Commentary: Despite economic slump, Alaska is better off than most states

Gov. Sean Parnell didn't use the exact phrase in his speech Wednesday night, but compared to the rest of the country, the state of the state is good.

While the national economic storm has definitely hit Alaska, we've been spared the epidemic of home foreclosures and plant closings seen in many other parts of the country.

Alaska's state treasury has $8 billion in ready reserves and the Permanent Fund has rebounded to $35 billion. We do not have to lay off state troopers and prison guards or close state parks. Lawmakers will be able to add money to K-12 schools this year, while other states have to slash their education budgets.

We take for granted that we still don't have to pay any state sales tax or personal income tax. Last year, each of us Alaskans got a check for $1,305 just for being smart enough to live here. This year's payout should be similar.

Unlike other states, Alaska does have money to invest in making life better for us all and Governor Parnell pitched legislators on some smart ways to do it.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.adn.com.