Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

Apologies & Bullies

The Alaska AFL-CIO leader, Vince Beltrami, has posted a video on YouTube which depicts David Boyle as a bully to those who support Medicaid expansion in Alaska.  Unfortunately, Mr. Beltrami uses his platform to attempt to bully Mr. Boyle into apologizing to attendees at a recent Medicaid expansion public...
April 24th, 2015 | Medicare/Medicaid, Recent News | Read More

Is Alaska Getting Bang for the Buck with its Education Funding?

(This is a reprint of an op-ed that first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, April 17, 2015) It has been claimed by many that the State of Alaska is not funding public education adequately and some are trying to destroy the system.  These claims are just that–claims.  They are not backed...
April 22nd, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Anchorage School District Grows While Students Dwindle

Have you heard how the ASD will dry up and blow away if the legislature does not restore the funding cuts to education?  We posted an earlier article that showed that the ASD could weather this storm of cuts with very minimal impact to the classroom.  Now let’s take a look at how the ASD staff...
April 20th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Medicaid Expansion Hurts Medicare Seniors and Tricare Families

An open Letter to Governor Walker and Alaska State Legislators Of all the issues surrounding Medicaid expansion, fairness to Alaska’s senior and veteran populations should be the highest priority. The expansion of Medicaid will have a very serious adverse impact on Medicare seniors, and veterans...
April 14th, 2015 | Health Care, Medicare/Medicaid | Read More

ASD Can Handle $30 Million Cuts Without Affecting Classrooms

We have heard from those who benefit financially from public education funding that the $43 million decrease in funding by the Legislature would seriously affect education.  On April 6th, the ASD School Board had a work meeting to discuss these recent reductions of 4.1% from the Foundation Formula. ...
April 13th, 2015 | Recent News | 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

Is Alaska Violating its Own Constitution?

During recent testimony to the Senate Education Committee, it was disclosed that public funds were being used to fund private education.  How can that be?  Aren’t we a nation of laws?  Sometimes these actions occur because people just are not informed of the law or constitution.  Other times...
March 12th, 2015 | 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

More Federal Overreach in Alaska by EPA

Remember when you were a kid and just loved to jump and splash in puddles after a rain or during breakup?  Remember how as a kid you loved to sail stick boats in rain water runoff?  Those were the good old days and if the EPA has its way, your children and grandchildren will not enjoy those harmless...
November 19th, 2014 | Recent News | Read More

What is the Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Alaska?

In November 2013, Governor Parnell decided not to expand Medicaid to cover able-bodied, childless working age adults, a population which has never been covered before under the Medicaid program. Alaska already spends about $1.5 billion to cover nearly 140,000 Alaskans. If Medicaid were expanded, an additional...
October 29th, 2014 | Health Care | Read More

Anchorage Teachers Free Yourself From Political Dues–Act by September 15th

Wouldn’t it be great to put about $280 in your pocket this time of year? Members of the Anchorage Education Association can do just that if they act by September 15th.  This is not just teachers, it includes nurses, librarians, psychologists and all others who are required to belong to the AEA...
September 10th, 2014 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Ketchikan Gateway Borough Payroll Now Available

In the past we have provided public employee payroll information to citizens of Anchorage, the MatSu, and the State of Alaska.  We now have the basic public employee payroll for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough not including the school district.  We do not have this payroll listed by a person’s...
September 4th, 2014 | Accountability, Recent News, Transparency | Read More

GAS Throws Money at Education with no Accountability Measures

by Bob Griffin We have heard many times through the local media about the wonderful job that Great Alaska Schools (GAS) has done to improve education in Alaska. But what exactly has GAS proposed to improve the public K-12 education system other than advocate for a more expensive version of the failing...
June 19th, 2014 | Accountability, Education | Read More

Great Teachers are the Most Important Factor in Educating our Youth

by: David Nees The Alaska Policy Forum is continuing to participate in the Education Matters series, a continuation of Mayor Sullivan‘s Education Summit.  The latest meeting was on May 9, 2014 and focused on teacher preparation and quality. Three guest speakers made presentations followed by a series...
June 12th, 2014 | Education, Recent News | Read More

Anchorage School District Fools the Legislature

Remember all the noise about funding the BSA? Remember the chants about having to fire teachers, up to 200 according to the Anchorage School District? Well, the Legislature gave public schools an increase in the Base Student Allocation of $150 this upcoming year and $50 for each of the next two years....
May 19th, 2014 | Recent News | Read More