Governor rolls out new budget, says taxes necessary

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Governor Bill Walker has unveiled his budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
A large part of the governor's budget plan released last week involves a payroll tax which would be in place for three years.
During that time, the state estimates the tax would generate $800 million to help leverage local and federal funds.
The governor is also proposing to use a portion of earnings from the Permanent Fund to pay for state services.
Another component of the proposal is a 34 million dollar investment to fill positions in the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Court System.
The Legislature has so far been split on the revenue measures Walker is proposing.
But the governor remains adamant that these are necessary steps to relieve Alaska's fiscal crisis.
Gov. Bill Walker; (I) Alaska>>: "The, the wait and see program, that some have adopted in the legislature, that's has cost us about 14 billion dollars. That's how much has been drawn down from our savings; so that's a pretty significant- I mean that's very significant- unprecedented amount of savings have been drawn down. Those, those accounts are near the bottom...
We're still looking for savings within in the departmental savings and government efficiencies, but, uh, we have got to have a physical plan that we can look out into the future and say, say that that this works. So, we will continue that that effort through this session and nothing will change in that regard; so, Alaska deserves, you know, a safer Alaska, they deserve a stronger Alaska, with jobs, bring Alaskans back to work, and they certainly need a smarter Alaska with the way we do our budgets in such a way that we don't put the penalty on the workers and on the industries out there when we don't do our job in Juneau."