The Institute of Social & Economic Research

The Alaska Citizen's Guide to the Budget

Financial Assistance
provided by:

Fiscal Policy Council of Alaska

Comparisons
Budget History
General Fund
Appropriations
Operating Spending
Outlays
Jobs
Payroll
Budget Shifting

 

3. Budget History

3.2 Special Funds for Operations and Total Operations Spending

Special funds include all spending outside the general fund except spending financed by federal grants or the earnings of the Permanent Fund. Here we look at the portion of the special funds spent for operations and make some comparisons with total operations. (See Special Funds for a complete list.)

Spending from special funds has been growing, as have total operations. Adjusted for inflation, however, operations spending has not been growing, particularly if we consider spending from "own sources" (dollars collected within Alaska).

The first graph and table show total operations spending broken into 4 categories. The general fund and net special funds (excluding duplications) together equal spending from "own sources." Adding in federal funds gives a subtotal of actual spending. Finally, adding in duplicated spending (duplicated funds which are part of total special funds) gives a total that is the amount the legislature appropriates. Special fund spending (net of duplications) increased from about $82 million in 1981 to $652 million in 2000. Total special fund spending also increased, but not as fast.

State Operating Budget Appropriations by Source of Funds
Nominal Dollars (thousands)

Year General Fund Net Special Funds Sum Own Sources Federal Fund Actual Spending Duplicated Funds Total
1981 $1,370,150 $82,035 $1,452,185 $196,710 $1,648,895 $68,986 $1,717,881
1982 1,680,115 81,658 1,761,774 164,870 1,926,644 59,132 1,985,777
1983 2,199,241 118,978 2,318,219 170,604 2,488,823 157,829 2,646,652
1984 2,072,949 285,707 2,358,656 187,980 2,546,635 143,877 2,690,512
1985 1,945,454 118,424 2,063,878 206,486 2,270,364 154,873 2,425,237
1986 1,994,129 132,099 2,126,228 232,891 2,359,119 156,845 2,515,964
1987 1,837,741 124,538 1,962,279 251,017 2,213,295 181,759 2,395,055
1988 2,018,552 159,973 2,178,525 291,108 2,469,633 161,185 2,630,818
1989 2,138,861 181,380 2,320,240 324,241 2,644,481 179,933 2,824,414
1990 2,103,186 191,266 2,294,452 363,879 2,658,331 209,044 2,867,375
1991 2,373,080 223,843 2,596,923 426,888 3,023,811 218,592 3,242,402
1992 2,192,794 314,420 2,507,214 466,069 2,973,283 490,576 3,463,858
1993 2,197,447 379,036 2,576,483 537,364 3,113,847 481,044 3,594,891
1994 2,249,474 397,346 2,646,821 561,849 3,208,669 436,883 3,645,552
1995 2,188,758 440,805 2,629,563 652,705 3,282,268 402,106 3,684,374
1996 2,211,035 457,117 2,668,153 637,432 3,305,584 392,946 3,698,530
1997 2,165,890 493,064 2,658,954 645,441 3,304,396 372,269 3,676,665
1998 2,127,205 518,667 2,645,872 717,036 3,362,908 365,435 3,728,343
1999 2,159,981 585,870 2,745,851 786,161 3,532,013 354,102 3,886,115
2000 2,136,724 651,589 2,788,314 865,625 3,653,939 389,211 4,043,150
Source: Legislative Finance Excel spreadsheets of actual annual operating expenditures and ISER.

Adjusting for inflation, special fund spending has increased, but declines in the general fund spending have largely offset this growth, resulting in fairly constant spending from "own sources" in recent years.

State Operating Budget Appropriations by Source of Funds
Real Dollars (2000)
Year General Fund Net Special Funds Sum Own Sources Federal Fund Actual Spending Duplicated Funds Total
1981 $2,237,614 $133,973 $2,371,588 $321,250 $2,692,837 $112,663 $2,805,500
1982 2,602,971 126,512 2,729,483 255,430 2,984,914 91,613 3,076,526
1983 3,345,418 180,986 3,526,403 259,518 3,785,921 240,084 4,026,005
1984 3,028,151 417,359 3,445,510 274,599 3,720,109 210,175 3,930,284
1985 2,774,755 168,906 2,943,660 294,506 3,238,166 220,892 3,459,058
1986 2,791,411 184,914 2,976,325 326,005 3,302,329 219,554 3,521,883
1987 2,562,986 173,686 2,736,671 350,078 3,086,749 253,489 3,340,238
1988 2,804,784 222,283 3,027,067 404,496 3,431,562 223,967 3,655,529
1989 2,889,473 245,033 3,134,505 438,030 3,572,535 243,078 3,815,613
1990 2,675,977 243,356 2,919,332 462,979 3,382,312 265,976 3,648,288
1991 2,887,885 272,403 3,160,287 519,495 3,679,782 266,012 3,945,794
1992 2,581,065 370,093 2,951,159 548,594 3,499,753 577,441 4,077,194
1993 2,508,281 432,652 2,940,933 613,375 3,554,308 549,089 4,103,397
1994 2,514,412 444,145 2,958,557 628,022 3,586,579 488,338 4,074,917
1995 2,377,851 478,888 2,856,739 709,094 3,565,833 436,845 4,002,678
1996 2,338,088 483,385 2,821,473 674,060 3,495,534 415,526 3,911,059
1997 2,257,133 513,836 2,770,968 672,632 3,443,600 387,952 3,831,552
1998 2,185,128 532,790 2,717,918 736,560 3,454,478 375,385 3,829,863
1999 2,196,369 595,740 2,792,109 799,405 3,591,514 360,068 3,951,582
2000 2,136,724 651,589 2,788,314 865,625 3,653,939 389,211 4,043,150
Source: Legislative Finance Excel spreadsheets of actual annual operating expenditures and ISER.

