State of Alaska Archives: on Budget & Economy

Mike Dunleavy: We can't spend what we don't have

Last year's budget was a shock to many Alaskans. But it did demonstrate we can't continue to spend what we don't have. We still have a significant fiscal issue that needs to be addressed for the long term. This initial budget, absent the large reductions introduced last year, should allow us the ability to focus on a sustainable long-term plan. This must include controlling our spending and deciding the future of the permanent fund and the PFD.
Source: 2020 Alaska State of the State address Jan 27, 2020

Mike Dunleavy: Create a statewide lottery

I'll soon be introducing legislation to create a statewide lottery. Forty-five states have lotteries in place, and its past time for Alaskans and visitors to have the option to individually contribute to fixing Alaska's fiscal issue.
Source: 2020 Alaska State of the State address Jan 27, 2020

Mike Dunleavy: Our government spending far exceeds our revenue

Let's talk about creating a real, honest budget. Alaskans believe our state budget process is a mess. Why is it a mess? Because our government spending far exceeds the revenue we take in. Kicking the can down the road for years, wiping out billions from savings, and then taxing the PFD, all the while just hoping for another oil boom--it simply doesn't work. We can no longer spend what we don't have.

We are now preparing a budget that for the first time all Alaskans will be able to understand & trust. No more games, no more shuffling numbers. Just an honest, straightforward look at where we are.

My administration will be focused on the basic functions of government, while realigning programs and operations to eliminate duplication and prioritize each agency's core mission. My first budget is going to be an honest budget. As I promised the people, we must start from the standpoint that expenditures must equal revenue. We can't go on forever using savings to plug the budget gap.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Alaska legislature Jan 22, 2019

Mike Dunleavy: Out of control spending has to stop; but taxing won't work

Some politicians tell us that Alaska's operating budget has been cut to the bone.˙ This is nonsense.˙ The most recent budget spends over 13% more than the year before. If we don't get our spending under control, no combination of taxes and PFD grab can keep up. [PFD is the Permanent Fund Dividend, a $1,600 payment to every Alaska resident. Gov. Walker reduced the PFD to $1,022 in 2016]
Source: 2018 AK governor Campaign website Sep 1, 2018

Charlie Huggins: Reduce budget and eliminate wasteful spending

A spending cap is mandatory. We must institute an aggressive budget reduction to make Alaska's government spending affordable and reasonable.
  1. A multi-year step down method
  2. Reorganize to increase efficiencies while reducing spending
  3. Identify and remove duplication of services
  4. Listen and use ideas from Alaskans.
Source: 2018 Alaska Gubernatorial website Nov 7, 2017

Bill Walker: With oil prices low, we have made cuts & must cut more

State revenues are down more than 80% from four years ago. During that period, we've cut the budget 44%. But we still face a $3 billion fiscal gap. Oil prices hover around $50 per barrel. It would take a price of over $100 a barrel for a long period of time to solve our fiscal problem. Or it would require tripling the flow of oil in the pipeline. Neither is expected anytime soon.

Alaska is in the midst of the gravest fiscal crisis in state history. Alaskans made clear that before accepting new revenues, major budget cuts need to be made. My message to Alaskans is this: We heard you, and we have acted. During my tenure, we have cut more than $1.7 billion in unrestricted general fund spending. We have reduced the capital budget by 80%. We are shrinking the footprint of government through shared administrative services, improved technology, and efficiencies.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Alaska Legislature Jan 18, 2017

Cean Stevens: Vote against any future spending above sustainable levels

In the past two years the state legislature has engaged in severe deficit spending, in the process draining $6 billion of the $17 billion in state savings that existed in 2012.

I commit to working to change the downward spiral the state is on while there is still time, by voting against any future spending in excess of sustainable levels and for the immediate transfer of the remaining $11 billion in the state's savings accounts into the Permanent Fund where it will be protected by the state constitution from further government raid. And, I will not join any legislative caucus which limits my ability to make those crucial votes. Just as we do as families, Alaska needs to learn to live within its means and stop the raid on our economic future, including on our future PFD's. Any other approach heads us toward an economic train wreck.

Source: 2016 Alaska Senate campaign website, Mar 10, 2016

Bill Walker: Strengthen budget savings plan

I introduced the Alaska Permanent Fund Protection Act. If we don't make significant changes in how we fund government, we will drain the constitutional budget reserve within two years and the permanent fund earnings reserve in another two years. The Permanent Fund Protection Act makes the permanent fund stronger by directing additional revenues to it. It puts government on an allowance; and it makes the permanent fund permanent. Q
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Alaska legislature Jan 21, 2016

Bill Walker: Natural resource royalties to be paid out in dividends

My plan makes half of the state's share of our natural resource royalties go toward dividends. The first year, dividend checks will be funded at a flat thousand dollars for each qualified resident. Since the program began, the average dividend check has been about $1,150. Going forward, dividends would be tied to resource royalties. There will be no cap on the dividend. When new oil flows through TAPS, oil prices rise, or the gasline project is built, dividends will go up.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Alaska legislature Jan 21, 2016

Mike Chenault: Believes in both budget cuts and selective revenue sources

Chenault says he's focused on trimming the budget, but doesn't have a target˙number for cuts:

CHENAULT: "I don't have an exact number. But we're in a position we've never been in before where our revenue stream dropped 88 percent over a period of a year, year and a half, and I think it's going to call for drastic measures. not only within the budget itself, but also looking at those revenue streams and deciding which may move Alaska ahead without some of the conflicts that may arise.

