Where has the legislature received the money to create our overspending habits?
The Alaskan Legislature, unlike any other state, has never had to cope with passing broad-based tax laws as part of our fiscal equation. As we all know, the Alaska Constitution, Section 9.15, allows a huge 75% natural resources money to flow directly into the general fund ($80+ Billion so far).
We are finding the culture of over-spending from this money very difficult to reform.
Those closest to the spending (at the public trough) are tenaciously protecting their source. The geographically isolated budget process is heavily influenced by spending advocates who have the easiest access to Juneau. The healthy tension related to tax legislation (typical in other states) is missing.
The legislative power to spend has not been tempered by the legislative liability to tax politics. The constitutionally established ‘tax’ on the people’s commonly owned natural resources (not typically called a ‘tax’) has become all but invisible until now when it is going away.