Welcome to our new web feature on the State of Alaska budget. On this web page, you can find published op-ed pieces, videos, an FAQ list, news stories and additional resources on the situation.
We believe in a balanced approach to a sustainable budget. The state is our most important partner as we work to improve life for Alaskans. This situation is complex and volatile. To better understand events as they unfold in 2019, we will continue to gather information to help you understand what is happening — and what is at stake.
Feel free to share out from this page and let us know if you have questions or want more information.
Where does Rasmuson Foundation stand?
Read three op-ed pieces on the State of Alaska budget that were published in newspapers around Alaska as events unfolded.
‘Where will the children go?’
The Foundation’s views on the cuts are expressed by President Diane Kaplan before the House Finance Committee on July 9.
What partners and colleagues are saying about the State of Alaska budget
‘140 people would have to sleep outside’— Lisa Aquino
Catholic Social Service’s executive director, Lisa Aquino, explains how Alaska’s budget vetoes mean Brother Francis Shelter will drop from 240 people housed per night to 100. Catholic Social Services also must make many other cuts to services for people experiencing homelessness.
‘I believe that treatment is not just an expense but an investment.’— Philip Licht
Philip Licht, executive director of the substance abuse treatment nonprofit Set Free Alaska, speaks about the importance of the work in helping individuals lead their best lives.
Here are statements from Alaska business leaders, private funders, clergy leaders and others related to the 2019 State of Alaska budget situation:
- July 18, 2019, statement from Anchorage Homelessness Leadership Council, sent to Alaska media
- An open letter from Alaska business leaders, published in Alaska newspapers July 11 and July 12
- An open letter from private funders, published in Alaska newspapers June 16 and 20
- Alaska clergy communications to lawmakers, including an email and letter by the Rev. Matt Schultz of First Presbyterian Church of Anchorage and a letter signed by two dozen clergy
- Alaska bishops issue statement “In Defense of the Poor and Vulnerable”
- Essay by United Way of Anchorage President Michele Brown, “The Courage of Your Convictions”
Watch video: Funders talk about partnership with State
Feeling lost? Our FAQs may help.
- What is at issue in the Alaska state budget?
- What are the key arguments?
- What is the latest?
Stories on the State of Alaska budget
The situation has generated hundreds of news stories this spring and captured national attention. Here’s a sampling:
- Time magazine: Alaska’s State Budget Is Slumping. The Governor’s 40% Cut to the University System Could Make It Even Worse
- Los Angeles Times: Alaska is reeling from budget cuts, even as governor wants to pay each resident $3,000
- Wall Street Journal: Abortion Rulings in Alaska Prompt Governor To Cut Court Funding
- Reuters: Deep budget cuts put University of Alaska in crisis mode
- Juneau Empire: Legislature ends efforts to overturn budget vetoes
- The Delta Discovery: AFN supports Legislature’s original budget
- Anchorage Daily News: Dunleavy budget vetoes will mean a sharp increase in people living in camps and cars, service providers say
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Fairbanks artists talk future of funding after governor’s vetoes
- Anchorage Daily News: Dunleavy vetoes $444 million from operating budget
- Anchorage Daily News: A partial list of Gov. Dunleavy’s line-item vetoes
- Anchorage Daily News: Groups fighting for full Permanent Fund dividend press Dunleavy to accept less this year
- Anchorage Daily News: Unapologetic, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy stands behind budget vetoes and $3,000 dividend
- Anchorage Press: How we got here: Recapping the history of Alaska’s Permanent Fund
- Anchorage Daily News: By one vote, Alaska House again fails to fix capital budget and reverse sweep
- Anchorage Daily News: Gov. Dunleavy calls lawmakers to Juneau in bid to end Alaska budget deadlock
- Anchorage Daily News: ‘Too much too quick’: Some Alaska business groups say they worry what Dunleavy vetoes will mean for state economy
- Anchorage Daily News: Experts in charitable giving say donations from Alaskans can’t make up funding losses caused by vetoes
- Juneau Empire: ‘Override! Override! Override!’ Hundreds turn out in Juneau to protest Dunleavy’s vetoes
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Fairbanks business officials urge House members to override budget vetoes
- KTUU: “Smaller doesn’t necessarily mean unconstitutional”: Governor Dunleavy defends vetoes
- Anchorage Daily News: Alaska college students lose state scholarships amid uncertainty following obscure budget vote
Reports, the governor’s veto list and more are available here.
- Here is where to find all 182 programs and services impacted by the governor’s budget vetoes.
- On Aug. 8, the governor reversed some cuts based on public opinion. Read the governor’s statement on the capital budget, Senate Bill 2002, here and see the list of items vetoed anew here.
- Follow the action in the Legislature here.
- Legislators are considering which of the cuts to reverse. Here is House Bill 2001, which has passed both the House and Senate though in slightly different forms. The governor can still veto items in this new budget bill and has indicated he will do so.
- The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness says around 800 additional people will be homeless in Anchorage alone as a result of the cuts, a huge increase from the current estimate of 1,100 people experiencing homelessness.
- Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz on July 24 declared a civil emergency to address the impacts of the state budget cuts.
- What are the economic impacts of cutting more than $400 million from the state budget? Researchers at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage examined the issue.
- The state Department of Revenue makes predictions twice a year that guide budget making. Here’s the Spring 2019 Revenue Forecast.
- In 2011, the state House Special Committee on Fiscal Policy contracted with Information Insights and Agnew::Beck to create alaskabudget.com.
- In 2016, Rasmuson Foundation developed a framework for a balanced state budget called Plan4Alaska. Read more about it here.
- Below is a presentation created for the Foundation by Larry Persily, a former state deputy Revenue commissioner, that was presented to nonprofit leaders on July 22.
These two key charts from the presentation come from the state Legislative Finance Division: