On July 30, 1986, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continued to toy with oil prices, fertilizing doubt that Alaska’s revenue — most of which comes from oil — would make a comeback. Another price drop from OPEC would mean yet another budget cut from Alaska, something that the state was trying to plan for.
Budget problems still dominated statewide discussions, with Gov. Bill Sheffield fighting to reduce the number of layoffs in the state. Though Sheffield continued to take the “cut more” approach, state employee unions, such as Alaska Public Employee Association, continued to push for cuts from the Permanent Fund Dividend and for new taxes to prevent another pay cut and layoffs to state workers. Because Sheffield believed that this plan will ultimately tank but state unions refuse to bear another blow, discussion rested in stalemate for the time being.
With all of the controversy and argument surrounding the budget, the election season still reigned on, with many candidates playing to the people’s irritation with the lack of progress with the state’s financial situation.
“This Day in Juneau History” is compiled by Empire intern Tasha Elizarde, who sums up the day’s events — 30 years ago — by perusing Empire archives. To learn more about the project, click here.