Archive for the ‘Fiscal Policy’ Category

You Choose-Bigger Schools or More Teachers

Alaska needs the Massachusetts law limiting school sizes Massachusetts has the highest performing school system in the U.S. and Alaska has one of the lowest performing school systems.  The achievement gap between kids in Alaska and Massachusetts is not trivial — as much as two years in achievement...
October 19th, 2015 | Education, Fiscal Policy | Read More

Are Alaska Schools Underfunded?

by: Bob Griffin, Education Research Fellow During the current legislative budget battles many individuals and groups have expressed strong concerns that the budget approved by the legislature will leave Alaska schools “underfunded”. These concerns are rarely accompanied with any explanation...
May 5th, 2015 | Education, Fiscal Policy | Read More

Alaska Still Bottom Feeds in Education Rankings Compared to Other States

When it comes to investing money, most people focus on the risks and the overall return on that investment.  Likewise, when one considers a major purchase such as an automobile or major appliance, one evaluates the initial cost and the “return” in the form of functionality that investment...
April 27th, 2015 | Education, Fiscal Policy | Read More

Capital Budget-Compare FY15 to FY16

[This is a “reprint” of a story from April of 2014 on last year’s (FY15) capital budget just to give you an idea of what excesses were included in previous capital budgets.  This year’s capital budget (SB 26) for FY16 has been  trimmed down to the bare essentials by Senate Finance. ...
April 8th, 2015 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Film Tax Credits–Folly or Not?

Now that Alaska is in a budget crunch due to the drastic fall in oil prices, the state needs to take another look at its so-called Film Tax Credit program to determine if the returns are worth the investment.  Even if the state were not in a fiscal crunch, this program should be reviewed for its benefits...
February 19th, 2015 | Fiscal Policy, Policy, tax changes | Read More

Budget Process Recommendations to Manage Alaska’s Budget

Before the recent collapse of the oil prices and the resulting decrease in Alaska’s revenue stream, we at the Alaska Policy Forum were concerned about the wasteful, profligate spending of our state’s wealth by elected officials.  On January 9th, 2014 we were invited to provide testimony...
January 7th, 2015 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News, Transparency | Read More

Alaska is Poised to Link Arms with Georgia to Fix the National Debt

by: Nick Dranias, Constitutional Policy Director, Goldwater Institute More and more people are discovering that the states have the power to originate federal constitutional amendments under Article V of the United States Constitution. And it just so happens that the Alaska legislature is on the cutting-edge...
April 15th, 2014 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Alaska Medicaid Expansion: Don’t Do It

By Tom Hendrix When the U.S. Supreme Court gave the green light to Obamacare, it struck down the power of the federal government to force states to expand their Medicaid programs. As it was passed by Congress, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), mandated that all states expand Medicaid coverage to include...
October 29th, 2013 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

This Pork Smells Fishy

Hurricane Sandy left parts of New Jersey and New York in devastation. But who would have thought that it had affected so many parts of America? This had to be the perfect storm stretching from  Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to the great state of Alaska. At least that is what our Big Government in Washington,...
December 19th, 2012 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

Told ‘Ya So: New DNA Testing Technology Makes Some Alaska Crime Lab Requirements Obsolete

In 2010, the Alaska Policy Forum published a report entitled “A Critical Review of the Crime Laboratory Replacement Project.” You can download the report and summary here. This report included information on how emerging DNA technology would enable the rapid testing of DNA samples in police...
September 7th, 2012 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

Guest Opinion: A Careful Look at Ballot Measure 1

By Dave Donley Ballot Measure One could put the state on the path to losing over $110 million dollars in annual revenue.  The real but hidden issue at dispute in Ballot Measure One is how the North Slope Borough, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the City of Valdez tax the billions of dollars of...
August 27th, 2012 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

Parnell’s rejection of a state exchange

It’s always important to give praise where praise is due, and Governor Parnell deserves praise for making a right call on Exchanges. If you haven’t been following this issue, here’s the quick version: The proponents of Obamacare needed a way to force businesses to offer health insurance coverage...
August 1st, 2012 | Fiscal Policy, Health Care | Read More

Should Alaska Measure Results of Tax Incentives When it Gives Them?

Many states give tax incentives to industries and companies to entice them to move to their state and hire locally and invest in their state. For example, there was much talk about film industry tax credits during the last legislative session. Many of these discussions centered around what do they bring...
April 20th, 2012 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

Alaska Preschool Spending: Does It Work?

The Alaska Legislature is considering whether to spend the funds to set up preschool. We interviewed Lisa Snell from the Reason Foundation to find out what studies show about the results of preschool when attempted in other states. Should Alaska Create a New Program for Preschool? (2.8MB)
April 5th, 2012 | Education, Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Knik Arm Bridge–State as Last Sucker?

  By: Jamie Kenworthy There may be no better Alaskan example of a big spending government project misrepresented as a “public-private partnership” than the Knik Arm Bridge, Alaska’s second and only surviving “Bridge to Nowhere”.  This study examines the financial aspects of the Bridge...
March 19th, 2012 | Fiscal Policy | Read More

Do AWWU Plumbers Deserve a Pay Raise?

The Anchorage Assembly voted down the three year nearly 15% increase in wages for plumbers (most at AWWU). Was this the right decision? The average AWWU plumber receives about $109,000 annually in pay and benefits; the average Anchorage non-AWWU plumber gets about $68,000 annually(not including benefits,...
August 31st, 2011 | Collective Bargaining Agreements, Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More