Chamber 'Budget Blitz' Continues to Explore Deficit Problem

Submitted by Staff Reporter on 02/15/2017 - 17:34.

Executive Director of the group 'Alaska's Future', Ian Laing, spoke today as a part of the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce's 'Budget Blitz' on the state's budget crisis, and what should be done to help savings.

According to Laing, the budget problem stems from the over reliance on oil revenues.

Budget cuts, more revenue - like a sales tax, and reduced spending are three things Laing advises to help with the predicament.

Laing says by 2019, if no plan is made, Alaska's savings will have depleted and major cuts to government services may be put into place, as well as potentially terminating the entire P-F-D program.

With the situation Alaskans are facing, Laing urges the state government to make a plan now, before it's too late: "Alaska's Future recognizes that any reasonable plan moving forward is going to need to include a combination of continued budget cuts, new revenues... and some form of permanent fund earnings use has really got to be the corner stone of that plan. It's not often that you get to look two, three, four years down the road and see the writing on the wall and have the opportunity to make the decisions now that will really define that future, and that's the situation we're in now. But if we don't adopt an organized strategy for using [natural resources] in a fiscally prudent way, we'll sort of blow it."

The last lecture of the 'Budget Blitz Week' will be held tomorrow, February 16th, from 3 to 5 PM at the Carlson Center.

It will feature Brad Keithley, who will be speaking on behalf of 'Alaskans for Sustainable Budgets'.