Governor Sean Parnell released his budget for the next fiscal year last Friday, and it’s nearly $1.1 billion less than the current year’s general fund spending.
In a news release, Parnell said his goal was to hold the state operating budget to less than one percent growth. The budget totals $6.5 billion in state general funds and $12.8 billion when federal funds and the Permanent Fund are included.
On the Kenai Peninsula, Parnell proposes $33.6 million for local projects, with about half of that money coming from the federal government.
The proposed projects include $1.2 million for improvements to the Kenai Wastewater Treatment Plant, $1.4 million for user facilities at the mouth of the Kasilof River and $4 million for rehabilitation of a section of K-Beach Road near Soldotna.
Two big-ticket Homer projects would be funded with state and federal dollars. Homer City Manager Walt Wrede says one contains much-needed improvements to the Homer harbor, including improvements to Ramp 3 and replacement of several harbor floats.
The other large project is $5 million to improve Lake Street between Pioneer Avenue and the Sterling Highway. Wrede says that project may include Homer’s first-ever roundabout.
"The state is definitely leaning in that direction, said Wrede. "They have to go through their environmental work and ... get the permits that they need. There will be some more public scoping ... and we'll see if a roundabaout really makes sense there."
Projected state revenue for 2013 is just more than $7 billion, leaving a $508 million-dollar projected surplus. In a speech in Anchorage Friday, Parnell said he would push key initiatives, such as additional state troopers and village public safety officers.
More detailed information on the budget is available on the Office of Management & Budget website at omb.alaska.gov.