The fiscal situation that Alaska and Alaskans continue to face remains critical, and it is crucial that it be addressed in this 31st session of the Alaska Legislature. Since the collapse of oil prices several years ago, the Legislature has had the opportunity to develop a sustainable fiscal plan for the State, and it is now a must-do situation.
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska is a trade association representing over 650 general and specialty contractors, suppliers, manufacturers and businesses participating in one of Alaska’s largest economic sectors. As recent as 2016, the construction industry was Alaska’s third-largest industry, paying the second-highest wages and employing more than 18,000 workers with a payroll of over $1 billion. Our industry accounted for 20 percent of and contributed nearly $7 bil-lion to Alaska’s economy annually. Today the numbers paint a different picture. A downturn in the construction industry has meant a loss of several thousand jobs and billions of dollars to the overall state economy. The entire membership of our organization has a vested interest in the economic strength of our state, and we are committed to future development and prosperity for all of Alaska’s residents. The need for capital spending is critical for construction workers as well as all other sectors of the Alaska economy.
AGC, like many other Alaska businesses, associations and industries, believes that Alaska needs a fiscal plan and we need it NOW.
A successful fiscal plan must be fair, must not bring undue burden to any one group but must also enlist all Alaskans to share in the solution.
A fiscal plan for Alaska will require significant compromise by everyone. AGC of Alaska recognizes that a fiscal plan for Alaska will not be perfect — it will have something for everyone to like and something for everyone to dislike. AGC’s membership stands ready as willing and supportive participants to a responsible fiscal plan for Alaska, in part which will contain a responsible, long-term capital budget. Investment in a capital budget, support of a broad range of long-term resource and infrastructure development projects, and an aggressive deferred maintenance program for state properties is the best course to promote and sustain a stable economy for Alaska and Alaskans.
AGC agrees it will take a combination of spending cuts, revenue measures and use of Permanent Fund earnings to provide the basis of a sustainable fiscal plan for Alaska. The Legislature must make measured cuts in government spending and implement a responsible revenue strategy in this Legislative session to maintain the optimistic, pioneering spirit that has developed the State of Alaska and will continue to allow for economic opportunity for future generations. These actions, with a phased implementation strategy and combined with the use of Permanent Fund earnings, will provide the basis for a sustainable fiscal plan for Alaska.