Special fund real per capita spending has also grown, but total spending from "own sources" and total spending (net of duplications) have both declined.

State Operating Budget Appropriations by Source of Funds
Real Per Capita Dollars (2000)
Year General Fund Net Special Funds Sum Own Sources Federal Fund Actual Spending Duplicated Funds Total
1981 $5,152 $308 $5,461 $740 $6,200 $259 $6,460
1982 5,606 272 5,879 550 6,429 197 6,626
1983 6,703 363 7,066 520 7,585 481 8,067
1984 5,779 796 6,575 524 7,099 401 7,501
1985 5,102 311 5,412 541 5,954 406 6,360
1986 5,069 336 5,405 592 5,997 399 6,395
1987 4,735 321 5,056 647 5,702 468 6,171
1988 5,243 415 5,658 756 6,414 419 6,833
1989 5,362 455 5,816 813 6,629 451 7,080
1990 4,838 440 5,278 837 6,115 481 6,596
1991 5,070 478 5,548 912 6,460 467 6,927
1992 4,393 630 5,022 934 5,956 983 6,939
1993 4,203 725 4,928 1,028 5,956 920 6,876
1994 4,185 739 4,924 1,045 5,970 813 6,782
1995 3,953 796 4,749 1,179 5,927 726 6,653
1996 3,865 799 4,664 1,114 5,778 687 6,465
1997 3,704 843 4,548 1,104 5,652 637 6,288
1998 3,516 857 4,374 1,185 5,559 604 6,163
1999 3,495 948 4,443 1,272 5,715 573 6,288
2000 3,363 1,026 4,388 1,362 5,751 613 6,363
Source: Legislative Finance Excel spreadsheets of actual annual operating expenditures and ISER.

WHAT THE SPECIAL FUNDS PAY FOR

Although there are a large number of special funds, we can categorize them into a few groups to better see both what they pay for and how they have been growing. These categories are: public employee benefits management, university funds, permanent fund asset management, transportation, state corporations, "always special fund" (required to be separate from the general fund for constitutional or other legal reasons), and a remainder consisting primarily of other fee-supported services that do not fit neatly into one of the other categories. (See a compete list and how we categorized each fund.) This last category experienced the most rapid growth during the 1990s but is still less than one-third of the total. (See the sections on budget shifting.)

Net Special Funds Spending in the Operating Budget
Nominal Dollars (thousands)

Year

Public Employee Benefits Manage-
ment

University Funds Permanent Fund Manage-
ment
Transpor- tation State Corpora-
tions
"Always Special Fund" Remain-
der
Total
1981 $2,357 $24,819 $ 0 $16,403 $ 0 $6,405 $32,051 $82,035
1982 3,330 28,878 0 16,210 0 1,730 31,510 81,659
1983 3,925 28,872 18,045 19,405 0 7,812 40,920 118,978
1984 3,297 30,717 178,999(a) 24,191 0 8,298 40,206 285,707
1985 5,608 27,552 2,703 22,684 0 11,266 48,611 118,424
1986 6,601 32,968 6,072 25,220 0 11,822 49,417 132,099
1987 8,397 51,922 6,917 25,665 1,066 13,249 17,323 124,538
1988 8,530 57,384 11,379 36,650 12,880 14,350 18,800 159,973
1989 9,943 65,486 13,117 39,402 19,063 16,365 18,003 181,380
1990 10,531 72,211 16,408 30,838 27,674 16,860 16,744 191,266
1991 11,923 81,401 17,466 43,680 30,989 15,877 22,508 223,843
1992 13,381 90,006 21,383 111,888(b) 37,336 15,999 24,427 314,420
1993 18,803 97,804 24,462 113,571 43,909 17,518 62,969 379,036
1994 21,868 105,078 31,127 108,616 43,055 21,566 66,037 397,346
1995 23,256 112,638 28,528 107,302 55,726 24,569 88,786 440,805
1996 26,171 121,226 28,660 105,692 54,023 28,278 93,068 457,117
1997 30,725 131,659 28,185 107,966 53,894 29,008 111,627 493,064
1998 43,153 142,401 59,087 108,152 26,645 30,032 109,196 518,667
1999 45,152 149,035 61,810 113,370 43,716 33,437 139,351 585,870
2000 51,321 151,917 73,543 115,703 27,115 33,783 198,207 651,589

