Latest Budget News & Information
THE STATE OF ALASKA'S BUDGET
Today, we face the biggest budget shortfall in state history – more than $3.5 billion out of a total state budget of $5 billion.*
For too long, Alaska has relied on oil to meet the needs of our state budget – 85 percent of Alaska’s state budget is funded by oil. This over-reliance on a single source of revenue leaves funding for essential public services at the mercy of oil’s boom and bust cycles.
Alaska needs a balanced, long-term solution to its budget problems. Spending cuts are necessary, oil tax credits should be refined, and we must diversify our state’s budget with additional revenue sources to put us on a path of long term fiscal sustainability.
We need a comprehensive approach that raises revenues, cuts some programs, maintains important public services, and reduces our over-reliance on oil to fund state services.
Otherwise, we’re just going to keep facing the same problems over and over again in the future.
*Unrestricted General Fund expenditures in the operating budget
"It's time to act as soon as possible to avoid an economic collapse that will unwind the fabulous state many generations have built and that we all love and want to prosper."
"Alaskans are starting to understand the new economic reality that this state is facing. We are all more or less aware of the problem and opinions vary wildly as to the solutions. The bottom line is that business as usual must be a thing of the past. We, as a state, simply can’t afford it."
"Everything has to be on the table for consideration so Alaskans aren’t living like cavemen without services such as road maintenance, police and adequate schools."
"While we disagree strongly with characterization that Alaska is poised for a recession similar to the 1980s, we do believe that unless both the Administration and the Legislature act together toward a sustainable future for the state there is a very real possibility that we may create the very crisis we are trying to avoid."
"Timing is of the essence. The Legislature needs to act now -- immediately -- to put Alaska’s economy on a stable footing."
“While reductions have already been made to the state capital and operating budgets, a consistent and predictable fiscal policy is integral to an overall plan and vision for business development and job growth in Alaska."
"Alaskans have always been at our best when facing a challenge. We pulled together for statehood. We overcame the devastating 1964 earthquake. Now we are faced with creating a sustainable future for ourselves."
"The good news is that Alaska’s budget problems can be fixed. What’s needed is open and truthful communication between ourselves and our elected representatives. All we need is the will to act."
Rasmuson Foundation has one mission and that is to improve the quality of life in Alaska. Over the past 60 years we have invested $300 million for the betterment of Alaskans, and believe that if the Governor and legislature do not develop a comprehensive fiscal plan this year, much of the progress we as a state have made is in jeopardy.
Rasmuson Foundation has launched a statewide campaign to talk with Alaskans, to share facts and options and to explain the urgency of acting now. We hope this will energize a mandate from the public for elected officials to make the tough choices this year.
If we want to preserve Alaska for the future, we need a comprehensive, long-term solution to our budget problems.
Now is the time for Alaskans and our elected leaders to take action.
STATE OF ALASKA
As part of Rasmuson Foundation’s commitment to talk with Alaskans about the state’s budget shortfall, the following events are opportunities for Alaskans to learn more about the urgent need for a comprehensive, long-term solution to our budget problems.