Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, co-chair of Senate Finance Committee, asks a question while listening to a presentation by the Department of Education and Early Development at the Capitol, on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, co-chair of Senate Finance Committee, asks a question while listening to a presentation by the Department of Education and Early Development at the Capitol, on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capitol Live: Education cuts receive cold reception in finance committee

The latest news from the Alaska State Capitol.

5:15 p.m.

There are now 64 Senate Bills uploaded to Akleg.gov. Some of these have been submitted by Gov. Mike Dunleavy as part of his criminal reform package, Senate Bills 32 – 35.

Now Dunleavy has submitted another round of bills that concern the budget. Senate Bills 57 – 59, 61 – 64 are companion bills to the budget. Take SB 57 for example. This would repeal the law that allows a municipalities, such as the North Slope and Fairbanks North Star boroughs to collect a property tax from oil and gas companies. It would allow the state to collect those tax dollars instead.

For Dunleavy’s budget to work as it has been proposed, these companion bills would need to be passed. For example, the proposed budget relies on those property taxes redistributed to the state as outlined in SB 57 as a revenue source.

If SB 57 is not passed, money will need to found elsewhere to produce a budget in which revenues equal expenditures. The fate of the other budget bills would have a similar affect on Dunleavy’s budget.

— Kevin Baird

12 p.m.

The Senate Finance Committee grilled the members of the Office of Management and Budget as they received an overview of the Department of Education budget. Education Commissioner Michael Johnson was present, too.

“I think the conversation that just happened is incredibly important to Alaska,” said Mike Barnhill. He is a policy analyst in the OMB. “There is literally no plan we can put before this committee to which there is some element someone won’t hate.”

The Student Base Allocation, or the money spent per student, would be lowered from about $5,900 per student to $4,800, under the governor’s proposal. The Anchorage School District alone would lose about $85 million under this proposal.

In light of the massive cuts to the Department of Education, Sen. Natasha Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, says Alaskans have an important question to contemplate about cuts to the budget as they receive a full Permanent Fund Dividend.

“This is what it looks like to pay out a full dividend,” Von Imhof said.

The House floor session is about to begin.

— Kevin Baird

11:30 a.m.

The Alaska House did not conduct much business today. The House will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday. House members are caucusing.

— Kevin Baird

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 19

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 23, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House approves relaxed environmental rules for ‘advanced recycling’

Applies to facilities using high heat or chemicals to turn plastic garbage into raw materials.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
House passes $680 BSA increase, with other education provisions

Bill now returns to Senate, which must pass it unchanged before it can head to the governor’s desk.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

Most Read