Capitol Report February 23: Education Legislation and FY 25 Budget

February 23, 2024

The House prioritizes education legislation while the Senate hears public testimony on the FY 25 budget.

A recurring theme in the Capitol this session is that the political climate feels like March. The context behind this comment is that March is usually when the contentious budget conversations are in full swing and lawmakers are hunkering down for long days of debating the state budget on the House and Senate floors. This year, while the budget is still in its infancy, legislation relating to education funding has taken on a similar life of its own.

This week the House largely cleared its committee calendar to make room for substantial debate on Senate Bill 140, the omnibus education bill, containing funding provisions for the Base Student Allocation, teacher incentive pay, and charter schools, among many other measures. When lawmakers initially failed to pass a procedural vote to adopt the most recent committee substitute to the bill, the House was thrown into flux while members worked to negotiate solutions. However, late Thursday night, the body reached a compromise and eventually passed the bill. 

Meanwhile, the Senate moved forward with its budget preparation, taking public comment from across the state on the operating, mental health, and capital budgets.

Notably, even amongst the turmoil in the House, both the House and Senate Finance Committees had time for presentations from President Pitney about the university system’s FY 25 budget request.


After a quiet President’s Day, the Senate Finance Committee kicked Tuesday off with a presentation from UA President Pat Pitney about the UA FY 25 budget request. President Pitney provided an overview of the system’s operating and capital requests, and highlighted several of our recent achievements. Senators were particularly interested in our teacher preparation efforts. Watch the hearing here.


A disagreement over scheduling occurred within the House Education Committee late last week As a result, a hearing that had been anticipated for House Bill 236 - the University of Alaska Deferred Maintenance and Modernization Fund - was not calendared. It is anticipated that the bill will be rescheduled in the near future.

Read the full report here.