher who ended our class each day with the same phrase:
    “There is no free lunch in life…”

  • In ADN it’s constant with the libtards trying to make me feel like a bad person for wanting my full PFD. I didn’t spend recklessly these past 10 years, I didn’t create the budget deficit. Yet I’m expected to happily turn half my PFD over to the legislature so they can continue with the status quo? It’s BS! Line item veto the latest trash bill Governor Dunleavy. You’ve got my full support!

  • “Uncomfortable about delaying critical road funding for next year, two of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives voted with the Democrat-led Majority to pass the capital budget Monday, agreeing with a “reverse sweep” to fix funding for programs the Legislature neglected to fund in the Operating Budget.”

    Yeah but I thought AKGOP was sooo against all this federal intervention. C’mon AKGOPers, ‘splain it to me. That would be precious.

    • In 2 years there aren’t any roads to drive on because the permafrost ate them. At which point the tourism stops and the TAPS is inaccessible by maintenance crews and goes down at some point in the near future.

      .

      90% of road reconstruction and maintenance come through the Feds. If you can come up with a way to keep their hands of of oil royalties I’m sure the House and Senate are ALL ears.

      • Your comment only applies to road construction and “not” maintenance.

        • Bill Yankee, since around 2000 FHWA has been supplying more of the summer maintenance money under their preventative maintenance program. Very little is done in the summer outside of that program. If I remember right brushing and ditching were about the only activities not covered by the Feds. They’re even supplying paint these days.

          • There may have been some changes but the situation was always maintenance was covered by State funds. Striping was always covered on new construction and even re-paving is considered new construction whereas pothole filling is not.

          • If you go out on the highways Bill you will see patching. Asphalt and other types occuring. Nearly all of M&O forces are engaged in 10/90% work through the construction months.

            .

            Potholing is done catch as catch can (often by foreman) because it is 100% State monies and those are increasingly scarce. M&O also goes out and paints all of those lines each year to keep up with FHWA standards….using 90% FHWA money.

            .

            Without that money M&O wouldn’t be able to pay for their personell or snow removal equipment in the winters turning the camps into a 1/2 time operation at best.

          • “Without that money M&O wouldn’t be able to pay for their personell or snow removal equipment in the winters turning the camps into a 1/2 time operation at best.” While this argument sounds nice it really has nothing to do with how Federal monies go towards maintenance operations. I’m sure the Feds argument is that State funds are good enough. Not surprised that State would push those Fed funds as far as they can.

          • You should familiarize yourself with the FHWA Preventative Maintenance program. You really have no idea at all about what you are talking about. Ask someone in M&O and they will tell you.

          • I was never talking about preventive maintenance.

  • And yes, the matching money for that program is derived from the capital budget.

    • My wife worked in construction for DOT and is now retired-she said that she remembers that in SE they did a bunch of repaving (before it was needed, under the new construction laws) and was considered as preventive maintenance to be covered under Federal funds.
      My earlier comments were relative to general maintenance, but when it comes to something like 90/10 Federal funds you can see the significance of being able to qualify for those funds.

  • M&O has been tapping into FHWA PM monies since around 2000. They actually operate on that money during the construction months charging their equipment rents and employees to the Federal dime. FHWA pays for it and apparently Alaskans are none the wiser.

    • What’s more important here is what the Feds know about it IMO-they regularly audit these programs and evidently are on board. Doesn’t matter what Alaskans think about it-only what Don Young thinks. Heheh!

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