A group of Alaska leaders from the private sector are taking a stand to solve the state’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit.


Known as Alaska’s Future, the coalition launched a campaign Tuesday to “promote a long-term solution to solve our state’s budget challenge,” according to a statement from the group. Alaska officials have predicted a $3.5 billion deficit in next year’s budget.


Alaska’s Future co-chair Ron Duncan — who is also the president and CEO of GCI — said if state lawmakers don’t do anything this session about the state’s fiscal situation, private businesses will take an economic hit.


“We have to act now,” he said. “The goal of Alaska’s Future is to empower state lawmakers this session to use a portion of Permanent Fund earnings to support essential public services and reduce the deficit. This must be the first step in resolving our fiscal challenge, while assuring a sustainable dividend and maintaining a healthy Permanent Fund for future generations.”


The coalition said they plan to travel across the state to talk to Alaskans about how to encourage lawmakers to take action this session. Their mission statement is “to cultivate the broad based public support necessary to convince the Legislature,” according to their website.


KTVA 11’s Alexis Fernandez contributed to this report.


Editor’s note: KTVA is owned by Denali Media Holdings, a subsidiary of GCI. An earlier version of this story incorrectly named Ron Duncan as Alaska’s Future’s president. This has been corrected.


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