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.
- The new Fairbanks lab is fully operational, but it will need to get a final inspection in the coming weeks before the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office issues the license.
- Vigor Alaska’s shipyard in Ketchikan is potentially laying off up to 80 local employees this winter, as the company wraps up construction of two Alaska Marine Highway System ferries.
- After some Alaskans had their voter registration addresses changed before Tuesday's primary, state officials say affected voters can vote a questioned ballot at the polling place based on where they live.
- Political machinations have left the Juneau Assembly down to just seven members. That's empowered a three-member minority to block any actions between now and after the October election.