Alaska state budget (2010-2011)

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Find the state’s FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) online[1]
2011 State spending & deficit in billions[2]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Debt
$12.3 $1.5 $1.4 $1.5 $0.9 $0.7 $1.5 $7.5
2011 Local spending & deficit in billions[2]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Debt
$6.1 $0.00 $0.3 $2.2 $0.1 $0.40 $0.4 $5.2

The FY2011 budget totaled $8.2 billion, an increase from FY2010's budget of $8.19 billion.[3] It was signed into law by Gov. Sean Parnell on June 3, 2010.[4] Alaska had a $260 million surplus, an amount equal to nearly 4 percent of its general fund budget surplus,[5] due largely to higher-than-expected revenue from oil taxes. During budget discussions the governor proposed using the surplus funds to repay education funds that were previously raided to balance the budget, and also using the funds to offer tax incentives for oil companies to drill additional wells in hopes of increasing future revenue.[6]

On June 3, 2010, Gov. Parnell approved the bills after vetoing portions of the budget that would eliminate $336 million.[4] He cut $300 million from the $3.1 billion capital budget as well as $35 million dollars that were originally appropriated for Denali Kid Care.[4] Karen Rehfeld, Parnell's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, noted that Alaska spending less than it was bringing in for the year. The supplemental budget passed for FY2010 included a $401.6 million appropriation to pay back money borrowed from the Constitutional Budget Reserve in lean times.[4]

The FY2011 capital budget included the following:

  • $1.26 billion for transportation projects
  • $88.5 million for water and sewer projects
  • $451 million for K-12 education and the university
  • $123 million for deferred maintenance
  • $77 million for renewable and other energy projects.
  • $397.2 million in general obligation bonds for education-related facilities[7]

Gov. Parnell explained the challenges faced in putting together the 2011 budget include built in increases for education and Medicaid that could total $163 million combined with 5% to 6% personnel increases of new labor contracts for state workers.[8] In January 2010, a new budget report revealed that Alaska had approximately $10 billionin cash reserves.[9] The revenue report revealed that a state tax on oil and gas production was "performing as expected," however in January 2010 the governor said he "wants to give oil and gas companies greater incentives to did business in the state" by changing the state energy tax.[10][11] The governor in June 2010 described the plan to spend most of the ample oil revenues generated in 2010 in the "healthy capital budget" in an effort to bolster the state's economy.

The governor also said in June 2010 that he would support a plan to borrow $400 million for additional spending.[4]

The Mental Health budget totaled $216 million.[12] In the Department of Health and Social Services, the federal Medicaid contribution rate was scheduled to shift from the "enhanced" stimulus rate to the average rate, leaving the Department with an estimated shortfall of $67 million.[13]

Accounting principles

See also:Alaska government accounting principles]]

Article IX, Section 14 of the Alaska Constitution provides that "The legislature shall appoint an auditor to serve at its pleasure. He shall be a certified public accountant. The Auditor shall conduct post-audits as prescribed by law and shall report to the legislature and to the governor.”[14]

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee was responsible for overseeing the Division of Legislative Audit. The Committee was composed of five members from the Senate and five members from the House of Representatives.[15][16]

Audits were performed by the Division of Legislative Audit in order to ensure that Alaska state administrators comply with financial regulations and adequately manage their state programs and were published on their Web site.

Credit Ratings

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Alaska[17] AA Aa2 AAA[18]

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated Alaska “Timely” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – The annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states timely, 22 states tardy, and 6 states as worst. IFTA did not consider Alaska’s CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis did not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[19] Alaska’s Department of Administration, Division of Finance was responsible for filing the CAFR, which were published on their Web site. Kim Garnero was Division Director.[20]

Budget transparency

Alaska had partial transparency, because of its online checkbook register.[21]

See also: Evaluation of Alaska state website

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. FY2011 CAFR
  2. 2.0 2.1 USA Spending, State Guesstimated* Government Spending
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named gov
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The Juneau Empire "Parnell strikes $300 million from state budget" June 4, 2010
  5. The Boston Globe "Amid deficit gloom, some states enjoy surpluses" Nov. 5, 2011 (dead link)
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named see
  7. Alaska Pride, "Alaska Proposition B To Provide $397.2 Million In General Obligation Funds For Education," October 5, 2010
  8. Alaska Journal of Commerce, “Parnell says he'll tackle state budget planning with care,” September 18, 2009 (dead link)
  9. Associated Press, "Alaska lawmakers focus on spending and oil incentives," January 20, 2010
  10. Associated Press, "Alaska Governor Pushes Changes to State Energy Tax," January 15, 2010
  11. "Parnell pushes changes to Alaska energy tax," January 14, 2010
  12. "Governor Parnell Reduces State Spending," June 3, 2010
  13. Alaska Watchdog, "State faced with $67 million Medicaid gap," July 15, 2010
  14. Alaska Division of Legislative Audit Web site, accessed October 7, 2009
  15. Legislative Budget & Audit Committee Web site, accessed October 7, 2009
  16. Division of Legislative Audit
  17. California State Treasurer, “Comparison of Other States’ General Obligation Bond Ratings”
  18. Pew Stateline Infographic on State Credit Ratings. Accessed September 30, 2013
  19. Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
  20. Alaska Division of Finance Web site, accessed October 7, 2009
  21. Checkbook Register Online (timed out)