Today the Senate Finance Committee released its version of the state’s Capital Budget, Senate Bill 160. In my role as Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, I am responsible for presiding over the Senate’s work on the budget. The Capital Budget appropriates money for roads, schools, and public works infrastructure. Along with the Operating Budget, it is the only bill the Legislature is required to pass. This year’s Capital Budget totals $2.63 billion, including numerous projects for Southeast Alaska. Capital spending stimulates private sector employment and has a tremendous impact on Alaska’s local economies. For an entire list of the projects included in the FY2013 Capital Budget for District A and the Southeast region, click here.
The Senate reviewed this year’s Capital Budget using a thorough, public process. The Finance Committee held 16 hearings and received comment and testimony from hundreds of Alaskans.
The Senate has taken the lead in responsibly managing the state’s finances, while creating jobs and economic prosperity in our region. Our approach has been to save first then spend money on district projects. During the past six years, we’ve added over $10 billion to state savings. For every dollar added to the Capital Budget this year, four dollars were added to savings.
This year’s Capital Budget includes a number of important items for Southeast Alaska. These include expansion of our region’s marine infrastructure, funding to improve health and public safety, enhanced vocational and workforce development, and a major step forward in expanding Southeast Alaska’s road network.