News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Dunleavy
For Immediate Release: January 27, 2017
Amendment Proposed to Strengthen Constitutional Spending Limit
JUNEAU – An amendment to Alaska’s Constitution was introduced today that would – if approved by a majority of Alaska voters – strengthen the constitutional appropriation limit enacted by voters in 1982, and reaffirmed in 1986.
SJR 2, proposed by Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) on behalf of the Senate State Affairs Committee, would lower the baseline for government spending to reflect the state’s current fiscal reality, and cap the spending limit in succeeding years to a percentage of the annual change in population and inflation.
“This may be the most crucial piece of legislation that comes out of the 30th Legislature,” said Sen. Dunleavy. “This amendment would fix Alaska’s existing constitutional spending limit, which has not functioned as it was intended to.”
At a time when the state was flush with oil wealth, Alaskans enacted measures to prevent excessive growth in government spending, including the Alaska Permanent Fund (1976), Constitutional Appropriation Limit (1982 & 1986), Statutory Appropriation Limit (1986) and the Constitutional Budget Reserve fund (1990).
“The state’s fiscal crisis may call upon Alaskans to make sacrifices, and the people want assurances that the size, spend and growth of government will be kept in check,” said Sen. Dunleavy. “I look forward to working with my colleagues who have expressed interest in advancing this effort to repair our appropriation limits – including those who have already or will soon introduce similar legislation of their own.”
If passed by the Legislature, SJR 2 would appear on the general election ballot in November, 2018.
For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald (907) 465-4066.