SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Alaska’s Fiscal Future Discussed with Business Leaders


September 15 2015
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott today announced they have solicited input from more than 20 leaders of the state’s business community about Alaska’s fiscal future. The Walker-Mallott administration convened the meeting on Friday—the second such business roundtable discussion so far this year.

“I wanted to assemble a number of business leaders and owners from various industries to get their input on Alaska’s fiscal challenges and opportunities,” Governor Walker said. “We received some great feedback, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with this group about Alaska’s future.”

The group discussed ongoing spending cuts and how much to reduce from state government. The State currently has 600 fewer employees than in December, Office of Management and Budget Director Pat Pitney told the group.

“Cuts alone won’t get us there,” Pitney said. “Even if we were to lay off every state employee, we would not make a significant difference in the $3.5 billion deficit. We must discuss revenue options, though there is tremendous pressure to do nothing because it’s not politically expedient.”

The group also discussed the potential effects of using Permanent Fund earnings to fund public services, as well as implementing a sales or income tax.

“For the first time in a long time, Alaskans have an opportunity to really shape the future of the state,” Lt. Governor Mallott said. “The outcome may not be popular, but we must keep in mind the greater good. We have the responsibility to not only preserve our wealth for posterity, but to ensure that our children and grandchildren have a state in which they can prosper and thrive.”

Among those who attended: Jim Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of Lynden Transportation; Ron Duncan, President and CEO of GCI; Alice Rogoff, Publisher of Alaska Dispatch News; Janet Weiss, Regional President of BP Alaska; Ed Rasmuson, Chairman of Rasmuson Foundation; John Hendrix, General Manager of Apache Corporation; Deantha Crockett, Executive Director of Alaska Miners Association; Hugh Ashlock, CEO of Dimond Center; Aaron Schutt, President and CEO of Doyon, Limited; Betsy Lawer, President and Chair of First National Bank of Alaska; Gail Schubert, President and CEO of Bering Straits Native Corporation; Marc Langland, Chairman and CEO of Northrim Bank; Peter Grunwaldt, CEO of Premier Alaska Tours; Dave Cruz, Owner of Cruz Construction and Cruz Marine; John Lee, Principal of New Horizons Telecom; David Gottstein, President of Dynamic Capital Management; Robin Brena, Owner of Brena, Bell, and Clarkson; Carl Brady, Vice-Chair of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation; Dana Pruhs, CEO of Pruhs Corporation; Bernie Karl, Owner of Chena Hot Springs Resort; Butch Lincoln, Executive Vice President of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Art Hackney, Owner of Hackney and Hackney Communications.




Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Office of Governor Bill Walker


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