Alaska Fiscal Policy| A conversation with Casey Reynolds about the coming legislative session …

Casey Reynolds ShowCasey Reynolds asked me to join him on his talk radio show this morning to discuss yesterday’s analysis by the Legislative Finance Division of the Governor’s proposed FY 2014 budget and the fiscal issues that face the state this coming legislative session.  

While preparing to join the show earlier this morning , I wrote briefly about the Leg Finance report .  My summary:

“The report reveals that the current fiscal year (FY2013) is shaping up to be a disaster. Despite leaving a projected FY13 general fund surplus of $490 million at the close of the 2012 session, the legislature now faces a FY13 deficit of $410 million. … During FY13, oil production has been below FY12 levels by more than 8%.

The prognosis for this coming year is not much better. Counting the $500 million the Governor has proposed be made available for “legislative priorities” (i.e., Alaska’s version of earmarks), the Governor’s proposed budget is the second largest in Alaska’s history. …

In comments yesterday following the release of the Legislative Finance report, the Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, Karen Rehfeld, claimed that the Governor was submitting a “very, very lean budget” as a starting point for lawmakers. Its not. Instead, the proposed budget continues to lead down the path of what the Legislative Finance said in the report ‘could produce multi-billion dollar deficits in the near future.”

This morning’s discussion started by focusing on the Report, and then turned to an extended discussion of how I would handle the budget under these circumstances.  It will not surprise readers of these pages that I have thoughts on the issue.

The discussion begins at 10:15 of the segment below and runs through the end.  In the segment of the show that followed, available here, Casey continued to ask for ideas from listeners on how to cut the state budget.  Several are very good ideas.  I am certain the discussion will continue in the days ahead ….

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