An engaged Alaskan democracy

Alaska’s Fiscal Future – Events in 2019 and 2020

Alaska Common Ground has continued to hold events discussing Alaska’s Fiscal Future. Please scroll down to find information and video from our last three events.

From Conflict to Compromise: Four debates on Alaska’s fiscal options

As projected deficits mount and savings are spent, Alaskans increasingly consider four options to balance the budget. On February 11, we held an event with four mini-debates on the following fiscal options, and started the event with a program statement from ACG board members Cliff Groh and Drew Cason. You can find their presentation slides here.

Video from ACG event on February 11, 2020

Making Additional Substantial Budget Cuts

Supporter:  Melodie Wilterdink, Associate Director, Alaska Policy Forum

Opponent:  Les Gara, Former Legislator

Continuing To Use More Than 50% Of The Annual Permanent Fund Draw To Help Pay For Public Services, Even If That Reduces Dividends

SupporterScott Kendall, Former Chief of Staff to Governor Bill Walker
OpponentRick Halford, Former Legislator

Reinstating Broad-Based Taxes

Supporter:  Brad Keithley, Managing Director, Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets
Opponent:  Tim Harper, Economist and Consultant

Raising Oil Taxes

Supporter:  Robin Brena, Attorney
Opponent:  Roger Marks, Petroleum Economist

What kind of Alaska do we want?
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Following up on our forum in January, The Costs of Alaska’s Economic Roller Coaster (scroll down for video and information on that program), this event included Senator Natasha von Imhof, Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, who has quantified the problem, as well as Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and a panel of experts providing their vision of a desirable fiscal future for Alaska and how they think we can get there. You can read a summary of the event and discussion here.

Moderated by Thea Agnew Bemben

A Senator’s View of Fiscal Choices and Opportunities

Other Experts Weigh in:

  • Ethan Berkowitz – Mayor, Municipality of Anchorage
  • Greg Razo – VP Government Relations, CIRI
  • Mouhcine Guettabi – UAA, Institute of Economic Research – presentation slides
  • Larry Persily – Atwood Chair, UAA, Dept of Journalism – presentation slides

Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters of Anchorage

The Costs of Alaska’s Economic Roller Coaster
Sunday, January 27, 2019

Video from the event produced by Jensen Hall Creative

We’ve been here before. Petroleum revenues have benefitted Alaska greatly, but these revenues are highly volatile and largely at the whim of global forces beyond state control. Alaska Common Ground recognizes that to achieve a strong and stable economy our state will need an ongoing income stream large enough to pay for essential state governmental services. This event will examine the costs of a start-and-stop economy and the benefits of a stable source of state income.

Senator Lisa Murkowski: Serving Alaskans by Working Across the Aisle

Panelists’ Perspectives: Moderated by John Tracy

·  Business – Angela Libal, Owner, Title Wave Books

·  Banker – Joe Schierhorn, Chairman, President & CEO, Northrim Bank

·  Labor – Ryan Andrew, Business Representative, IBEW Local 1547

·  Municipal – Larry Persily, Former Chief of Staff, Kenai Borough

·  Rural – Greg Razo, VP Government Relations, CIRI

·  Service – Mark Schneiter, Schneiter & Moad CPAs

Economist Response: Mouhcine Guettabi, UAA ISER

Event cosponsored by Title Wave Books, the IBEW Local 1547, the Anchorage Public Library, and the League of Women Voters of Anchorage.