Alaska owes public workers $6.6 billion more in pensions than it has in assets.
Current state law allows the Gov. Bill Walker’s administration to sell up to $5 billion in bonds, but the Legislature needs to appropriate that money. The bill would reduce that amount to $1.5 billion. But it signals that at least some lawmakers could support an appropriation in the future.
Sen. Anna MacKinnon, an Eagle River Republican, said the bill is a compromise for senators and House members.
“There are some in both bodies that thought we should eliminate all possibility of borrowing,” she said.
The bonds would essentially be low-interest debt. The state could use that money to invest. If investment returns were higher than the bonds’ rate, the state would save money.
The House passed the bill on Saturday and the Senate agreed Monday to changes the House made.
- Air traffic controllers in Yellowknife, Canada, joined in a widespread, pizza-based act of good will recently as the U.S. federal employees’ unpaid payday came and went.
- Alaska’s attorney general and two of the state’s congressional lawmakers are calling on a federal appeals court to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act. A U.S. district court judge struck the law down in October.
- A new Blood Bank of Alaska location celebrated its grand opening Thursday in Juneau. The region has been served by mobile blood donation facilities in the past, but this is the first permanent center in years.
- On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service notified objectors of a proposed timber sale about a public meeting in Klawock. By Thursday, the meeting was canceled. But some groups are wondering why this work is happening now at all.