Archive for the ‘Issues’ Category

Anchorage Mayor Berkowitz Aims to Eliminate Important Taxpayer Protection

The proposed 2017 Anchorage municipal budget from Mayor Berkowitz exceeds the amount allowed under the Spending Increase Limitation (commonly known as the “Spending Cap”).  This has caused the introduction of a new ordinance (2016 AO-130) to the Anchorage Assembly to repeal the 33 year-old...
October 19th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

Be a Responsible Citizen, be an Informed Voter

We all have a civic duty to vote and hold our elected officials accountable.  However, to hold them accountable one must be informed of their past voting records if officeholders.  And if the candidate is running to challenge an incumbent, then a voter must vet that candidate on their positions and...
October 17th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

The Transfer of Wealth by Government Employee Unions–ML&P

Government employee unions are taking more wealth from Anchorage citizens in the form of increased utility rates.  If you read the ADN article, you would be led to believe that the 25% increase is only due to paying off the costs of a newly built electrical generation plant.  Think again.  Nowhere...
October 12th, 2016 | Recent News, Transparency | Read More

Disgusted with Trump vs. Clinton? Blame America’s Civic Education

Our friends (Rebecca Burgess, author) at the American Enterprise Institute have some very interesting observations about the electorate’s knowledge of the structure and functions of our republic. Three-quarters of American adults are unable to name all three branches of American government. About...
October 11th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

Alaska Pension Obligation Bond Commission Increases State Debt by $3.15 Billion

In case you missed it, Governor Walker’s men just voted to sell bonds to finance the PERS/TRS liability payments.  We missed it too!  We tried to listen in to the meeting held Sept 26 at 2:00pm but were unable to find a teleconference number to call.  Here is the posting of the public record...
October 11th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

NAACP Pushes Back Against Public Charter Schools

Delegates to the NAACP recently voted in favor of a resolution calling for a national moratorium on public charter schools.  Why would the NAACP take away one of the few choices, public charter schools, that low income African-American children have to succeed?  It just makes no sense that this organization...
September 21st, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

State sees bonds as investment capital to close unfunded pension gap

Here is a repost of an article written in June 2010 on the state using bonds to fund state pensions. June 14, 2010 Selling up to $5 billion in bonds could either place Alaska further in the red or, as State officials hope, successfully decrease the multi-billion dollar pension unfunded liability. Deputy...
September 20th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

Audio: The Failed Experiment of Pension Bonding

In 2008, the Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 13, which authorized the selling of bonds (debt) for investment to fill the $10 billion pension gap in PERS/TRS. But Steve Malanga from the Manhattan Institute says pension bonding is an idea that has been attempted in other states with some terrible...
September 20th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Would You Sacrifice 5 Years of Your Life for Your Child?

  Every year, nearly 3,000 Americans die because they cannot find a matching bone marrow donor. Common sense suggests that offering modest incentives to attract more bone marrow donors would be worth pursuing, but federal law made that a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.   “The...
September 6th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

Pros & Cons on State of Alaska Leading on AKLNG Project

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August 31st, 2016 | Economics, Energy, Recent News, Resource Development | Read More

Governor Walker’s Law Department Gives a Pass to Alaska Lead on Gas line

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August 23rd, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Our Recommendations to Legislature on Improving Budget Process in January 2014

The Alaska Policy Forum was invited to present its recommendations on improving the capital and operating budgeting processes to the Budget Subcommittee of House Finance in January 2014.  Scott Goldsmith of ISER and Brad Keithley also presented their recommendations to this committee.  All of us were...
August 9th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Candidate Walker’s Positions on Alaska’s Budget in October 2014

The following is a letter from then-candidate Bill Walker to United For Liberty dated October 2014 (emphasis added): I chose to run as an unaffiliated independent candidate because I believe that politics have become too partisan for the wrong reasons and we have been mired in political party bickering...
July 7th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

That Blanking, Bloated, Big Alaska Budget!

By now most of us are totally confused when it comes to the Alaska state budget discussions going on in the legislature.  Undesignated General Funds, Designated General Funds, Operating Budget, Statewide Costs, ad infinitum.  And maybe that is the objective: confusion.  And the governor, the legislators,...
June 17th, 2016 | Fiscal Policy, Recent News | Read More

Alaska Ranks #1 in Fiscal Health; Or Does it?

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University released its annual version of “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition” last week.  Guess what?  It showed Alaska as ranking #1 in fiscal health beating all the other states.  Well, we do know that Alaska is #1 in many things including, natural...
June 9th, 2016 | Recent News | Read More

Juneau Borough Payroll Just Released; 526 Employees Cost More Than the Mayor

One of our guiding principles at the Alaska Policy Forum is that government should be limited and as transparent as possible.  Over the past 4 years we have provided as much information that we could obtain from local/state governments and school districts.  We believe it is important for taxpayers...
June 2nd, 2016 | Accountability, Fiscal Policy | Read More