Updated with press release from Gov. Bill Walker below: On the heels of a letter that the Legislature sent to Gov. Bill Walker imploring him to take immediate action to reduce the budget, Walker issued Administrative Order No. 271 on Friday night, demanding that agencies halt to the “maximum extent possible” discretionary expenditures for the following projects:
- Ambler Road
- Juneau Road
- Susitna-Watana Dam
- Kodiak Launch Complex
- Knik Arm Bridge
- Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project (AKA the bullet line.)
The order demands that the agencies in charge of the projects not incur additional spending, including hiring new employees, entering into new contracts, and not to spend any unobligated funds from state, federal or any other sources.
The governor is also demanding that agencies produce discretionary-spending reports and other information, such as project-operating costs, by Jan. 5.
Read the order here. Read the press release, which was sent out Saturday morning, below:
Governor Bill Walker issued an administrative order on Friday, December 26, to direct all state agencies to stop non-obligated spending on the following six projects: Ambler Road, Juneau Access Road, Susitna-Watana Dam, Kodiak Launch Complex, Knik Arm Crossing and Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline Project.
“Our budget deficit grows deeper as oil prices go lower,” Governor Walker said. “These are large projects that require significantly more state investment to complete. I’ve requested that state agencies not enter into any new contracts until we’ve had a chance to look at the various projects.”
Governor Walker and his team began working on this administrative order shortly after cutting the costliest projects out of the capital budget—so that agency heads have direction on exactly how to proceed with their respective projects.
Governor Walker requested the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Aerospace Corporation, Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority and Alaska Gasline Development Corporation submit by January 5 to the Office of Management and Budget a report detailing operating costs so far, all funding obligations, as well as the potential effects of delaying, suspending or terminating contracts.
“This is a way for us to not commit new money into projects that may not be continued during this fiscally challenging time,” Governor Walker said.