JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Bill Walker’s administration is looking at leveraging the Alaska Permanent Fund to help spin off funds that could be put toward the state budget.
The details haven’t been finalized. But a Walker spokeswoman, Grace Jang, says the concept will serve as a major underpinning for Walker’s budget plan.
The concept, as explained by Attorney General Craig Richards, would involve putting the state’s petroleum production taxes into the permanent fund along with half of the state’s resource royalties.
Spun-off earnings, potentially around $3.3 billion a year, would go to the state general fund to help pay for the costs of government.
One of the goals of this approach is to decouple the budget from the volatility of oil prices. Richards says this wouldn’t plug the anticipated budget hole, but it would help close the gap.