Alaska is fortunate to be one of the most fiscally-stable states in America. Several years of high oil prices have resulted in sizeable budget surpluses and allowed the Legislature to place over $14 billion in state savings accounts since 2004. The Alaska Permanent Fund has also rebounded from significant losses during the economic downturn and now sits at over $40 billion. As Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I'm proud of the work my colleagues and I have accomplished in building these savings while simultaneously addressing essential statewide and community needs.
Alaska's finances hinge on a single commodity: oil. Approximately 90% of state revenues come from oil taxes and royalties. Even short-term dips in oil prices or production have pronounced impacts on state budgets. I've worked to restrain growth in government and enhance savings to buoy state finances if oil prices change. It is important that we exercise fiscal restraint when crafting state budgets, and continue to place as much of those surpluses in savings as we can.