Alaska's fiscal health ranking plunges in updated study

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The State of Alaska has fallen from first to 17th place over the span of one year in the latest rankings for fiscal health.

    The study is prepared by the Mercatus Center at George Washington University.

    Eileen Norcross is the center's director for the State and Local Policy Project.  

    She was interviewed by C-Span.  North Dakota is among the top five states, while Alaska is now ranked as "above average".  Norcross figures North Dakota will join Alaska with lower rankings in the future.

    She said Alaska is a cautionary tale and  believes North Dakota will be right behind.  "Alaska lost $10 Billion in 2015.  They just dropped because they are so reliant on oil revenue, not a stable source of revenue."  While North Dakota kept it  together in 2015, Cross said they know going forward to 2016 and this budget year, the state is struggling with the top in oil revenue.  

    "One cautionary tale in these rankings is that just because you have a windfall doesn't mean you're going to sustain it forever," she said.  She pointed to Alaska and North Dakota as examples.

    Florida was the top ranked state followed by North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.  The bottom five states are Maryland, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey.  

     

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