Conference of Alaskans

Posted: Friday, February 13, 2004

Conference of Alaskans

February 10-12, 2004

 

 

 

Feb. 12, 2004

For Immediate Release

 

 

FAIRBANKS – 

The Conference of Alaskans wrapped up business Thursday, cautiously

endorsing the use of Permanent Fund income for state services—with two

stringent conditions attached—and approving a new way of managing

earnings from the Permanent Fund called Percent of Market Value, or POMV.

 

The Conference also supported  a “prudent balance” for the state’s

Constitutional Budget Reserve—though didn’t specify a dollar amount—and

recommended that annual dividend checks be protected in the state Constitution.

 

The recommendations to Gov. Frank Murkowski, who called the

conference during his State of the State speech, came in the form of four

resolutions and one letter to “Fellow Alaskans,” which all 55

delegates signed. While the final day represented a time crunch, the delegates

addressed all four of Murkowski’s questions.

 

The delegates approved using Permanent Fund income for state

services only after dividends are paid

out under the POMV method. The other condition was that the governor and

Legislature “must take action” to balance the state’s books

by considering a state income tax, other broad-based taxes and “other

alternative sources of income.”

 

Not all resolutions were unanimous, and some delegates

expressed dissatisfaction with certain elements of them. Still, the tone of

most delegates as the Conference ended was one of respect for the process.

 

“It took more than a modest modicum of courage for

Gov. Murkowski to call this conference,” Mallott said. “There was

no pressure (from his administration). All of the presentations were objective

and thorough.”

 

The delegates received more than 300 emails from the public,

both prior to the conference and during. Comments to

href="mailto:comment@conferenceofalaskans.com">comment@conferenceofalaskans.com

will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13. After that they will be

forwarded to the governor’s office.

 

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2-12-04 Conference press release, page 2

 

 

The letter signed by all 55 delegates expressed appreciation

for former Gov. Jay Hammond, who also supported the POMV plan but wanted it

tied to a state income tax capped at the amount of the annual dividend. Hammond

spoke at the Conference Wednesday and observed most of it.

 

“We have been honored by the presence and words of

former Gov. Jay Hammond during the Conference of Alaskans, and we applaud his

continuing passionate dedication to protecting the Alaska Permanent Fund and

building a strong fiscal future for Alaska,” the letter states.

 

The Conference recommendations now go to Murkowski. They

still must get through the Legislature and then, ultimately, to a public vote

in November. 

 

A full transcript of Conference proceedings can be found at

webscription.com.

 

Attached with this emailed press release are the four

resolutions and the “Fellow Alaskans” letter. The resolutions and

letter also will be posted on the Conference web site at

href="http://www.conferenceofalaskans.com/">www.conferenceofalaskans.com.

 

 

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