FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 16, 2017
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Late in the evening Thursday night, the Democrat-led House Majority Caucus amended the lean capital budget to include an increased operating budget. They then passed this bill on caucus lines and adjourned sine die. They leave the Alaska Senate with a budget bill that includes completely fails to address the state’s fiscal crisis and doesn’t fund the state government until September.
Alaska Republican Party Vice Chair Rick Whitbeck had the following comments in response to the reckless actions of the House Majority: “The actions taken by the House Majority last night were a farce. They are not the actions of a caucus that is serious about getting the job done for Alaska. They have consistently chosen childish stunts and shenanigans over prudent policy and following the process. This is extraordinarily foolish, given the critical nature of our state’s fiscal standing. By being unwilling to negotiate in good faith, they have made a government shutdown nearly inevitable.”
Whitbeck continued, “Because they were unsuccessful at imposing new taxes on Alaskans – who are already struggling with an economy in recession – they stuffed an irresponsibly bloated budget into a different bill at the eleventh hour. Then they passed it on party lines with limited debate and no hearings, then adjourned.”
Whitbeck also noted the failure of the effective date clause on the House side. “Their bill is hopelessly crippled – at this point, their bill would guarantee a government shutdown for over two months, minimum, thanks to the lack of an effective date. This sort of error is what happens when you pull childish stunts rather than work through the process in good faith.”
“While we don’t agree with much of what Governor Walker has done during this session, we fully join in his condemnation of the House Majority for leaving before the job was done.”
Alaska Republican Party Chair Tuckerman Babcock is traveling and unreachable for comment.
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