ERIC Number: ED326347
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Years of Big Spending in Alaska: How Good Is the Record? ISER Occasional Papers No. 20.
Harrison, Gordon S.
This paper is an informal assessment of Alaska state spending during the lucrative "oil years" of the early 1980s. The huge Prudhoe Bay oil field began producing in 1977 and reached a daily output of about 1.5 million barrels in 1980. From 1980 to 1986, the field helped Alaska's government to have, in relation to its population, a revenue income that vastly exceeded that of any other state. During those years, the state spent more than $26 billion, most of it from oil revenues. A previous study found that several programs received disproportionately more state money than others. Prominent among these were the following: municipalities receiving grants for operating expenses, capital improvements, and school construction; public corporations; and state-subsidized loan funds, such as the state student-loan program. The following are significant successes of the state's financial management during the early 1980s: (1) establishment of the Permanent Fund, a public financial trust established to save part of Alaska's oil revenues; (2) evidence of concern for distributional equity, benefitting all geographical, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups; (3) support for public education, with educational expenditures exceeding one-third of the state's operating budgets; and (4) a lack of major corruption. The failures of fiscal management, however, include excessive spending, state budgeting performed in secret, and an indifference to accountability. The document includes a table showing state expenditures for education and other programs from 1981 to 1986. It concludes with a call to reform the budget process. (TES)
Descriptors: Budgeting, Educational Finance, Financial Policy, Income, Informal Assessment, Money Management, Public Policy, Resource Allocation, State Government, State History, State Programs
Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alaska Univ., Anchorage. Inst. of Social and Economic Research.
Identifiers: Alaska; Oil