Monthly Archives: August 2013

Alaska Fiscal Policy| A 100-minute debate on Alaska’s future …

House Ed Task ForceOne of the best recent debates about the state’s current fiscal situation and future occurred at the end of yesterday’s meeting of the House Task Force on Sustainable Education.   I was presenting on the issue, when Andrew Halcro, another member of the Task Force, had a question, that began in the first few sentences with “I don’t agree …”

And then, after awhile, Rep. Charisse Millett jumped in.  By the end all of the Task Force members (with one exception who had to depart early) had weighed in. Continue reading

The Blog| A little rejiggering …

Short TakesAs some readers will recall, for some time I have been running a parallel blog — previously named “Observations and Updates” — at which I post shorter pieces reflecting on events as they occur.   The reason is that Continue reading

August 28 – 29: House Task Force on Sustainable Education

Sustainable Budget (Aug 27 2013 )Tomorrow (August 28) and Thursday are the first two meetings of the House Task Force on Sustainable Education, established this past legislature by House Resolution 8 and co-chaired by Rep. Lynn Gattis, Chair of the House Education Committee, and Rep. Tammie Wilson, Chair of the House Finance Committee Subcommittee on Education and Early Development.  Andrew Halcro and I are serving as representatives of the business community.

Tomorrow’s meeting starts at 2p; Thursday’s meeting starts at 9a.  The agenda is available Continue reading

Alaska Fiscal Policy| If you thought that was “truly irresponsible,” how about this …

Time bombEarlier this week the Alaska Senate Majority was reporting from the Federal Overreach Summit, summarizing some of the key points made during the presentations. At one point during Senator Begich’s presentation they had this to say:

Begich: Federal debt = $46,000 per man, woman and child in US- That is truly irresponsible

It is not clear from the context whether the editorial observation of  “that is truly irresponsible” was the Senator’s or the Alaska Senate Majority’s, but for this purpose it really doesn’t matter. Likely, both agreed on the statement.

The interesting fact that was not added to either Senator Begich’s comment or the summary, however, is the size of Alaska state debt “per [Alaskan] man, woman and child.” Continue reading

Alaska Oil| Is the Governor undermining SB 21 …

Fiscal CliffAs thoughts begin to turn to the now-certain referendum on SB21 it is important to understand that there is one scenario  under which the Governor himself could end up significantly undermining a key argument for maintaining the statute.

The scenario relates to the interplay between SB 21 and the budget.  Interestingly, the Governor likely has complete control over whether the adverse scenario develops.  Unfortunately, current indications are that he is headed down the wrong path.

The Reasons Supporting SB 21

On the surface, there are two major arguments supporting SB 21.  The first is that it produces greater long term value to Alaskans from oil than ACES, the Continue reading

Alaska Fiscal Policy: Is This Generation of Alaskans Failing the Next? (from the August 2013 Alaska Business Monthly)

August 2013 Alaska Business Monthly

In addition to pieces on this page and elsewhere, I write what began as a bi-monthly, and now has evolved into a monthly, column on oil, gas and fiscal policy issues for the Alaska Business Monthly.  This is the eighth column, originally published in the August 2013 print edition and available online here.

In 1976 Alaskans passed a constitutional amendment establishing the Permanent Fund. The amendment provides in pertinent part that “at least twenty-five percent of all mineral lease rentals, royalties, royalty sale proceeds, federal mineral revenue sharing payments and bonuses received by the State shall be placed in a permanent fund.”

Those here during that period attribute the passage of the amendment to two things. Continue reading