(Juneau) - The Alaska House passed the Fiscal Year 2013 Capital Budget last night, investing in infrastructure projects across the state ranging from roads, harbors and airports, to grants to communities and maintenance.
We prioritized anchor infrastructure and education, continuing to build out the state and keep up on maintaining our buildings, roads, harbors and airports.
~ Rep. Bill Stoltze
The budget, Senate Bill 160, funds hundreds of projects and grants on items like numerous school renovations and equipment purchases, and big items like $105 million for University of Alaska Fairbanks engineering buildings and $51.5 million for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's popular weatherization and home energy rebate programs.
House Finance Committee Co-chair Bill Stoltze said the House kept it's additions to the Senate version low, including the K-12 education-specific $25 million allotted proportionally to districts across the state. The House's additions total just $279.88 million of the $3.3 billion total bill. "We prioritized anchor infrastructure and education, continuing to build out the state and keep up on maintaining our buildings, roads, harbors and airports," Stoltze, R-Chugiak/Mat-Su, said. "This approach will not only benefit Alaskans today, but future generations of Alaskans. We listened to members on additions that were important to their communities."
The House Finance Committee Substitute (HCS) for SB 160 invests more than $780 million in federal and state funds on transportation, including funds for local roads, national highway system roads, and the Alaska Marine Highway System. It also invests $227 in our airports, $23 million for statewide harbors, and $63 million for deferred maintenance for state-owned facilities.
Other project highlights include:
- $449 million for the general obligation bond package to send a statewide transportation package to voters for approval
- $25.8 million to the Renewable Energy grant program
- $49 million for the Juneau State Library, Archives and Museum
- $21 million for the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to continue its work
- $23.5 million for the Port Mackenzie rail extension
- $23.5 million for the Port of Anchorage
- $51 million for Village Safe Water projects
- $12 million for the Dept. of Health's eHealth Network
- $61 million for schools in Emmonak and Koliganek in Western Alaska
Legislative Finance Division reports on the bill are available at http://www.legfin.state.ak.us.
"I have to admit: Palmer did a little better than they usual," Stoltze said. "Thank you, Carl, for the lift."
HCS CSSB 160 (FIN) passed by a vote of 37-2. The Alaska Senate later concurred.