Spohnholz: ‘House Ways and Means Committee provided a clear-eyed look at the options lawmakers have placed on the table to solve Alaska’s budget deficit’
ANCHORAGE – Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from the Legislative Finance Division on Alaska’s financial situation, as well as proposals from lawmakers to close the budget deficit.
Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, who chairs the committee, released the following statement on the information that came to light during the hearing:
“Even with a brightening financial outlook associated with the temporary increase in oil prices, today’s presentation provides an important reminder that the only way to pay historically large dividends is to enact large new taxes or to make deep spending cuts. Legislative Finance confirmed that the ’50-50 plan’ – which spends an equal amount on dividends as we invest in teachers, troopers, and transportation – would only pencil out if we come up with $1.2 billion in cuts or taxes.
I want to thank members of both the House and Senate who have courageously stepped up to introduce elements of a fiscal plan. Overall, the recent work of the House Ways and Means Committee provided a clear-eyed look at the options lawmakers have placed on the table to solve Alaska’s budget deficit, and the series of hearings laid a strong foundation for progress next year.”