JUNEAU – Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, released the following statement today, in response to the House of Representatives coming to an agreement on the capital and operating budgets and averting a statewide government shutdown:
“I’d like to thank my colleagues in both caucuses of the House for finding a way to work together to put Alaska first and avoid a government shutdown. The Senate passed the budget and effective dates on June 16, 2021. The Senate was here in special session primarily to support all House members in their quest for a successful 2/3 vote; we are pleased with the outcome. However, make no mistake, we have much work left to do this year. The teamwork that began this week with all four caucuses must continue so that we can pass an acceptable PFD, and a 3/4 vote for the remaining work to be completed in this budget cycle.
“In addition, very few in the Legislature are satisfied with the reduced PFD currently in the budget. We must work together to pass a durable solution to our state’s financial challenges: a protected PFD, solutions to the fiscal deficit and further reductions to government spending. A goal of many in the Senate also includes paying the remainder of the 50-50 PFD once progress is delivered on a fiscal plan.
“With a satisfactory dividend and a realistic plan to balance the budget firmly in place, our economy will have the stability it needs to attract new investment and create good-paying jobs for Alaskans. The Legislature can then focus its energy on its constitutional mandates: quality education for all Alaskans, public safety, quality transportation infrastructure, stronger communities, and the opportunity to develop our vast resources.”