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.
- According to the National Weather Service, between 1.5 and 3 inches of rain had fallen in the last 18 hours as of 1 p.m. Sunday. Up to 5 inches were expected to fall by noon Monday.
- How well walruses cope with less sea ice is at the heart of a legal fight over whether walruses should be listed as a threatened species, giving them an added protection against human encroachments.
- A small number of Alaskans experiencing psychiatric crises are being diverted from healthcare facilities to custody within the Department of Corrections. Critics worry the emergency measure is not only unlawful, but putting patients in jeopardy.
- Federal investigators closed their investigation into a decade-old fatal plane crash mystery on an Alaska island, concluding the pilot accidentally flew into a mountain.