Source: Alaska Public Media on 2018 Alaska Gubernatorial race Jan 19, 2016

Bill Walker: Low oil prices mean millions in state budget deficit

We know that Alaska is experiencing a significant drop in revenue. The price of oil has dropped by more than 50% over the past six months. This has moved us from a $7 million-per-day deficit just six months ago to a $10 million-per-day deficit today. This is unsustainable. It's unacceptable. We can and we will do better.

This isn't the first time our young state has been through tough times. Many of you in this room served during the days of $9-a-barrel oil during the recession of the 1980s. Today, we have fewer than 500,000 barrels per day flowing through the pipeline. The impact of the low prices is intensified by low production.

Today, we are faced with a $3.5 billion deficit, and using $10 million every day from our savings. Some might call this a crisis. I call this a challenge and an opportunity. We have an opportunity to make impactful and constructive changes; to challenge the traditional ways of doing business.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Alaska Legislature Jan 22, 2015

Joe Miller: Free enterprise is the key to national prosperity

Question topic: Free enterprise and the right to private property turn mankind's natural self interest into the fairest and most productive economic system there is, and are the key to national prosperity.

Miller: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2014 Alaska Senate race Jul 2, 2014

Mead Treadwell: $800 billion stimulus spends on backs of future generations

Five years ago today, Pres. Obama signed the $800 billion stimulus package with Mark Begich's support. "I want to wish Mark Begich a happy anniversary on the passing of the $800 billion stimulus. With one of the earliest votes of his time in the Senate, Begich started his pattern of being a rubber stamp for President Obama. We were told this package would help our economy and jump start businesses. Now we know it's just another case of government spending too much and placing the price tag on the backs of future generations. The federal government is like a river that has overrun its banks. As a country we have to stop borrowing from the Chinese to pay for today's lunch. The best way to stimulate the economy is to get the federal government out of the way. As the only businessman in the race, I know what it takes to get our economy moving again. In Alaska that means access to the Tongess, ANWR and the NPR-A for starters. I am running to bring decision-making back home where it belongs."
Source: 2014 Alaska Senate campaign website, Feb 17, 2014

Mead Treadwell: Opposes federal overreach; supports more economic freedom

Mead Treadwell has listed only five positions on his site, with common right-wing planks like being pro-life, pro-guns and for traditional marriage topping the list.

The Alaska Democratic Party has blasted the aloofness, issuing press releases laying out a laundry list of federal issues it says the candidates haven't addressed. The "Treadwell/Sullivan issue tracker" wonders where the hopefuls stand on nearly 20 issues, everything from privatizing Social Security to permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Service.

But there's still seven months until the Aug. 19 primary vote, plenty of time to explore issues. In the forum, both Republican candidates said they're pro-life, and both attacked ObamaCare and federal overreach, saying they'd fight for less regulation and more economic freedom in hopes of promoting more business and development opportunities in Alaska without forsaking the environment.

Source: Alaska Dispatch on 2014 Alaska Senate race Jan 27, 2014

Joe Miller: Murkowski owned TARP recipients' stock while voting for TARP

Miller singled out Murkowski for "substantial and troubling conflicts of interest" in Murkowski's 2008 vote for the bank bailout known as TARP. The bill passed in Oct. 2008 on a 74 to 25 vote with bipartisan support.

Murkowski shouldn't have voted for the bill, said a Miller campaign spokesman, since she and her family had investments in several of the more than 800 financial institutions that accepted bailout money. The Miller campaign drew attention to the family's holdings at the time in Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo [totaling under $100,000]. Both companies took bailout money; both paid the government back in 2009, plus returned $3.3 billion in profit.

A Miller campaign spokesman said, "There was a conflict of interest there." So I asked: "Does that apply to any senator who happened to own stock in any of 800 banks?" The Miller spokesman wouldn't address other senators, but said Murkowski should have recused herself.

Source: Anchorage Daily News coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 5, 2010

Lisa Murkowski: Regrets voting for TARP; would vote against it now

Miller singled out Murkowski for "substantial and troubling conflicts of interest" in Murkowski's 2008 vote for the bank bailout known as TARP. The bill passed in Oct. 2008 on a 74 to 25 vote with bipartisan support.

