From Senator Josh Revak <[email protected]>
Subject The Budget Passes the Legislature - Revak Report
Date June 18, 2021 11:44 PM
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With two weeks remaining in the 2021 fiscal year, the Legislature passed a compromise budget deal on Wednesday...

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June 18, 2021

Revak Report
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With two weeks remaining in the 2021 fiscal year, the Legislature passed a compromise budget deal on Wednesday ([link removed]) . There’s been a lot of talk in the press about how we got here, but I know you all appreciate straight talk, so here it is:

I want the biggest dividend we can afford without pushing us toward taxes or overdrawing our current POMV spending cap.

The House was in a gridlock for the first 30 days of session and remains ideologically divided, with a very narrow majority governing their daily business. To come to some sort of consensus and to avoid a government shutdown, the only way forward was a compromise.

Earlier in the year, the Senate approved a $2,300 dividend while the House did not approve one in their version of the budget. The compromise that came back from negotiations between the Senate and the House was a balanced budget with a $1100 PFD. However, the budget compromise draws from the Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund (CBR) to fund student scholarships, construction projects, and half the PFD. The CBR requires a three-quarter supermajority vote from both the House and Senate to access.

I supported this draw and the larger dividend, but unfortunately, neither the Senate nor the House was able to achieve the three-quarter vote threshold, leaving half the funding for the PFD inaccessible and reducing it from $1,100 down to $525.

Another issue arose with the effective date of the budget. Approving any effective date requires a two-thirds vote of both House and Senate. My Senate colleagues and I approved the July 1st effective date but, unfortunately, it failed in the House, which means the budget will take effect 90 days after the Governor signs it into law. With only two weeks until July, the state could then be shut down for 90 days.

There is precedent and legal opinions from past Governors that allow the budget to be funded without an immediate effective date. However, on Thursday, the Governor made it clear he disagrees with this precedent and has issued pink slips to state employees.

A shutdown doesn’t have to happen, and I am hopeful it can be resolved soon so we avoid that costly and unnecessary possibility.

While I and many others would have liked to see changes to this budget, it is balanced, it does not overdraw our current POMV spending cap, and very importantly, it does not require new massive taxes on Alaskans to be sustained.

I’d love to see a bigger dividend, but I don’t support massive tax increases on you to pay for it. In the meantime, I’ll continue to fight for more reductions to keep spending balanced going forward.

As always, I want to hear from you. Please feel free to email me (mailto:[email protected]) anytime or call my office at 907-465-3879 (tel:907-465-3879) to share your thoughts, questions, or concerns.

I'm honored to serve you and I hope you have great weekend!

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Local Contacts

Track bills by texting a bill number to 559-245-2529 or by visiting ([link removed])
Rep. Laddie Shaw (District 26): 907-465-4945
Rep. Calvin Schrage (District 25): 907-465-4931

Find your Community Council: Online here ([link removed]) or call 907-277-1977
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Anchorage School District: 907-742-4000
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Interim: 1500 West Benson, Room 410, Anchorage, AK 99503

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