Sby Senator Lyman Hoffman
It is the end of week two and the Senate Finance Committee is rolling along. This week the committee reviewed John Quick, Commissioner designee for the Department of Administration. The committee also reviewed Bruce Tangeman, Commissioner or designee for the Department of Revenue. In addition, the committee heard from Donna Arduin/Office of Management and Budget for the Governor. The budget introduced to the Legislature in December was the work of Governor Walker. Newly elected Governor Dunleavy has until February 15th to give us his amendments. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation presented their overviews to the committee.
The Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee has appointed the agency subcommittees for the operating budget. I have been assigned chairmanships of the Education Subcommittee and the University Subcommittee.
Currently, the FY20 proposed budget has a deficit of $1.6 billion. The Constitutional Budget Reserve Fund (CBR) has a balance of $1.7 billion. How the Governor plans on addressing this deficit/proposed budget cuts will not be known until February 13th. Stay tuned.
When filing for your 2019 PFD, you might have noticed a new option when you sign up called the Education Raffle.Sponsored by Senator Bishop, SB 78, passed the legislature in 2018. Creates the education endowment fund and the dividend raffle fund. The Education Raffle is for Alaskans who receive their PFD’s to participate in, while simultaneously supplementing state aid to the K-12 foundation program. Entries are in $100 increments, and can only come from your PFD. Example: A dividend of $1,722 will allow you to purchase 17 entries. The remaining $22 will be paid to you. Each entry goes into a drawing to be drawn by the Revenue Commissioner, or designee. The first drawing will take place between January 1st and January 31st 2020. How the raffle works: 50% of all donations go directly to K-12 public education that year. 25% of all donations go into a new education endowment fund. The last 25% of all donations are placed in a dividend raffle fund. 15% of the dividend raffle fund goes to payout for the top four drawings in the raffle. 1st place pays out 8% of dividend raffle fund, 2nd place pays of 4%, 3rd 2%, and 4th place gets 1%.
You can reach Senator Hoffman at Toll free 1-866-465-4453, (907) 465-4453; Fax: (907) 465-4523.