Standard & Poor’s has improved its outlook on the state’s bonds, from negative to stable. It took the action Friday in part as a response to a new state law. The measure outlines a plan to draw money from Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to pay for state government.
The improved outlook means the rating agency no longer expects to lower the state’s credit rating. The rating affects how much the state must pay those who buy Alaska bonds. The lower the rating, the more the state must pay to borrow money.
S & P analysts cited the law as one of several factors that led them to revise the outlook for Alaska. The law says the state can draw up to 5 percent of the permanent fund’s value each year. The money can be used to pay for state government, as well as for permanent fund dividends. Higher oil prices also contributed to the improved outlook.
Gov. Bill Walker signed the law Wednesday.
- 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.
- Speaker Pro Tempore Neal Foster was able to swear in House appointee Sharon Jackson, but the legislative body still can’t form committees or start work on bills until a majority comes together.
- For decades, Bethel Search and Rescue has flown with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor winter river conditions. But the shutdown has forced the group to turn to pricey commercial airlines for help.
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