Alaska owes public workers $6.6 billion more in pensions than it has in assets.
Current state law allows the Gov. Bill Walker’s administration to sell up to $5 billion in bonds, but the Legislature needs to appropriate that money. The bill would reduce that amount to $1.5 billion. But it signals that at least some lawmakers could support an appropriation in the future.
Sen. Anna MacKinnon, an Eagle River Republican, said the bill is a compromise for senators and House members.
“There are some in both bodies that thought we should eliminate all possibility of borrowing,” MacKinnon said.
The bonds would essentially be low-interest debt. The state could use that money to invest. If investment returns were higher than the bonds’ rate, the state would save money.
The House passed the bill on Saturday and the Senate agreed Monday to changes the House made.