June 3 Capitol Report

June 3, 2021

Special Session Continues

Today is the fifteenth day of the Alaska Legislature’s first special session. Lawmakers continue to meet on the FY22 Budget (HB 69) and discuss changes to management of the Alaska Permanent Fund (HJR 7). The special session runs until June 19 and we expect budget negotiations to continue during the next two weeks. Discussions about the Permanent Fund will likely be rolled over to the second special session in August.

The Budget Conference Committee has met five times so far, and has agreed on several small items in state agency budgets. The committee will determine the Legislature’s final funding level for the University of Alaska. While Governor Dunleavy recommended a $257 million unrestricted general funds (UGF) budget for UA, the Senate has proposed $267 million and the House proposed $273 million. The Senate’s Capital Budget also shows great support for our university, proposing $31.6 million in capital funding for UA deferred maintenance.

In addition to funding levels, the Governor and the House have endorsed a single appropriation for UA’s operating budget. This is an important detail. A single appropriation allows for more efficiency and flexibility to meet budget constraints. A single appropriation has allowed UA to react quickly to the needs of communities in delivering health care programs, mine training, and other high demand workforce training that would be cumbersome to deliver with multiple appropriations. From a management perspective, a single appropriation allows the BOR the ability to manage all funds, including transfers, in the most efficient way possible.

Your Government Relations Team remains actively engaged with lawmakers and their staff in Juneau, and we hope to have additional updates in the coming days.