Murkowski shouldn't have voted for the bill, said a Miller campaign spokesman, since she and her family had investments in several of the more than 800 financial institutions that accepted bailout money. The Miller campaign drew attention to the family's holdings at the time in Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo [totaling under $100,000]. Both companies took bailout money.

A Miller campaign spokesman said, "There was a conflict of interest there," and that Murkowski should have recused herself.

Murkowski's spokesman said that like man Alaskans, Murkowski's family "invested money in mutual funds for both retirement and her kids' college education." Murkowski said during a debate before the primary that if she could do it over, she would not vote for the bank bailout.

Source: Anchorage Daily News coverage of 2010 Alaska Senate debate Oct 5, 2010

Sean Randall Parnell: Enforce budget discipline and invest for our future

Our budget focuses on priorities mandated by Alaska's Constitution. On education, public safety, transportation and resource development. And, I established some guiding principles for this budget:I held the line on state agency growth. I held it to just over two percent, when they asked for a ten percent increase.
Source: Alaska 2010 State of the State Address Jan 20, 2010

Sarah Palin: Vetoed $25M stimulus earmark; Alaskans don't desire "help"

My cabinet agreed that in challenging the stimulus package, we'd have to deal in reality. Conservative governors all over the country were getting hammered for questioning use of the stimulus funds. Some legislatures, through threats of litigation, made it impossible to refuse the money.

I highlighted universal energy building codes that we'd have to adopt if we accepted a $25 million earmark for energy conservation. Universal building codes, in ALASKA! A practical, libertarian haven full of independent Americans who did not desire "help" from government busybodies. A state full of hardy pioneers who did not like taking orders from the feds telling us to change our laws. A state so geographically diverse that one-size-fits-all codes simply wouldn't work.

I vetoed those building code funds.

The Democrat-controlled legislature overrode my veto.

Source: Going Rogue, p.360-2 on Alaska Voting Records Section 410 Nov 17, 2009

Sarah Palin: Restraint of last two years should continue in tough times

Two years ago at this podium, I urged spending restraint. I asked that billions of surplus funds be deposited in state savings. This struck me as a simple precaution against, as I described it, massive single-year cuts down the road, if and when we faced tougher times. You legislators agreed, so we can now meet our challenge in a stronger position.

And you understood the challenge is not just to think fast and change plans when the price of oil suddenly falls, affecting revenue by billions of dollars. The challenge is to follow a consistent plan despite inconsistent prices. With prudence, you built our reserves--that was good planning. This national economic downturn that's spread to the energy market--it found us prepared. And that's more than many states can say about their financial situation.

With the budget, the aim is to keep our economy on a steady, confident course. The aim is--with discipline--we protect our reserves and promote economic growth.

Source: Alaska 2009 State of the State Address Jan 22, 2009

Sarah Palin: $7 billion savings plan for education & transportation

Keeping her commitment to save for the future, Governor Sarah Palin today announced details of a two-year $7.1 billion savings plan. “We are celebrating a milestone in Alaska’s history--an opportunity to save for the future and work toward a more predictable budget,” said Governor Palin. The two-year savings plan calls for:
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release 07-233 , “Savings” Dec 5, 2007

Sarah Palin: Reduced general fund spending by $124 million

Governor Palin is committed to a budget that controls the growth of government, forces the state to live within its means, and encourages a healthy savings for the state’s future. The Governor’s budget includes funding to restore the longevity bonus program, a community revenue sharing program and fully funds the education foundation formula. From the moment Governor Palin took office, she directed all state agencies to look for efficiencies and savings. Through a collective effort, the Governor was able to reduce general fund spending in the operating budget alone by over $124 million. The capital budget maximizes federal funding and focuses on the Administration’s priorities. The Governor will continue to work with the Legislature to craft a final budget that meets the needs of Alaskans.
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: press release, “100th Day” Mar 13, 2007

Sarah Palin: Aim to reduce general fund spending by $150 million

I have established an aggressive goal of reducing general fund spending by $150 million dollars. This takes tremendous effort by staff as well as the cooperation of the Legislature. On the savings side, by depositing our one-time surplus of $1.8 billion dollars, we’ll build our savings account to nearly $4.3 billion dollars. It’s a necessary step to ensure that we can fund essential services tomorrow; and avoid massive “single year” cuts down the road, if and when, faced with tougher times.
Source: 2007 State of the State Address to 24th Alaska Legislature Jan 17, 2007

Sarah Palin: Firm believer in free market capitalism

I am a conservative Republican, a firm believer in free market capitalism. A free market system allows all parties to compete, which ensures the best and most competitive project emerges, and ensures a fair, democratic process.

I will communicate progress on gasline negotiations to the public. My Administration will pursue the plan that is best for ALL Alaskans. All qualified and viable proposals and applicants will be considered.

Source: Palin-Parnell campaign booklet: New Energy for Alaska Nov 3, 2006

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