This project is a tool to help both citizens and legislators identify what is “Mission Critical” regarding state spending. A team comprised of members of the Alaska Policy Forum (APF) and United For Liberty (UFL) carefully examined the budgets of all State of Alaska departments, the University of Alaska system, the court system, the legislature, and the Office of the Governor.
We have defined Mission Critical as items that are essential core functions of each respective department. To determine what is Mission Critical, we utilized the State of Alaska Constitution, the mission statements from each department, and key performance indicators provided by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Not every activity a department executes or funds is mission critical.
As each of the departments were examined the budget line items were evaluated and moved into either a category called "Mission Critical" or a category called "Non Mission Critical". Non Mission Critical budget items are not necessary in order to carry out the mission of the department. They may still be important and have a significant positive impact on Alaskan's and even the state as a whole, but it does not make their function critical to the mission. All state government spending needs to be on the table to define what is essential and what is not. Sacred cows historically produce expensive milk.
Within this project you will find a price tag for each department that resembles the price sticker you find in the window of automobiles that are for sale at a dealership. These price stickers clearly show you what the Governor has proposed to spend. At the bottom of each price sheet you will see where our team has calculated the potental savings we found based on mission critical versus non-mission critical.
The budget drafted by the Governor is itemized by first identifying each line item requested to be funded. Next, the budget detail identifies the source of the funds and separates them out into four categories: Unrestricted General Funds (UGF, State Funds), Designated General Funds (DGF, State Funds), Other (State Funds), and Federal Funds. It is important to understand that although the total budget includes state and federal funds the Mission Critical project focuses only on state funds to include UGF, DGF, and Other.
The first priority is developing a government that does not assault the private sector through income taxes, sales taxes, or tapping the permanent fund. Suggesting revenue streams before correcting the errors in the current budget system is how we got to where we are. Legislators need to make the difficult decisions and deliver the government we can afford.
The Mission Critical Team