Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

Did You Do This on July 4th?

In Alaska, we prize our summers and especially our weekends due to the long dark winters.  Many of us recreate in Alaska’s vast wilderness.  Others work in their gardens, play with their kids, and just get outdoors to enjoy the weather.  Did anyone discuss the merits of Obamacare during the...
July 7th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Republican Legislative Leaders Explain Use of Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account

  May 28, 2015 Dear Alaskan: As you are aware, Alaska is facing tough financial times. The price of oil has dropped nearly fifty percent from this time last year – posing a dramatic decrease in revenue and creating the largest deficit we have seen in our young state’s history. Some may call...
May 29th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Memorial Day-We Shall Never Forget

“Out of Mind” by Paul Beston, City Journal The separation between civilians and the military makes Memorial Day somber in unintended ways. May 22, 2015           Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images Earlier this month, six Marines died in a helicopter crash in Nepal,...
May 24th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Medicaid Expansion: Follow the Money

When it comes to public policy, many times it is necessary to follow the money and see who benefits financially.  So, let’s look at some organizations that support Medicaid expansion in Alaska and note the current connection to funding from the State.  Many of these organizations do great work...
May 20th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

Answer These Questions Before Alaska Expands Medicaid

Here is a list of questions from House Finance Committee to the Department of Health & Social Services that need to be answered before Alaska even thinks about expanding Medicaid: ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE Date: May 8, 2015 To: Department of Health and Social Services From:...
May 11th, 2015 | Recent News | Read More

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