100 Years of Alaska's Legislature
"From Territorial Days to Today"

1991 - 1992

Juneau, Alaska

17th State Legislature

Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation Established


Unemployment & Inflation Slow Economy

In the early 1990s a global recession marked by slow economic growth, large governmental budget deficits, relatively high unemployment, and increased inflation had become entrenched. Alaska was gripped by these impacts and suffered from related low oil prices, which settled into an annual price range between roughly $10 and $12 per barrel for the five years following the brief price spike caused by the Gulf War.

Despite of intense fiscal pressures, the Legislature nonetheless approved a number of important measures, including

  • Establishment of the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation;
  • Recognizing the service of and providing certain benefits to members of the Alaska Territorial Guard who served during World War II;
  • Omnibus Insurance and Violent Crimes Acts;
  • The Alaska Family Leave Act; and
  • Comprehensive Legislative Ethics legislation.

In addition, Legislators approved legislation relating to the disposal of any income derived from litigation of the Amerada Hess case, which began in 1977 when the state accused North Slope petroleum producers of under-valuing their oil and gas, thereby reducing the state's share of proceeds. The case, which lasted until 1995, ultimately became the longest-running between the state and producers, and resulted in settlements of roughly $1 billion to the state. Pursuant to 1992 legislation, those funds were deposited into the principal of the Alaska Permanent Fund but are tracked separately as they are not available for the dividend program.

Another special session on the subsistence issue failed to resolve the dispute.

Beyond the Legislature

Mount Spur erupts repeatedly, in one case dumping ash on Anchorage.

Juneau's Hilary Lindh wins the 1992 Olympic silver medal in downhill skiing.

Under the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union is formed.

The Gulf War ends but conflicts in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Algeria begin.

The Soviet Union dissolves ending the Cold War and bringing independence to 15 former Soviet republics.

The reign of the Khmer Rouge ends in Cambodia, as do dictatorships in Albania and South Korea.

William Jefferson Clinton becomes the 42nd U.S. President.

Ben Grussendorf

Richard Eliason