(a) This was a special one-time expenditure.
(b) In this year, the ferry system receipts were moved out of the general fund.

Source: Legislative Finance Excel spreadsheets of actual annual operating expenditures and ISER.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, growth was less pronounced.

Net Special Funds Spending in the Operating Budget
Real Dollars (2000)
Year Public Employee Benefits Manage-
ment
Univer-
sity Funds
Perma-
nent Fund Manage-
ment
Transpor-
tation
State Corpora-
tions
"Always Special Fund" Remain-
der
Total
1981 $3,849 $40,532 $ 0 $26,789 $ 0 $10,461 $52,343 $133,973
1982 5,160 44,739 0 25,114 0 2,680 48,818 126,512
1983 5,970 43,919 27,450 29,518 0 11,883 62,246 180,986
1984 4,816 44,871 261,481 35,338 0 12,121 58,732 417,359
1985 7,999 39,296 3,856 32,353 0 16,069 69,333 168,906
1986 9,240 46,149 8,500 35,303 0 16,548 69,174 184,914
1987 11,710 72,412 9,647 35,794 1,486 18,478 24,159 173,686
1988 11,853 79,736 15,810 50,925 17,896 19,940 26,123 222,283
1989 13,433 88,467 17,720 53,230 25,753 22,108 24,321 245,033
1990 13,399 91,877 20,877 39,237 35,210 21,452 21,304 243,356
1991 14,510 99,059 21,255 53,156 37,711 19,321 27,391 272,403
1992 15,750 105,943 25,170 131,699 43,947 18,832 28,752 370,093
1993 21,463 111,638 27,922 129,636 50,120 19,996 71,877 432,652
1994 24,443 117,454 34,793 121,409 48,126 24,106 73,815 444,145
1995 25,265 122,369 30,993 116,572 60,540 26,691 96,457 478,888
1996 27,675 128,192 30,307 111,766 57,127 29,902 98,416 483,385
1997 32,019 137,206 29,372 112,514 56,164 30,230 116,330 513,836
1998 44,328 146,279 60,696 111,097 27,371 30,850 112,169 532,790
1999 45,912 151,546 62,851 115,280 44,452 34,000 141,698 595,740
2000 51,321 151,917 73,543 115,703 27,115 33,783 198,207 651,589
Source: Legislative Finance Excel spreadsheets of actual annual operating expenditures and ISER.

Even taking out the effects of inflation and population growth, the special funds part of the operating budget has increased.

Net Special Funds Spending in the Operating Budget
Real Per Capita Dollars (2000)
Year Public Employee Benefits Manage-
ment
University Funds Permanent Fund Manage-
ment
Transpor-
tation
State Corpora-
tions
"Always Special Fund" Remain-
der
Total
1981 $ 9 $93 $ 0 $62 $ 0 $24 $121 $308
1982 11 96 0 54 0 6 105 272
1983 12 88 55 59 0 24 125 363
1984 9 86 499 67 0 23 112 796
1985 15 72 7 59 0 30 127 311
1986 17 84 15 64 0 30 126 336
1987 22 134 18 66 3 34 45 321
1988 22 149 30 95 33 37 49 415
1989 25 164 33 99 48 41 45 455
1990 24 166 38 71 64 39 39 440
1991 25 174 37 93 66 34 48 478
1992 27 180 43 224 75 32 49 630
1993 36 187 47 217 84 34 120 725
1994 41 195 58 202 80 40 123 739
1995 42 203 52 194 101 44 160 796
1996 46 212 50 185 94 49 163 799
1997 53 225 48 185 92 50 191 843
1998 71 235 98 179 44 50 181 857
1999 73 241 100 183 71 54 225 948
2000 81 239 116 182 43 53 312 1,026
Source: Legislative Finance Excel spreadsheets of actual annual operating expenditures and ISER.
Site Map
 
Top ^

Next >

Fiscal Policy Papers

About ISER


Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage
Mailing Address: 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Physical Address: 4500 Diplomacy Drive, Suite 501, Anchorage, Alaska
 
(907)786-7710

Page Updated April 16, 2003

Other Resources
Send a Comment
 © Copyright 2011, Institute of Social and Economic Research