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Capital budget passes $1,100 PFD'S coming this year

 Capitol Building in Juneau, Alaska
Capitol Building in Juneau, Alaska (KTUU)
Published: Jul. 27, 2017 at 5:23 PM AKDT
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For their third special session of the year lawmakers on Thursday went to Juneau to pass a capital budget.

They did so by a vote of 27-13 in the House and 15-4 in the Senate.

The budget includes money for a Kivalina school, the Community Assistance Program and funds for the Arctic Strategic Transportation and Resources project.

In a release from the House Majority Coalition Rep. Neal Foster (D-Nome) says "For every state dollar invested as part of this capital budget, Alaska gets $9 in federal support for vital infrastructure like good roads and bridges."

The bill calls for $122 million in state Unrestricted General Funds and nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds, making it the smallest capital budget since 2000.

It does not include an additional appropriation to the Permanent Fund Dividend program. That means Alaskans will get $1,100 checks in October.

The budget did have its critics. Reps. Dan Sadler, and Lance Pruitt questioned taking money out of the budget for the Juneau Access Road Project.

And House Minority Leader Charisse Millett questioned the tactics used to try to get an income tax implemented.

"I hope in the future, Mr. Speaker we can talk about some of the ideas we have for a fiscal plan. Continue to look at programs and reduce the budget. I think we still have a broad call for that in our constituencies. As we go forward I hope we don't leverage one idea for another idea. I think that is a bad way to do policy.

The bill now goes to Governor Bill Walker, he says he plans to sign the bill prior to August 1.

"I am pleased the capital budget was passed this afternoon. Alaskans can rest assured that construction and maintenance projects can continue, and jobs will be provided for them, their friends, and neighbors," says Gov. Walker in a statement.