budget

Kenai Peninsula College

 

Over the weekend, the state legislature was unable to come up with the votes to make any major changes to Governor Mike Dunleavy’s budget, or his plans to let certain funds revert back into state coffers. Those funds go to things like electric subsidies for rural Alaskans and scholarships for college students.

 


 

Office of Rep. Gary Knopp

 

That portion of the state legislature in Juneau for a special session was again unable to find the votes necessary to override Governor Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes. Roughly a third of the legislature met again at Wasilla Middle School. KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran spoke to Gary Knopp Friday afternoon, the Central Peninsula’s lone legislator in Juneau.

 

 


The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly unanimously adopted next year’s budget last night. Most of the work in terms of amending the proposed budget was taken care of over the previous two meetings, with much of the debate going into the funding of the so-called non-departmentals.

 

A number of state budget issues remain unresolved and layoffs for state employees or even a shutdown are possible if the legislature and the governor can’t come to an agreement soon. Kenai representative Gary Knopp spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what a special session might look like to address those and this session’s thorniest issue, the permanent fund dividend.

 

 


The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly had its annual debate over so-called non-departmental funding this week as it continues to work through next year’s budget.

School district employees vote for strike

May 23, 2019

 

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District employees voted Wednesday to strike next fall over rising healthcare costs. Members of both unions representing teachers and support staff in the school district voted overwhelmingly in support of the strike if both parties can’t agree on terms of a new contract this summer.

 

 


 

A hiring freeze may be thawing out at the borough. The assembly approved a resolution at its meeting this week encouraging the administration to fill positions that have been open for more than a year.

 

The city of Kenai will release its draft budget for the next fiscal year in a couple weeks. City manager Paul Ostrander spoke with KDLL about putting together a new budget amid all the uncertainty with the state budget. Last year’s general fund appropriations totaled a little more than $16 million with all expenditures coming in at just over $28 million and Ostrander expects a modest increase in the 2020 budget of less than one percent.

 


The city of Kenai will release its draft budget for the next fiscal year in a couple weeks. City manager Paul Ostrander spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about putting together a new budget amid all the uncertainty with the state budget. Last year’s general fund appropriations totaled a little more than $16 million with all expenditures coming in at just over $28 million and Ostrander expects a modest increase in the 2020 budget of less than one percent.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s annual meeting in Seward usually has a fairly light, local agenda. But this year, they’ve even switched venues from city hall to the more spacious high school auditorium as education funding measures on the agenda are sure to draw a crowd.

 

 


Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is holding meetings across the Peninsula to gauge public opinion on different options to consolidate or close schools in the face of expected budget cuts. At a public meeting this week, district officials discussed the possible consolidation of Soldotna Prep into Soldotna High School, putting freshmen through seniors back in the same building for the first time since 2014.

 

 


 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announced last week it will begin a series of public meetings to talk about various consolidation options around the district. One of those options is to bring 9th graders back into Soldotna High School.

 

The assembly took nearly three hours of public testimony before it finally got an action item on the agenda. One of which was related to education funding.

www.brenalaw.com

 

A key part of Governor Mike Duleavy’s long term budget vision includes fundamental changes in how the legislature is allowed to appropriate money. The governor has proposed three constitutional amendments, and this week, began a roadshow hoping to drum up support.

 

 


Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Department of Revenue Commissioner Bruce Tangeman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Donna Arduin, Attorney General Kevin Clarkson and representatives of Americans For Prosperity, which sponsored the meeting, gave their interpretations of Alaska’s fiscal situation and asnwered a selection of submitted questions from the audience. Full audio of the meeting, held at 6 p.m. March 25 at the Cannery Lodge in Kenai, follows:

 

The city of Kenai and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly have both adopted resolutions asking the governor to reconsider some of his various budget proposals. In the case of Kenai and the borough, it had to do with collecting taxes on oil and gas infrastructure. Next week, the Soldotna city council will entertain a resolution that asks the governor to take a more long-term view of the budget and what it means for cities.

Alaska Legislature

 

A House sub-finance committee went through its regularly scheduled business Monday morning, but not all members stuck around to the end.

 

 


 

Just as lawmakers in Juneau are trying to prioritize spending, local governments are also looking for input on how to operate with less revenue. The city of Kenai is holding a meeting Tuesday night to get that input from the community.

 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly rebuked a key component of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget last night. A pair of bills Dunleavy has sent to the legislature would shift tax revenue from oil and gas properties from municipalities to the state. That would mean a roughly $15 million deduction in borough revenue, nearly 20 percent of what the borough brings in.

 

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and City Manager Paul Ostrander teamed up for what was billed as a state of the city presentation at a meeting of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

 

 


 

This week, we spin the microphone around so to speak, and take a look at what Governor Mike Dunleavy’s budget proposal for public broadcasting would look like here at KDLL.

 

 


ConocoPhillips

 

As promised, nearly every section of the state budget is in the crosshairs of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget released Wednesday. One major change that doesn’t directly involve a cut in funding deals with property taxes on oil and gas infrastructure.

 

As budget negotiations continue between the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the school district, one line item that’s a holdover from last year is the addition of more school counselors. The district requested $600,000 to create four new elementary counselors, and also expand what’s offered in the high schools beyond the two counselors currently working in the district at Kenai Alternative High School and Homer Flex. The district’s Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, John O’Brien, spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what role those counselors will play, if the funding is made available.

 

 


 

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and administration from the borough school district held a budget work session Tuesday afternoon. The money struggles the district has been dealing with the past several years don’t look to have much relief coming in the next budget cycle.

 

 


The Kenai Peninsula Borough began its budget process Wednesday, with managers and directors meeting to discuss departmental finances. At the borough assembly meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Charlie Pierce warned that there are some complications going into this budget cycle.

For one thing, he doesn’t expect any extra help from the state.

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