Plan4Alaska is a statewide campaign developed and funded by Rasmuson Foundation to educate and engage Alaskans about the need to close Alaska’s $3.5 billion fiscal gap.
Rasmuson Foundation released a white paper in May 2015 calling on state legislators to take action to close the fiscal gap. In July 2015, the Board authorized up to $2 million for an educational campaign, based on the findings from the white paper, about the state’s fiscal situation.
The Foundation believes a budget plan that reduces the gap by $1.5 billion this year must be enacted during the 2016 legislative session. Options include:
1. Further cuts to the general operating budget.
2. Changes to the Permanent Fund, such as using excess earnings, capping the dividend, or both.
3. Reductions in tax credits the State gives to the oil industry.
4. A broad tax on all Alaska residents, workers and/or visitors, such as an income tax, sales tax, or combination of the two.
A long-term fiscal plan will not be adopted unless and until (1) Alaskans communicate to lawmakers the cost of inaction, ensuring that lawmakers fear this cost more than they fear the cost of action, and (2) Lawmakers feel confident they will not be punished for making difficult decisions.
The Foundation has fielded three research projects to understand the ideas and awareness of Alaskans, define the target audience, and test message effectiveness.
The statewide campaign is working to build a coalition, organize events, engage community and news media, advertise in broadcast and digital media, and conduct a statewide field campaign.