The annual state budget has finally been delivered, reviewed, and signed as of mid-June 2023. For the first time since Alaska Policy Forum (APF) began releasing the annual Responsible Alaska Budget (RAB), the state funds portion of the enacted budget is less than the RAB threshold! For FY 2024, the RAB was set at $7.71 billion, and the state funds portion of the FY 2024 enacted budget — both operating and capital appropriations — is $6.89 billion. We applaud policymakers for their hard work and dedication to compromise in finalizing a budget that meets the needs of Alaskans while still being realistic and responsible.
APF combines Undesignated General Funds (UGF), Designated Funds (DGF), and other state funds (Other) to calculate total state funds, leaving federal funds, fund transfers, and the Permanent Fund Dividend payment out of the RAB equation.
Moving forward, we urge policymakers to continue practicing fiscal responsibility and to consider sustainable reforms that will ensure a stable budget year after year. These reforms include implementing a meaningful spending cap, avoiding new taxes that will harm Alaskans, and exploring the impacts of accepting massive federal funds.
We are confident that enacting a Responsible Alaska Budget was the right move for Alaskans and will benefit the Great Land. We are hopeful that a Responsible Alaska Budget will become a recurring trend.
The views expressed here are those of the author.