Governor Walker releases budget proposal for fiscal year 2019
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker released his budget proposal for FY 2019 on Friday afternoon, which includes a modified version of his earlier-proposed payroll tax.
The $4.7 billion budget includes a $34 million dollar increase to the Department of Public Safety.
The plan calls for $4.8 million to be used for more troopers and prosecutors, $18 million for substance abuse treatment, $10.5 million to address the growing prison population and $500,000 for public defenders.
The budget also has 217 fewer budgeted positions than in the FY 2018 plan passed by the legislature.
FY 2018's proposed budget was $4.8 billion.
Walker said he plans to also focus on deferred maintenance projects.
The budget also includes a limited payroll tax proposal for funding the Alaska Economic Recovery Act, similar to
Walker said Friday the differences are that it will be earmarked to fund deferred maintenance projects like school repairs.
The proposal taxes 1.5 percent of wages earned by Alaskans and non-resident workers, capped at $2,200 or twice the previous year's permanent fund dividend amount, whichever one is higher.
An estimated 15 percent of the revenue collected from the tax is projected to come from non-resident workers who earned more than $2.7 billion in 2015, the plan said.
The payroll taxes would sunset after 2021.
Governor Walker's plan also proposes paying off the remainder of the state's outstanding oil and gas exploration tax credits.
The outline also indicates Walker plans to put forward a plan he said establishes accountability for lawmakers to finish their work in 90 days.
The plan calls for the legislature to pass a budget by the end of 90 days, or forfeit per diem and salary until the budget passes.
Walker also said he would have to publish a budget by December 15, or receive no salary for each overdue day.