ANCHORAGE - Today, the governor released his proposed state capital budget for Fiscal Year 2014. The $12.8 billion budget is $1.1 billion leaner than the current year, according to Governor Sean Parnell.
In his speech at the Dena'ina Center, he called Alaska "solid," and cited a recent study that called Alaska the sixth best-run state. He told the Chamber of Commerce audience at the budget release that a conservative budget now will sustain the state in leaner times. He said the state has to plan for shrinking oil revenue. This year's lower projections are a combination of lower oil prices and less oil flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline. "The fall forecast shows a combined 1.6 billion... that's billion with a 'b' over this fiscal year and next."
The governor also outlined priorities for spending, one being resource and energy development. His plan allocates $95 million for the Susitna hydro project and $51.5 million for home energy and weatherization.
Transportation infrastructure also is in line for state money, including $971 million for highway and aviation capital spending. The Alaska Marine Highway will get $182 million next year.
Parnell still wants to make his "Choose Respect," campaing, an inititative to fight domestic violence and sexual assault, a priority, allocating it $14.8 million.
Overall, the governor said this state is a good place. "We begin from a position of strength. The budget's leaner and through our resources we have much more opportunity ahead." Opportunity he hopes Alaska businesses will take advantage of.