Alaska News

Alaska Gov. Walker plans briefings on fiscal concepts and budget

JUNEAU -- Gov. Bill Walker has invited Alaska business leaders here Thursday for a discussion of his final fiscal plan and the unveiling of his budget, and lawmakers will get their own briefing Wednesday on a "sovereign wealth fund concept."

Walker's administration has been working for months to create a plan to balance Alaska's budget. This year the state is spending $5 billion while bringing in just $2.2 billion in revenue following a steep decline in the price of oil.

Taxes and royalties from North Slope oil make up the majority of state revenue.

In an interview Monday afternoon, Walker wouldn't say when he intends to unveil his fiscal plan to the public.

"It will be out when it's done," Walker said.

Later Monday, his office invited three dozen business leaders, including Alaska Dispatch News Publisher Alice Rogoff, to a business roundtable discussion at the Capitol on Thursday "to discuss the final fiscal plan and budget rollout." A copy of the invitation was provided by another invitee.

And on Tuesday, Walker's office emailed all 60 legislators to invite them and senior staffers to a Wednesday presentation from Attorney General Craig Richards "on the sovereign wealth fund concept." Several copies of the invitation were provided to Alaska Dispatch News.

A sovereign wealth fund is a government-owned investment fund like the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Neither invitation included details of the presentations.

A spokeswoman for Walker, Katie Marquette, said in a prepared statement Tuesday: "The administration continues to work on the final details of its fiscal plan."

Richards, she said, "will give a presentation to lawmakers and members of the business community this week on the major concept of the plan."

Nathaniel Herz

Nathaniel Herz is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He’s been a reporter in Alaska for nearly a decade, with stints at ADN and Alaska Public Media. He’s reported around the state and loves cross-country skiing.

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