The state house yesterday passed the Fiscal Year 2014 statewide operating and budget, moving the Legislature one step closer to satisfying its only constitutional obligation, as well as, following the House Majority Caucus’ Guiding Principle of fiscal responsibility.
The House Finance Committee version of the budget cut $111 million from the Governor’s requested budget, while cutting two percent in state general funds from agency budgets. The bill invests $9.71 billion in state, federal and other funds into education, healthcare, public safety and other state services.
The funding breakdown is $6.49 billion in state general funds, $2.03 billion in federal funds and $1.28 billion in other funds. The state receives 90-percent of its revenues from oil production, and House Finance Committee Co-Chair Alan Austerman noted declining production and volatile pricing played a significant role in the Committee’s decision-making process.
Austerman, the Kodiak Republican said that “This budget begins the process of slowing the growth of government. Looking down the road, we must – must – restart our efforts on long range fiscal planning’
The operating budget now moves to the state senate for further consideration.