The measure would create an approximate $380 million bond package that would fund a new sports arena at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The bond package, which was included in the state 2010 budget, was the only component of the budget that could be decided by voters. Also included in the proposed package was the use of that money to fund construction of rural schools, among other projects. The Senate Finance Committee approved the proposal on April 10, 2010.
Details of the package included:
$80 million for a new sports arena
$128.5 million for schools in the western part of the state.
$20 million for a state library, archives and museum building in the state capital.
$40 million total for a fish and game research building in the Kodiak area of the state.
$23.5 million for an arts and learning center.
$108.6 million for a sciences classroom and lab facility at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
Shall the State of Alaska issue its general obligation bonds in the principal amount of not more than $397,200,000 for the purpose of design and construction of library, education, and educational research facilities?
An Act providing for and relating to the issuance of general obligation bonds for the purpose of paying the cost of design and construction of library, education, and educational research facilities; and providing for an effective date.
The Bill authorizes Alaska's voters to consider up to $397.2 million in general obligation bonds. The bonds would carry the full faith and taxing authority of the State, and thereby achieve the lowest interest rate available. If the proposition were approved in November 2010 it is anticipated that bonds would be issued in early 2011, unless there are compelling financial reasons to sell the bonds more quickly. The current interest rate is very favorable with 20 year amortization debt for credits similar to Alaska achieving interest rates below 4% by using temporary programs like the Build America Bond program. Interest rate achieved will depend on market conditions at the time bonds are sold. For modeling purposes the Department used an assumed interest rate of 4.2% with a 20 year amortization, however in today's market debt service would be approximately $1 million lower per year. Miscellaneous costs include statutory requirements related to public notice and information dissemination prior to the election.
The main campaign for the measure was Yes on Prop B. According to campaign manager Arliss Sturgulewski, "There should be a great deal of public awareness of what’s in the (proposition). It has a lot of worthwhile projects.” The group officially kicked off their educational campaign to inform voters on October 11, 2010.
The "Yes on B" campaign was led by former Senator Arliss Sturgulewski, former Fairbanks mayor Jim Sampson, and University of Alaska executive vice president Wendy Redman.
Geraldine Benshoof, retired teacher and speech therapist, stated, "I don’t think there’s any question, there’s need for this. We need to have facilities that are comfortable for kids so they can have a good learning environment. They don’t need a Taj Mahal, but they definitely need comfortable facilities.”
Kodiak Mayor Gerome Selby stated about the measure's impact on fishery researchers' labs, "It’s really supporting the Fish and Game function. Fisheries are a primary driver of our economy, and we just felt that the borough could step in and assist Fish and Game so facilities wouldn’t be a barrier for them.”
Director and spokesman for the "Yes on Prop B" campaign Josh Applebee stated about the campaign, "This will be a positive campaign. We will be available to talk to any group with questions, any media with concerns, and any voters in the hope to get the word out.”
There was no known opposing campaign for Proposition B.
According to reports, the "Yes on Prop B" campaign had raised more than $450,000.
The Homer News endorsed the measure, stating, "The bond proposition is, indeed, an investment in Alaska's future, preparing Alaskans for Alaska jobs, boosting the economy in the near term with 6,400 construction jobs and attracting new money to the state for research."
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner stated support for the measure, arguing, "We must grab this window and fling it open by voting “yes” on Proposition B. At $88 million, the life sciences building is the largest single project in a $397 million general obligation bond package the Legislature placed on the ballot. The package is large, but each element meets a significant demand for educational and research facilities in every region of the state."
The Anchorage Daily News supported the measure by stating, "This is a big investment in the state's educational system. But it's an investment in long-term facilities that will provide both short- and long-term jobs. Better yet, they'll still be serving our students and communities long after the bonds are retired. It's a good vote."
The Juneau Empire was in favor of the measure.